Colors of the Year for 2016

The psychology of color affects us all. That’s clear in the choices for 2016 color of the year by Pantone, Sherwin-Williams, and PPG. All three trend-makers chose shades noted for being calming, reassuring, and tranquil.
The designers at Pantone noted, “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.”
These are symbolic color predictions, “color snapshots” of what is happing in our country and our world. They express an overall mood and attitude happening around us.
Understanding how color influences people is one of my passions, and I’m fascinated by what these colors predictions for 2016 say about our world and us.
2016 color of year
Pantone chose two colors as its color of the year for the first time in its history, Rose Quartz and Serenity. They are meant to show a balance between a warmer, gentle rose tone and the cooler, airy blue, showing connection and wellness, as well as a soothing sense of order and peace. Together, they bring feelings of respite and relaxation.
2016 color of year
Sherwin-Williams chose a hue symbolic of new beginnings, Alabaster, as its 2016 color of the year. This calm neutral is meant to offer a sense of solace and mindfulness in a time of commotion and overstimulation. This is a “less-is-more” shade that is understated, neither a stark white nor a warm beige.
Paradise Found
The color of the year from PPG is called Paradise Found, an organic, aloe green with an undertone of blue. This muted green is both relaxing and rejuvenating, reminiscent of the military, as well as natural elements. Its calming effect makes it a neutral of sorts, a color that can be used on large areas in combination with other neutrals, or with pops of color.
My passion for color led me to earn certification as a Dewey Color Specialist. I’ve learned how colors affect us psychologically—these 2016 color of the year predictions seem spot-on. We have lived through mass shootings and public violence this year, and are increasingly busy, overwhelmed people with too much on our plates. As a culture, we seek a sense of balance and serenity in our homes, as well as public spaces. All of these colors offer that.
Please leave us a comment with your thoughts on the 2016 color of the year selections, and don’t forget to join us over on the Barbara Gilbert Interiors Facebook page for more conversations about interior design.