We’re barely into the second quarter of 2017, but the Pantone Color Institute is already identifying trends that will define 2018 in a big way. Ironically, it’s the very “age of uncertainty” we find ourselves in that has given rise to these emerging color preferences, which are anything but wishy-washy.
Pink will continue big—especially in combination with orange. Green and the nature/environmental tie will continue strong. Purple is around but not as hot as it has been. And the metals to watch are gold and silver, often appearing together. Whimsical, quirky and playful are in, and self-expression extends to out-and-out rebellion.
The future is about chasing our wellbeing in this age of uncertainty and making home the altar where we worship it. For home interior and fashion merchandisers who must stay ahead of the design game, Pantone says to tune in to these eight lifestyle trends with accompanying color palettes.
In an age of uncertainty, one has to be resourceful, right? This palette brings together the energy of complementary blues and oranges, a vibrant yellow and an always dependable gray, because we’ll need it to steady us.
|Molly Winters photo / Camille Styles|
“Color is like oxygen to me,” says interior designer Merrilee McGehee. “It keeps a vibrant through line in a home.” The bungalow she shares with her family drives that point home, and the living room, in particular, nails the “Resourceful” palette with vibrant blue chairs, salmon-orange walls, a classic gray sofa, and pops of yellow in a layered area rug.
I think of “Resourceful” as the design equivalent of the TV character MacGyver: Anyone who could put together a room like this could do most anything. Continue your tour of McGehee’s west Austin, TX, home at Camille Styles.
Adults won’t think twice before stealing these bright, happy, playful colors from the kids’ rooms. Living in an age of uncertainty puts extra emphasis on play. Our parents might have said it like this: Make hay while the sun shines.
|Eve Wilson photo / The Design Files|
Madeleine and Jeremy Grummett take that philosophy to heart in their Melbourne, Australia, home. All those playful Pantone colors are in place, but it’s the painting at the far end of the room that grabs my attention.
|Eve Wilson photo / The Design Files|
Now that’s playful, wouldn’t you say? Not quite sure how you explain that one to the kids over breakfast, but you can see more of this home on The Design Files.
Discretion is supposed to be the better part of valor, but there’s nothing namby-pamby about this palette when you see it in action. Like “Resourceful,” it gets its power from the pairing of complements—in this case, purples and yellows.
|Mary Summers photo / Hi Sugarplum|
And as courageous as this “Discretion” living room is, it retains the quality of a wonderful but carefully kept secret. It was part of the One Room Challenge in fall 2015. Check it out up-close-and-personal at Hi Sugarplum.
“Greenery,” Pantone’s 2017 color of the year, will remain big in 2018, but we’ll see it paired with other hues pulled directly from nature.
|David Tsay photo|
“Verdure” seems about right for the bedroom of Justina Blakeney, author of The New Bohemians and the The Jungalow blog. I featured a full tour of her renovated Los Angeles home on BoHo Home last summer.
This palette isn’t only about unusual pairings—like pink and orange, which the Pantone folks say is really hot—it’s about colors and textures that evoke far-away places—and sunrises and sunsets, I might add. To me, this palette, more than any of the others, says Morocco, with all the heat of the desert.
|Roger Davies photo|
This is the bedroom of Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, so it follows that it’s more sophisticated than the average teen room. And exotic. It may not all be in this palette, but you won’t want to miss the full tour of the Smith’s Malibu home.
“Intricacy” isn’t merely about color and texture; it’s also about craft and layering.
|William Waldron photo / via One Kings Lane|
This room appeared in a feature entitled, “The Most Beautifully Collected Rooms We’ve Seen,” and it’s certainly that, which also makes it intricate. Minimalism will still be big in 2018, but so will maximalism, say the experts at Pantone. Though it will be a layered, orderly, curated maximalism, like we see here. That’s “Intricate.”
I love the little pops of pink amongst all those neutrals!
I read an article just the other day that said red is making a comeback, and a strong red through line is what defines Pantone’s “Intensity” palette. Again, some of the intensity of the “Intensity” palette comes from careful layering to create that “less is a bore” look without falling into chaos.
|Douglas Friedman photo|
The “Tech-Nique” palette plays along with the iridescent “unicorn” trend you’ve probably noticed. It’s ultra-modern and contains transparent elements, such as glass accessories and Lucite furniture. The tech element might include a chromatherapy system, an aromatherapy app, programmed white noise that soothes, or even 3D-printed items.
|Lisa Klappe photos|
I had trouble finding entire rooms in this palette, but the parts are certainly available to assemble a whole. The Prismania chair by designer Elise Luttik appeared at Milan’s Salone Satellite in 2016. Thanks to its dichroic film, it can look transparent at one angle and show all the colors of the rainbow at another.
If you want more…
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