2017 Pantone Color of the year

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.  In northern California we finally have a lot of rain, which has produced wonderful shades of green in vegetation.  A trip through Sonoma County last weekend displayed hillsides covered in wonderful green grass- similar in shading to the “Greenery” color.



Pantone describes the color as “illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate”.  Greenery is nature’s neutral.  The Greenery color also evokes feelings of renewal, anticipation and excitement.  Pantone is a global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.

Pantone Color of the Year 2016

For the first time ever, Pantone has selected two shades for the “Color of the Year”.  According to Pantone Rose Quartz– is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.  Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.  The color combination replicates the wonderful colors seen at cloudy sunset.


The pairing of the two colors brings calm and relaxation.  “Wearing both of these hues at once is like returning to the weightlessness of your youth,” says  Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone . “The combination of a cool and a warm color brings a sense of balance.”



Although probably this will be seen more in clothing than interiors, the baby hues can used together in wall papers, fabrics and color schemes.  The color combination would work well in a powder room, dressing area or a girl’s room.


Marsala- 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone-Marsala[1]Every year Pantone selects a “Color of the Year”.  For 2015 the color “Marsala”, a rich and robust earthy wine red color, was selected.  Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explained the selection by saying “much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name,  this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal,  while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated natural earthiness”.


2015-color-of-the-year-pantone-marsala-wall-stencils-diy-painting-home-decor[1]The color Marsala has already shown up on the fashion runways and interior furnishings.  The hearty but stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, home furnishings and interiors.  The dramatic color brings warmth to interiors.  The color will add elegance to any home interior.  Many home products companies, from cookware to bedding and towels are adding the color to their product mix.


marsala-collageMany manufacturers of beauty products are also showcasing the new color selection.  The color is flattering to many skin tones.
The Pantone Color Institute is a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Inc.  Pantone is a global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.



Each year during the last week of February my husband and I stay at our time share at South Lake Tahoe.  Usually we downhill and cross country ski.  Unfortunately, the winter of 2013-2014 has been the driest since record keeping began 150 years ago.

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With no snow at lake level we decided to hike instead.  Our trek was taken on small roads and trails near Fallen Leaf Lake.  We departed in mid morning under an overcast sky.  Our first interesting spot where we stopped to carefully observe our surroundings was a patch of aspen trees with rather uniform markings around the trees at a height about 4-5 feet above the ground.  These markings evidently are from deer eating the bark in winter.  The scars left from this munching make contrasting dark shapes in the white bark.


2014-02-26 10.16.38As we walked along I began to notice more patterns in the bark of trees, moss and lichens, leaves and branches.  Perhaps it was because the light was so flat and diffuse that the patterns really popped.  I decided to get out the camera to take a few photos.2014-02-26 10.20.00


My disappointment at missing the chance to cross country ski was replaced with a fun anticipation of trying to find more interesting patterns and shapes.  Although I’m not much of a photographer, it was fun to document what I saw.  Even the rust stains on a large rock formed an intriging pattern.

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The chance to find the interesting patterns and shapes we observed made up for the lack of snow.

WALKING ON WIGMORE STREET (London’s street of premier kitchen showrooms)

For the past three years I’ve visited London in early December.  In 2012, by chance, I was walking on Wigmore Street and started to notice a number of high end Kitchen & Bath showrooms.  I stopped into several stores to look around and spoke with staff about trends and what’s popular in London.  Most of the major brand names of cabinet and appliance manufacturers have a location somewhere along the 8-10 block stretch of Wigmore Street that I visited.


Every showroom featured contemporary, clean-lined layouts in the front windows and throughout the store.  The most prevalent layouts were subtle in color (white and off white cabinets) with light colored stone, manufactured quartz or solid surface countertops.


DSCN2226One large showroom did feature a beautiful traditional walnut layout (located at the back of the store).  The large island was done in a white painted finish.  The designer I spoke with said that the traditional styling is usually done in country estate homes or large older homes.  By far though, contemporary styling is selected by most clients, whether the home or flat is in a contemporary or traditional styled exterior.


This past year I made the same journey and noticed some changes.  Most showrooms featured a display with rustic wood finishes (done on a variety of wood species) on the plainly styled cabinet doors & drawerheads.  Additionally, more gray colored cabinets were shown on display (gray is popular in the United States as well). 


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACountertops were shown with complicated edge detailing (recessed edges or layered reveals).  The countertops are manufactured quartz or solid surface materials. Beautifully grained Carrera marble is also very popular.


Again, staff members I spoke with confirmed that contemporary styling is the most prevalent selection.  One woman asked me if styling in the United States is still “over the top” with lots of fancy moulding (as seen on American reality TV programs).  I told her we utilize much less than four or five years ago.  She told me that moulding is limited to a simple crown, if that.


The showrooms I visited were all high end cabinet & design stores.  The quality of the products was evident with walnut interior drawers, high end interior fittings, innovative lighting options and excellent finishes.


It was fun to visit these beautiful high end showrooms and learn more about what’s popular in London.



On a recent trip to London I stayed at the St. Irmin Hotel, located close to Westminster.  The hotel is a wonderful old “grand dame” building constructed in the 1880’s.  The holiday decorating throughout the public areas of the hotel was done in a fresh and imaginative way. 

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A tomato red and dark lime green color scheme was substituted instead of the standard dark green and red color theme.  Packages were wrapped in solid colors with contrasting wide ribbons.  These packages were placed on a large round table in the lobby and on the mantelpiece of several fireplaces located on the first and second floors.



Large tomato red lanterns were also placed on the lobby table and smaller lanterns on side tables.  I spoke with two women from Norway who told me that lanterns are commonly used for2013-12-01 09.39.10 holiday decorating in northern Europe.





2013-12-04 02.17.19Plywood cutout evergreen tree shapes were painted in the same tomato red and lime green theme.  The trees were placed on side tables throughout the hotel and bar. 




The origin of the red and green theme is thought to come from several old traditions predating the birth of Christ.  In many cultures green is the symbol of life.  Ancient Romans gave each other gifts of greenery.  Early Druids and other northern European people used holly with red berries in the winter solstice festivals as a reminder that the days would get longer and the sun increase its warmth.

 Happy Holidays!