How to Use Pantone’s Colours of 2016 in your home (without it looking like an explosion in a sweet shop…)

We admire Pantone’s indecision; we hate having to pick just one favourite colour too…

Instead of their usual ‘Colour of the Year’, for 2016, Pantone have selected two colours to represent the moment. The reasons given for the selection of Rose Quartz and Serenity, are that they, used together, ‘demonstrate an inherent balance… and…soothing sense of order and peace’, which is an antidote to our ‘turbulent times’, and also that their use together points to ‘movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged.’

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Well we certainly can’t argue with the sentiment, but more than this, we rather like the two colours in question and want to see how we can jump on the bandwagon and use them to add some colour to our homes!

The problem with this particular colour combination is, get it wrong and you quickly veer into sugar-coated little-girls-bedroom territory. Rightly or wrongly, we associate baby blue and pink with, well, babies, so it’s difficult to see how we are supposed to use these colours in a grown-up, or dare I say it, even stylish, way.

Well…despite all the connotations, used in the right way, it is possible to add these two candy hues to your home without looking like you’ve over-dosed on Pick’n’Mix …

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Of course, palest pink has been a design story for some time now, with pink paint back in vogue and certainly one way to go is to choose a colour such as Farrow and Ball’s Calamine for the walls and style with suitably cool Scandinavian-like furnishings, adding some splashes of pale blue here and there.


Indeed, the combination of pale colours is certainly evocative of Scandinavian design, with Ferm Living (above) and Bloomingville already using pastels in their accessories. We also love the recently launched collection from Toast Living and Milk Design featuring pale blue and pink coffee that bring a laid-back vibe to the pairing and removes a lot of the sweetness in the process (below).

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Just as the two colours themselves have been representative of different genders, successful integration into your interior scheme can be achieved in using materials and styles that denote a ‘difference’ from the candy tones. The juxtaposition of these baby-like colours with neutral-coloured, hard-edged materials works particularly well. The colours are toughened up and given a cool twist when set against pale wood, concrete, and the clean lines of mid-century modern Scandi-style design. In terms of pattern, the current on-going trend for geometrics and strong, clean lines is the perfect foil to balance the inherent softness of the two shades.

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Vodo Masco’s children’s furniture’s hard plastic and striking form puts a spin on the use of baby pink

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‘Visu’ chair from Muuto uses blonde wood to modernise the soft pink.

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Pastel colours are offset by the clean lines and natural materials used elsewhere in the scheme.

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You could, of course, choose to embrace the pairing even more fully and rather than trying to tone down the sugar, opt for this beautiful and wholly optimistic cushion from Heals.

Now that Pantone has made their announcement, we can expect a rash of Rose Quartz and Serenity coloured homeware to appear in time for next Spring.

Right now, we’re loving the way Rose Quartz can add warmth to a winter’s day as the light gets ever-scarcer in the run-up to Christmas. And that is what the pairing of the two together can do – marry the cool wintery blue with a warmer, more hopeful tone. As we all know it’s the way that different colours work together that can provide the real interest in design and so we hope Pantone will continue the trend and pick two colours for us to get excited about next year as well!

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