New Year, New Color

New Year, New Color

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Pantone, the global authority on color for the design industries, has announced the Color of the Year for 2013: Emerald Green. (Or more specifically, PANTONE 17-5641.) Leatrice Eiseman, executive director for the Pantone Color Institute, reflects on the choice: “Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal, and rejuvenation,” she says, “which is so important in today's complex world.”

Slideshow: Trending Now: Emerald Green

How will the choice of Emerald affect your decorating decisions in the year ahead? Perhaps quite a bit-or perhaps not at all-depending on how much you like the hue and to what degree you enjoy bold colors in your home.

For the fashion, beauty, and home design industries, however, the choice of Emerald is an influential one, inspiring everything from clothing to eye-shadow shades to household accessories around the world.

Next month, JCPenney will introduce a line of Pantone bedding, pillows, bath towels and bath products showcasing the deep green hue. “The cheerful array of on-trend pieces will make it easy for customers to infuse the perfect color into any home decor,” reports Paul Rutenis, general merchandise manager for home at JCPenney.

So just how does Pantone pinpoint one trend-setting shade each year? According to the company, through “a very thoughtful process”. Pantone experts analyze current films, traveling art exhibitions, popular travel destinations-even upcoming sporting events that will likely capture worldwide attention-any venue where a particular color may be in evidence over and over again. Past colors include Tangerine Tango (2012), Turquoise (2010), and True Red (2004).

Room design: Meg Braff. Photo: James Merrell

Anyone interested in bringing Emerald into their home might start small, with bedding or throw pillows on a sofa, or by adding a coat of paint to a chair or dresser. On walls, Emerald can enliven the space above or below wainscoting, saturate an accent wall, or cover all four walls for maximum impact.

You might also paint Emerald on the back surface of a large bookcase or cupboard. Fabric for upholstery or curtains might be solid Emerald (lush velvet and rich, raw silks tend to complement jewel tones, although sturdier weaves would work equally well). Or fabric might simply have a touch of Emerald incorporated into its overall pattern.

Displaying a collection of Emerald china or glassware is another way to bring the color into the home in a more subtle way.

Novita's Emerald Green-colored Glasses from Overstock

Whichever decorating option you consider, request paint samples and fabric swatches before you begin.

For more on color and interior design, consider:

Fail-Safe Colors
Pantone: The 20th Century in Color
Guide to Historic Paint Colors


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