Friday READ: 2016 Colors, Instagram Babies, Tree Psych

Pantone announced its 2016 color of the year yesterday with a first: TWO colors! Rose Quartz (predicted to be big for spring at fall fashion week previews) and Serenity, a tranquil blue.

Pantone annual color choices are a snapshot of what’s seen taking place globally in cultural expressions of mood and attitude. The company said in its release, “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.”

Rose Quartz is a soft, embracing pink that when paired with the airy, weightless blue of Serenity reflects connection and wellness, as well as a soothing sense of order and peace, Pantone said. Definitely something we need more of in this world (IMO).

Europeans have never had the tight association of pink for girls and blue for boys that exists in the United States. But this photo of Prince George in pink and his female playmate in pale blue is still indicative of the gender blur taking place.

The color choices also represent a unilateral gender blur trend. Consumers show greater comfort in using color as a form of expression, but have less concern about color typecasting; choice is all.

The online webinar to introduce the color choices charted the history of “pink for girls and blue for boys” and showed how it was actually the reverse in the first half of the 20th century, with major department stores of the time making mixed recommendations. Only in the 1950s did pink become so solidly associated with femininity, and Pantone attached that trend to the movie Funny Face, starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn.

BoHo Home noted this emerging trend in two fall posts:

I still prefer the foggy Lilac Grey I paired with Rose Quartz to Pantone’s choice of Serenity Blue from the spring 2016 palette. My choice is much less predictable, not so clichéd. But no one asked me, so Monday I’ll be back with more pink and blue inspiration for your home, and, eventually how to use the colors in a larger palette.

In the meantime, you can check out all the colors-of-the-year hoopla for yourself on the Pantone website.

Tech trends in baby names: Vote for what’s next

I’m not into Instagram (yet), but how ‘bout that trend that new parents are starting to name their newborns after Instagram filters and editing tools?

Take a look at these increases in name prevalence from 2014 to 2015:

  • Ludwig, up 42%
  • Juno, up 30%
  • Amaro, up 26%
  • Lux, up 75%

It’s only a matter of time until a new generation of children will learn their identity was inspired by their parents’ favorite selfie. So instead of Gen X, Y or Z we’ll likely backtrack to Generation T for tech.

Do what you can to influence this trend by voting at re/code for your favorite tech-inspired name (right) not yet on the radar.
I voted for Dox, but I also like Rift and Swipe for boys (as much as you can like ANY of these). Loon for the parents definitely. ;->

What does your Christmas tree say about you?

Um, uh…Mine actually says nothing because it isn’t up yet, but maybe this Elle Décor article will speak to you. Follow the link for the descriptions, then choose your poison:

  • Perfectly symmetrical
  • Wildly colorful
  • Tinsel town
  • Mix and match
  • White + silver + gold
  • Classic douglas fir
  • Mini-me
  • Festively fake
  • Anti-tree

I used to be a mix and match, and for the last few years I’ve been festively fake. But now I’m vacillating between mini-me and anti-tree. Sounds a little bit like a poem, huh?

Post your ”you-tree” and your actual tree in the comments, if you like. And if you and your dog resemble each other, post that photo, too, because the more there is to laugh about, the better.

For all you cookie-bakers out there: butter vs. shortening

Which makes better cookies: Butter or shortening, and why? I bet this one has kept a few of you up all night, right?

Long story short:

  • Butter tastes rich and creamy vs. shortening, which has NO flavor
  • Butter lends crispiness and makes for flatter cookies vs. shortening, which lends softness and rise

The answer? Use half and half (most of the time), just like my mom, Wilma the Cookie Queen, always said.

Read the details at The Kitchn.

Weekly decorating picks = PAPER chase!

1. Remember those paper snowflakes you made in grade school?

They just got bumped up a notch! Now you can share the fun with your own children, grandchildren or just your own self, because Apartment Therapy rounded up how-to links for 10 Times Paper Snowflakes Actually Looked Pretty Fancy.

2. Who says you can’t do origami?

Not only CAN you, but you should. For the holidays. Whichever holiday(s) you celebrate. Apartment Therapy to the rescue again with another roundup (yippee ki-yay!): Handmade Holiday: 14 DIY Origami Ornaments.

The paper ball garland pictured is my favorite—I think because of the colors—but they’re all pretty, cool AND low cost:

3. Gift wrap hacks

The Container Store really comes across with holiday hacks using gift wrap. They feature their wraps, of course, but substituting what you have on hand will work just as well. (Finally I can get that fireplace I’ve been missing!)

4. ‘Ribbon’ made of wrapping paper

If you have pets (or partners?) that like to chew and swallow ribbon (like my Maisie), check out these ideas for trimming your packages with more paper, cut in fanciful designs, and don’t risk injury to your pet’s intestinal track.

Granted, the tutorial includes additional items (like tinsel) that I wouldn’t recommend for orally-fixated pets (again, like Maisie), but the paper idea pictured above is one I’m certainly going to use.

You’ll find it all at Design Love Fest.

5. Non-traditional gift wraps

Granted, these ideas from One Kings Lane are more luxe and not necessarily pet-friendly (you’ll have to gauge that for yourself). But they’re hands-down spectacular if you’re looking for a statement-making presentation for a particularly special gift. Pictured is Modern Bohemian, but there’s also Chinoiserie Chic, Globe Trekker, The Golden Girl, and City Slicker.

And finally, a holiday song to start your weekend…

The original version of the song debuted in the 1949 movie Neptune’s Daughter and was performed by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban (?!!). It was written by the inimitable Frank Loesser. Even though it wasn’t introduced as a Christmas song, we’ve grown to associate it with the winter holidays.

The lyrics have sometimes been interpreted as a prelude to date rape, so not wanting to offend anyone I went for the version with Miss Piggy, where she turns the table on Michael Buble. (After I recovered from the Ricardo Montalban thing, that is).

I just love vocal duets, and this is one worth preserving, in my book.

Until Monday, then: Stay warm, baby, ’cause it’s cold outside!

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