Pantone’s 2017 color picks: bright and optimistic

Posted by Lauran

The color gurus at the Pantone Color Institute have selected their 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery—part of an overall uplifting palette for 2017.

According to Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the connections we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose.”

I find it fascinating that this palette is missing the dark, murky colors that paint companies are calling out for 2017. It is also missing a gray, which is in interesting departure from a trend that’s been dominant for so long.

Here are some ideas for how to use these optimistic colors in your home, in small and bigger ways.

Chilewich offers placemats, runners and coasters in Dill, a close match for Pantone’s Greenery.

The Verdure pillow from anthropologie offers a nice combination of Pantone’s cheerful tones.

Head over to West Elm for great products that match the Pantone palette, including the Muratto Cork Wall covering in Cobalt Blue (like Lapis Blue); Radiating Ovals Rug in Light Pool (similar to Island Paradise); the Leon Woodframe Loveseat in Cayenne (similar to Flame); and the Roar + Rabbit Patterned Cachepots which combine several of the Pantone colors.

The classic Eames Molded Plastic chairs are available in a wide range of colors, including Aqua Sky (a close match for Island Paradise), Peacock Blue (similar to Niagara), and Blush (much like Pale Dogwood). You could surround your dining room table with the Pantone palette!

If you’re inspired to paint an entire room or even just an accent wall, here are some good paint matches for some colors in the palette (all from Benjamin Moore).

And here’s some extreme painting inspiration for you . . .

This room pairs a color very similar to Kale with Pale Dogwood ceilings. Image via Real Simple, photo by Gentl & Hyers

What about combining Greenery, Pink Yarrow, and Flame on the walls, while using Niagara on the ceiling? Image via abookabouthearchive on Pinterest, photo by Richard Bryant

What do you think about Pantone’s picks? Will you incorporate some Greenery in your home in the coming year? Let us know in the comments.

2017 color trends: dark and moody

Posted by Lauran

Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and PPG Paints have all released their 2017 Colors of the Year, and they are a significant departure from last year’s designated colors.


Benjamin Moore has selected “Shadow” as its 2017 color of the year. Creative Director Ellen O’Neill describes the color: “It ebbs and flows with its surroundings, and light brings it to life. Rich, royal amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal. Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood.”


I would call the entire Benjamin Moore 2017 palette moody. Even the lighter colors are a bit murky, and not as bright.



PPG Paints has also chosen a purple, called “Violet Verbena”, as its 2017 color of the year. Their website describes it as “a gray-purple hue that idealizes the popular bohemian, ‘gypset’ lifestyle. This nuanced update on a classic shade adds depth, luxury and pampering to every space, making it the perfect backdrop for consumers looking to blend the masculine, the feminine, the mystic and the modern. Violet Verbena is a moody purple with a chameleon-like presence.”


Over at Sherwin-Williams, they’ve landed on “Poised Taupe” as their 2017 color of the year. “This color creates a cozy lifestyle and brings a sense of sanctuary into our homes. It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold,” states the Sherwin-Williams website. “Our story of taupe is simple. Earthen brown combines with conservative grey and the result is a weathered, woodsy and complex neutral that celebrates the imperfections and authenticity of a well-lived life.”


The rest of the 2017 palette features darker tones as well.

When you look at the words these companies have used to describe these colors . . . mysterious, rich, moody, mystic, cozy, woodsy. . . you get a sense that we’re entering a trend away from the bright, light and optimistic colors of the past several years.

Beyond paint colors, I’ve seen home decor in general taking a turn in this direction. More photos in my Pinterest feed are featuring walls and textiles in black, dark hunter green and yes, purple.



The two spreads above, emphasizing deep purples and maroons, are from the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens. And Apartment Therapy observed this trend back in April, in a story called “Trending: Dark & Stormy Jewel Tone Paint Colors” written by Adrienne Breaux.

Personally, I might add some deeper-colored accessories to my home, and would consider one accent wall in a darker color, but at my heart I’m still a “light and bright” gal. What do you think of these moody and mysterious colors? Do you see them as cozy and comforting, or dark and depressing? Let us know in the comments below.

Fall color trends

Posted by Lauran

Pantone Color Institute has officially released its Fall 2016 Fashion Color Report — calling the collection “a unity of strength, confidence and complexity.”

fall-2016 pantone colors

Pantone’s Executive Director further explains, “The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family. . . Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.”

It’s always fun to find new Fall merchandise in our favorite home stores that feature these colors. Here are some ideas for you . . .


crewel pillow

The Watercolor Tapestry Pillow and Crewel Linked Tiles Pillow from West Elm both blend the red and blue tones from the palette.

rei chair

Room and Board’s Lola chair comes stocked in the Rei fabric, a good blend of the two Pantone blues.


Over at CB2, the Cleo Rug has a modern southwestern vibe that really showcases the Sharkskin Gray, Dusty Cedar and Potter’s Clay from Pantone’s collection.


CB2’s new Cupro Counter Table has dark gray legs and a copper top that perfectly reflect the fall palette as well.


Ikea’s new Vallentuna modular sectional is available in different color combinations—including this one that picks up Pantone’s Fall colors.


Ikea also has a new line of mix-and-match cabinets I really like called Lixhult, available in a variety of colors including this gold that matches Pantone’s Spicy Mustard.

If you’re looking for paint colors that reflect Pantone’s collection, may I suggest these matches from Benjamin Moore:

Old Glory811



Trend report: best 2015-2016 design ideas

Posted by Lauran

As 2015 draws to a close, we take a look at our favorite design ideas and trends that are leading us into 2016.

Black metal

Matte black metal is showing up everywhere, from black stainless steel kitchen appliances to black cabinet hardware. A good example: Ikea’s new Sinnerlig collection combines black metal legs with cork for a cool modern look.


Elaborate decorative tile

Encaustic and/or cement tile, often from Morocco and Cuba, took center stage on attention-grabbing floors and backsplashes.

tile backsplash

image via apartment therapy

bathroom tile floor

image via

Closer to home, the Bay Area’s own Heath tile offers a robust collection of textural and dimensional handmade tile that is anything but ordinary.


Fireplace designed by Visual Jill, using Heath’s Crease tile

Quartz products that look like marble

People love the look of marble in the kitchen, but the upkeep is a chore. Enter a new product that combines the look of marble with the easy maintenance of quartz. It’s a great way to add a little interest to an otherwise all-white kitchen.


Caesarstone’s Statuario Nuvo

 Accessible artwork

I believe in buying the best art you can afford. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to find high-quality artwork (original or reproductions) to fit any budget.

zatista copy

Zatista is a wonderful resource for original art. You can search by price, color, medium, and style.

Of course, etsy is always a great place to look for handmade paintings, photography and other artwork. Other good bets are and Society 6. Most of these resources offer custom framing services as well.


White is seeing a major resurgence as the freshest neutral around. Whether layered with other soft colors such as light gray or blush, or color blocked against brights such as orange or navy, white is right—right now.

Benjamin Moore has chosen Simply White OC-117 as their 2016 Color of the Year.

BM white

image via Benjamin Moore

According to the paint company, “. . . the interplay of whites and light creates nuance and subtle beauty.” We couldn’t agree more.

Blues and pinks

Medium-tone blues and blush pinks are also hot on the color spectrum, as evidenced by Pantone’s colors of the year.

mag guest room

In a recent staging project (pictured above),  we combined blue walls (Benjamin Moore’s Winter Lake) with touches of pink, black and white for a modern take on this color trend.

Otomi prints

This whimsical Mexican pattern is showing up in pillows, table textiles and wallpaper.

otomi copy

Otomi wallpaper from Hygge & West


Move over, cute little Donkey’s Tail succulents. Your prickly relative the cactus has become the favorite design plant of late. Cactus are high style and low maintenance—the ideal combination.


image from The Jungalow

Decorating with a conscience

While global decor has been popular for a few years (think moroccan rugs, African baskets, textiles from Latin America, etc.), a number of online shops have emerged that give a portion of their profits from the sale of these goods back to the countries (and people) that made them. All Across Africa sells baskets made in rural African communities, allowing artisans to gain a permanent income. And Connected Goods sells artisanal Fair Trade items from developing countries, such as this Kantha Stitch Butterfly chair made by artisans in Kashmir, India.


Tidying up for peace of mind

This was the year of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“, a book and philosophy that focuses on keeping and living with only what you love, and letting go of everything else.


We see this as a design trend as well as a lifestyle choice. While it might seem that decorating your house will lead to buying more stuff and adding clutter, we believe the opposite is true. Once you’ve eliminated everything unnecessary in your home, good design will showcase the treasures you kept via well-styled shelves, properly hung artwork, etc.

diamond bookshelves

For example, in this decorating project, we helped our clients curate and display their beloved books and mementos from their world travels.

What trends did you love in 2015? What do you hope for in 2016? Tell us in the comments below. Oh, and Happy New Year!