How to Decorate with Pantone’s Colours of the Year
Since the year 2000 the Pantone Colour Institute has been providing the world with a 'Pantone Colour of the Year'. This is the Institute’s colour forecast for the coming year, predicting what will be the new hot colour to be seen on everything from our IPhones, to the clothes we wear, and the cushions we place on our sofas. In the past, Pantone's colour selections have generally been quite bold and saturated. However, this year we have been given a huge surprise. Not only is the selection much softer and muted, but for the first time ever Pantone has provided us with two colours! Rose Quartz, a soft pink and Serenity, a soft blue.
Both colours are found in nature, and bring forth a feeling of calm and peacefulness. This is a timely selection because of the fast-paced world we live in, which is often overloaded with too much information and stress. As a counter to this theme, Pantone’s colours aim to soothe and relax.
Used together, Rose Quartz and Serenity express a certain gender blur or crossover, which has been a prevalent trend over the past year. We have seen more and more leanings towards gender fluidity, so using both a soft pink and blue – which traditionally represent female and male genders – honours both sexes and puts them together on the same level. There is no need to choose between masculine and feminine, we can have both.
But how exactly, does one use these two beautiful colours to create a palette in an interior space that is both stylish and pulled together, while avoiding the soft pastel-feel of a room fit for a child? One approach is to stick with neutrals and light wood tones for your larger pieces, use a soft grey-blue (diluted Serenity) on the walls, throw in a copper statement piece, and one hit of rose quartz is all you need. To really tie things together, add a bit of pattern, as seen below in the table cloth, chair cushion, and tea towel that hangs on the wall.
A good rule of thumb when decorating with any colour, is to free your mind and not get too caught up in using the shades in their truest forms. Let the swatches be your inspiration, not the final say. Another clever way to use these fresh new colours is to stick with a light take on Serenity for most of the interior, and add splashes of Rose Quartz as an accent colour. Around these two dominant shades add splashes of other soft colours for a more eclectic look, as seen below.
It seems that the sky is the limit when decorating with the colours of the year. Pantone has their own colour scheme recommendations on their website as well. There are many ways to incorporate these new hues into your life.
Whichever way you decide to use these beautiful new colours try to get outside of your comfort zone, at least slightly. That’s generally when creative endeavours begin to pay off and take on a shape entirely their own. Do any of you have experience using Rose Quartz or Serenity? I would love to hear all about what you learned and how you overcame any obstacles.
Mixing Metals in Interior Spaces
I am often asked about the practice of mixing metals in interior spaces. It has become an increasingly popular trend in both fashion and interiors. However, it can be such a puzzling subject for many people. Should you mix your metals, and how do you do it well? Why has this become such a daunting task for the average person?
I think part of it may be because when we were younger we were taught that we wore silver jewellery, or we wore gold jewellery and the two metals were not to be mixed. A choice had to be made. When I started working with interiors the sentiment was much the same. You were either in the gold camp, or the silver camp. The two metals should never be seen together. Most homeowners chose to decorate with silver in the form of chrome, or brushed nickel, as these were popular and easy to find in a variety of products. You could have continuity in your space by choosing these finishes. Slowly over time more metal finish options became available in a wider variety of products. Brass started making a comeback, oil rubbed bronze was having a moment, and champagne was making waves. New and exciting finishes were coming about as well; copper, rose gold, bronze and many more in a variety of different sheen levels and textures. Suddenly it seemed we didn’t need to make a choice anymore. There were enough metals on the market that we could mix and match. We could be playful and creative with all of these options. We could have gold pendant lighting with a burnished nickel table and copper accessories all in the same room! This was cutting edge, new, and exciting. It was beautiful. Today the trend toward mixing metals continues to be in the forefront. Though the question remains: How exactly does one go about mixing those metals so a space doesn’t look haphazardly thrown together or disconnected? Here are a few guidelines that might make this challenge a little easier. Use your overall colour scheme as guidance. If you have a room that is mostly decorated in cool colours like blue, green or grey, try warming it up with warmer toned metals like gold, copper, and champagne. You can use the same principles and apply cooler coloured metals to a warm colour scheme. Another approach that works well is to choose a dominant metal to use within a space, and add in other metals sparingly as accents. You can have a room that uses mostly stainless steel finishes, but inserting a pop or two of another kind of metal like bronze, for example, can add interest and lend an unexpected flair to a space. Conversely, if you would like to use only one type of metal, you could employ a variety of different textures and sheen levels to achieve a more authentic and varied look.
The real shift happens when we start thinking of metallics as neutrals. They are the shinier and more interesting neutrals, and they can act as the jewellery of the room, or be the main event. Any way you use them, make sure you’re having fun and keeping it fresh, dynamic, and interesting.
Allison Grimes is an interior Decorator working in the Ottawa area. She specializes in residential design and décor. Her main focus is on helping her clients realize the home of their dreams by tailoring interior spaces to emulate and complement the individuals who inhabit them.