Pantone's colour secrets shared at the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show

  • Opinion
  • March 16, 2015
  • Piritta Törrö
Pantone's colour secrets shared at the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show

 “It's all about innovation as far as color is concerned,” said Eiseman.  “We are living in a very competitive marketplace.  Would-be consumers and/or clients are continuously being wooed by innovative uses of color.  They’re imaginative, they’re innovative and some are done so expertly and so beautifully that they come across as works of art.”

Color influences are coming from many directions, including both women’s and men’s clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, the entertainment industry and even the food industry, which is a new development.

Eiseman pointed out how children’s movies are important indicators of future color trends.  “The animators and graphic designers are right on the cutting edge as far as technology and color are concerned,” she said. “The color combinations they use are fabulous and greatly inspiring.” 

Among the color and design trends she shared are: the rising use of pastels, the juxtaposition of bright modern technology with classic romantic looks, the use of crowns as a traditional design motif and the continued popularity of owls, which represent whimsy and wisdom.  In terms of materials, popular items (or the simulated appearance of them) include concrete, marble, ornamental studs as embellishments and metallic.

With metallics, “Nothing has gotten more attention -- and will continue to get more attention than copper and some of the brass effects,” Eiseman said.  “I'm not saying applications of other metallics are going away, but copper is really running way ahead as we go into 2016.”

Other color and design trends include industrial-looking hardware, unique usages of reclaimed materials, concentric shapes and woven applications. Eiseman also noted that “In a world of continuous texting, it’s inevitable that letters, words and phrases will continue to literally decorate our environments as a design motif.”

At the seminar, Eiseman also revealed the nine color palettes from Pantone View home + interiors for 2016.  In introducing the color combinations, she said “we now know there is a dichotomy between old world and new, and that they’re often used together at the same time.  We know we are going between subtle and shimmering.  There can also be a dichotomy of natural and fashionable, often with a touch of whimsy.  And occasionally, we are seeing only the whimsy.”

The 2016 color palettes are:

            Natural Forms -- Nature in its purest forms never ceases to instill a sense of wonder and awe.  To surround one’s self with the most organic shapes and colors seems natural and genuine.  Whether present in flavor, fabric, texture or hue, there is no artifice involved -- natural surfaces are bona fide, real and authentic, providing a sense of sustenance and reality.  Colors are likewise unambiguous, including shades that are plumbed from natural sources such as warm rosy clay, burnished rust, sheepskin beige, dense foliage greens, as well as a hearty plum wine tone and a glimmering copper.

            Dichotomy -- Dichotomy reinforces the concept that ancient artifacts can live happily with cool contemporary shapes and shades.  There are opposites of finish and color that do and can attract.  Stainless steel contrasts with rock and stone, and smooth surfaces can support nubby or deeply imprinted textures.  Subtle weathered green tones remind us of time-worn architecture, while gleaming silver metallic, sparkling, sunny yellow and bright cobalt blue combine in tandem with the more calming slate blues and jade or dark forest green, to create a refreshingly modern day atmosphere.

            Ephemera -- Softly tinted, breezy, lighter than air, and as transitory as an evanescent bubble, Ephemera expresses a lightness of color that is often described as pastel.  The delicacy of the shadings speaks volumes about its translation into the softness of tone and touch.  Colors such as Wan Blue, Pale Peach, Pink Dogwood, Tender Yellow, Orchid Ice, Frosted Almond and a clarifying white called “Cloud Dancer” more than aptly describe these disarmingly charming tints.

            Lineage -- Lineage implies a “family tree” conveying a more traditional style.  But today’s so-called “heritage” look often takes an unconventional adaption, where a sense of whimsy and more au courant touch can override a serious attitude.  This is a palette where shades of navy, black, tan and a regimental green can co-mingle with stirring touches of Mars Red,

Gentian Violet and Apricot Brandy, and slightly tarnished tones stand proudly next to a glimmering Champagne Beige.

            Soft Focus -- In a place between pastels and mid-tones reside the colors that bridge the two.  They are often married to a variety of other like shades, whether in striated, layered or veiled patterning where, when used in combinations, one color blends effortlessly into another.  They are subtle and/or muted, sometimes described as “smoky” and pleasingly versatile, especially when contrasted with a deeper rich brown.  The palette called “Soft Focus” includes a nostalgic rose tone, a delicious Peach Nougat, a warm tan and a blue Tourmaline.  For a surprising bit of sparkle, a creamy gold tops off the palette.

            Bijoux -- In the French language, Bijoux literally means “jewelry.”  A fitting title, as this is the palette that gleams with drama and intensity.  The light reflective quality that is expressed in this grouping lends itself beautifully to pellucid transparencies in glass, resins, acrylics, mosaic tile and various lighting effects.  Jewel tones such as Prism Pink, Amethyst, Topaz and Amber Yellow are artfully reflected or mirrored when juxtaposed next to equally striking tones of Violet, Dark Citron, Ember Glow, Rich Gold and a taupe that is one of the complex colors found within a tiger’s eye.

            Merriment -- This lively palette, titled Merriment, where color and design truly come out to play, is inherently understood by kids or those who are kids at heart.  The joyful “up” shades of the vibrant Classic Green and Mimosa Yellow seem even happier and more unique when they are mixed or contrasted with Super Pink, Cantaloupe and Orangeade as well as some down to earth neutrals like Sesame and Ginger Snap.  A vivid turquoise, called Aquarius (as in “the age of”), brings a note of retro influence into play.

            Footloose -- The palette called Footloose is just that -- expressing the need to throw off the constricting scheduling of everyday lives and simply enjoy the freedom of the outdoors.  Planting a pocket herb garden on an apartment balcony or roof, spending an overnight in a tent (if only in your own backyard), relaxing on the patio or porch, this is the palette that, no matter where we live, encourages the pleasurable pursuits that bring recreation and relaxation to life.  Colors make for capricious combinations like Winter Pear and Strawberry Pink; Blazing Orange, Deep Periwinkle and Meadow Green, in addition to vacation-destination blues and blue-greens with tempting names like Capri and Vallarta Blue.

            Mixed Bag -- A “mixed bag” is just that -- an assortment of eclectic patterns and prints that are drawn primarily from diverse cultures and a multi-national influence, yet when used together spawn a dynamic and eye-arresting array of colors and combinations.  Some are familiar, but no less exciting, like Pirate Black and Mandarin Red and others are more unique, demanding a second look.  Violet and florid orange hues are quieted somewhat by a sugary ginger shade, while a sultry hot pink and robust wine tone are intriguingly complemented by a plush, mossy yellow-green.

The audio recording of the presentation will be available at

​ ​

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