Color Trends 2016 & Pantone Color of the Year

Color trends are often a topic of conversation in the design world and Pantone is known as the expert in this field, so I thought we would talk about that today.  Color is fun!

I don’t always cover Pantone’s color of the year every single year, but sometimes it is fun to look at this institute and see what colors are on their radar for the upcoming year.  I have to say, I hardly ever love the colors chosen as the hot and trendy color for fashion and design, but some of them have been great colors over the years.  Namely the turquoise ones.

They announced the newest color of the year awhile back and it’s actually 2 colors and I thought it interesting so decided it would be fun to discuss and see what y’all think about it.


{via Pantone}

From Pantone:
For the first time Pantone introduces two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.


So, what do you think of these 2 colors?  I have to say, the first thing I thought of was the 1980’s, when dusty rose and country blue were at the height of popularity and so many women jumped on that home decor bandwagon.  Does this evoke those memories for any of you?  Are you seeing geese and gingham flashbacks?  I digress.

For me, it would be more well suited for fashion instead of home design, but I had fun finding a few photos to convey these colors.  Blush has been really popular in fashion the last couple of years and it mixes well with many bolder colors, like gray and navy.


{via House Beautiful)


{via House Beautiful)


{via House Beautiful}


{via House Beautiful}

In nature and flowers, it certainly is a wonderful combination!


{via BHG}

This soft pink room is beautiful and elegant, but there isn’t blue involved.


{via BHG}

This soft blue dining room with natural wood table and white slip covered chairs is very nice, but no pink involved.  Soft pink flowers in the middle of the table would work and that rug looks slightly pink toned.


{via BHG}

Here’s a soft pink used in a bedroom with a tiny bit of blue in the accessories.

Interestingly, Benjamin Moore chose Simply White as their color of the year for 2016.   All about crisp, clean, and classic.


{via Benjamin Moore}

I really enjoy white woodwork and even walls these days, as it allows furniture, fabrics and accessories to shine against such a neutral background.  Years ago, I would never have painted my walls white or off-white, but now I’m loving it.  So classic and pretty!


{via Benjamin Moore}

More Simply White.  I also love White Dove and have steered friends toward that beautiful shade of white.

Are you loving white or do you embrace color?  It’s so hard to figure out what is next in the color trends of decorating, but I’m sure changes will abound in the future.  For me, I’m still enjoying my neutral walls with some color in certain rooms.  There’s also a trend towards dark and moody rooms these days too and while I like the look, I’m not sure I could live with it.

What are your thoughts on the Pantone Colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity?  Would these be colors you are drawn to or do you say no thanks to this combo?  

Here’s an interesting article from Elle Decor about Pantone’s Spring colors of the year so check this out to see what’s on the horizon for home decor hues.   Some of these I like, but others I can’t ever see using in my home.  What do you think?


Here’s an amusing and fun article from Spoonflower about the top color to avoid this year, the most unfashionable, off-trend color.  Neon Slime Green….yep, I think I would have to avoid this one!  This is the opposite of serenity, don’t you agree?

What do you think about color trends and what are you enjoying now? 

- Rhoda


  1. Not sure about Serenity, but am seeing the Rose Quartz everywhere. My youngest decided to use a similar color as an accent to gray and white in her new apartment back in August. Not too feminine. But yes, I do remember those dusty rose an wedgewood blue colors of the 80s!!

  2. Not for me so much . Im just fond of the whites, pale grays, and for blue I tend toward sea salt. These are very soothing and I both like it and need it . I well remember the 80′ s and I hate to admit it but was guilty of using them. BUT ! I saw the light

  3. No thank you… don’t want the ’80s back. They hung around too long as it was. Nor do I want 2 colors for the color of the year.

    • Agreed. Seems to me they should have picked some version of grey or beige. How about Sensuous Grey by Sherwin Williams?

  4. Before I even read all your post, I was thinking, whoa, hello 1986. Reminds me so much of my Grandma’s blue kitchen and pink living room when I was 12, not a color combo I think I’ll be using.

  5. No thank you. My peach-colored living room in the 80’s was taken right out of the Ethan Allen showroom! Nowadays, not so much…and the pink and blue just doesn’t do it for me. I like white, but not in my house. I’m over the trends…I just decorate with what I like and if nobody else likes it, oh well!

    • Tracy, I feel the same way! I use what I love not what the trend is. I told Ben Moore “I guess it took a lot of thought into choosing “whatever white they chose”. Seriously?

  6. I do not care for either of those colors. I, too, had a peach living room in the 80’s and I consider it my biggest decorating mistake EVER.

  7. Whoa–yep Hello 80’s!! Yes I had blue and pink too–not again. Although I have seen the Pink making little appearances in the clothing stores the blue not so much. I may do some of the pink in my wardrobe, but I’m hanging in there with the neutrals with a pop of color (not pink or blue) in my home.

  8. Not a fan of these colors right now, although I do think the blush could be pretty in the right room, like the bedroom you’ve shown. Loved the 80’s – in the 80’s! We built a house during that time period and I was the envy of all my friends with my beautiful, and oh so trendy, country blue gingham Formica kitchen counters and mauve gingham counters in all the bathrooms, lol. Oh gosh. It was great at the time, just like hunter green & burgandy in the 90’s, sage & red in the early 2,000’s, and the white & grays of today. It all cycles through and I suspect there will come a day when people “poo poo” all the neutrals too! Jane

    • Hi, Jane, you’ve concisely listed all the trends I’ve been through as well. Funny how we lean towards trends without trying to, it just happens. And yes, I predict that all these whites and grays will become obsolete one day and something else will take over. I predict that with all the reclaimed, recycled wood trend that has been hot and heavy for years too. It has to get old one day.

  9. Those two colors together remind me too much of the mauves and blues from the 80’s. I just won’t do that again. No thank you from me, also.

  10. Your ’80’s comment were exactly my thoughts. I don’t like these colors together all Maybe the blue on it’s own but never the rose.

  11. I’ve heard if you wore it the first time – you are probably too old to repeat the style the second time and I agree. Pink and Blue – what’s next – big bangs and aquanet? No thanks. I’d rather go with the Benjamin Moore White than Pink and Blue – of all the colors in existance – why those? Not my style

  12. I am not a fan either. While I adore the eighties music wise etc, the decor doesn’t need to come back. In the late 80’s a friend of mine and I painted my mom’s kitchen cabinets dusty pink! Oh my! I don’t know what we were thinking! I painted my bedroom a pale pink and trimmed the windows in blue. No thank you. However, I do like to wear pink.

  13. I’m not a trend follower. I follow the beat of a different/my own drummer. I’ve always liked neutral walls as I like my rooms to flow together and I love using accents/accessories as my color. I go with the colors we love. Mostly aqua/turquoise shades.

  14. Not again! I’ll pass on this trend. I also wonder how long it will be before we’re stripping the paint off all the furniture we’ve painted (a long, long time, I hope!). Yes, trends come and go but I’ll leave the trends for those much younger than I.

  15. No thanks. I’ll stick to neutral colors for now. In the early 80’s my husband & I had a house built. Earth tone colors were hot then so we had brown and copper carpeting with flecks of rust, camel, & other colors. I painted the living room, which had a vaulted ceiling, & dining room,, “salmon”. My daddy said it looked pink to him. I had some obnoxious wallpaper in the kitchen and the remainder of the house was painted a light tan color. Last August we sold another home of which most of the walls were painted white. We had many compliments and it sold in 69 days. We bought a new house, modern with a large open room with a high ceiling that includes LR, DR & kitchen. For now I’m leaving the color the builder painted it, a very light tan. I don’t know what color I will repaint it when the time comes but it will not be pink or blue.

  16. This takes me back to the mauves and blues of the late 70s and early 80s!! OH NO!!:) I like pink and I like blue but blue wins in the pantone colors for me. Of course my bedroom is painted Benj Moore’s Wedgewood Blue which is really more aqua and I love it. I think everyone should paint their walls the colors that make them happy. For me that is BMoore’s Nantucket Gray which is in my living room.

  17. Not a fan at all of the Pantone color picks. It’s too bold and color specific. Not too many colors would blend well with it. I never ever again want to go through the 80’s decor. I love neutrals and am always drawn to neutral rooms with just a pop of colors in an accent chair or accessories. I think neautrals are timeless. I love the Benjamin Moore color pick. I think I’m going to begin using soft shades of whites for my walls because it really makes everything else stand out. I don’t like all white rooms but I love it paired with painted furniture and different wood tones. All the other colors in the room really stand out with white. My aunt who had a house full of beautiful antiques and white couches was way….ahead of her time. In the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000 she was using barn wood beams, white walls creating beautiful rooms like you see today. She had the most beautiful gallery walls. Her color palette was timeless. You can’t go wrong with neautrals and adding trendy colors with accent pieces like lamps, vases, pillows and art work.

  18. Becky in 'Bama says:

    I’m going in another direction from most posters… would LOVE to have a pink bedroom again – or at least one for my granddaughters (pale pink, of course), and I’m sure that out there is a lovely blue and pink coverlet, with a beautiful white eyelet dust ruffle for the bed. BUT like all the others, no more majorly pink rooms. Yes, in a former home I had pink painted walls in my tiny den off my kitchen (and it was in the early 90’s not the 80’s) with some beautiful teal and pink prints on the walls (LOL). My living room was blue with a pink and blue flowered sofa. 🙂

    True story: last year, we were forced to sell my parents’ home (for my dad’s nursing home expenses), which my mom had MAJORLY decorated pink and blue (yes, even a solid pink sofa), with blue and pink country wallpaper in the kitchen. We were torn about what rooms to re-paint in the house. Surprise: the buyers were former neighbors of my parents and LOVED my mom’s decorating ‘style’ – so they bought the house pink living room, blue wallpapered kitchen and all and were thrilled. You just never know! (we even threw in the pink sofa – which did not sell in the estate sale)

    • Becky, I love your story! My mom and dad’s house still has pink and blue that my mom decorated with back in the 80’s. Needless to say, she could care less about trends. Their home still feels like home to me in spite of the colors.

      • Becky in 'Bama says:

        Yes, Rhoda…I’d paint my entire house pink inside just to be able to spend one day with my mom, who died from a miserable illness in 2012. Miss her EVERY day. (Of course, I’d wish for her to have her restored heavenly body if she chose to visit me! 🙂

  19. My first thought was “the 80s are back”. Serenity is true to its name and I can see myself using it in small doses.

  20. I’m swimming against the tide of most posters today. A few years ago I painted our master bedroom Celestial Blue by Sherwin Williams. I love my room. It makes me feel happy, calm, and peaceful. When I climb into my gigantic rice bed every night, I give a huge sigh of contentment. I also collect blue and white Chinese export ware, so I really am a blue kind of girl. I appreciate neutral rooms with bold pops of color though. I say ignore the trends and decorate with what gives you joy!

  21. No, no, no! I am having flash backs to the 80’s with those colors even though they are slightly less saturated than the ones I remember. Just too babyish looking for me, pink and blue. When we did a whole house remodel in 2012, I had all rooms painted a pale blue/grey (BM’s Pebble Beach) except the sun room is BM Atrium White and all of the trim is Atrium White by BM. I love color but prefer to do that with my artwork and accessories. I just redid our hall bathroom last year and it is Carrera marble floors and counter top and white cabinet with a very slight glazing on it. The walls are Pebble Beach with all other rooms and it is very tranquil. Now the shower curtain is an explosion of colors on a white linen background and I have a few accessories to bring out those colors (teal lamp, eggplant vase, etc.). I do not think I will get tired of the white/neutral tones ever on my walls and major furniture pieces. I also prefer wood to remain paint free for the most part but do have a couple of black furniture pieces that blend in very well. Just no more blue and pink please!

  22. I’m remembering not only the ’80s and all that “country” cutesyness, but back another 30 years to the trend of pink and light blue in bathrooms of the 1950s! I grew up in a then-newly-built 1957 ranch in which the pink or light blue tile were THE thing in baths. In fact, my childhood bedroom in that home was painted pale pink and my brother’s was pale blue, too! It’s so fascinating to see the interest in this era of the mid-century modern style of that era, first in architecture and now in the colors, apparently. All I can think is that so many of the folks involved in making these “color of the year” decisions now aren’t old enough to have been around then and weren’t as exposed to these pale pastel tones as some others of us were, except in homes of the era that haven’t been updated. All I know is I won’t be going down that pink/blue pastel road ever again in my own home!

    • Leslie, I hear ya and I won’t either! Our 1960’s ranch home that my family lived in (my dad built) here in Marietta had Pepto Bismol Pink tiles in my sister’s and my bathroom. Now that is hard to decorate around! She ended up buying the house and living there a few years and living with the pink tile and it was never easy to decorate with. Never again!

      • Becky in 'Bama says:

        In the 1960’s we lived in Marietta, GA and our little house had pink tile, a pink tub and a pink toilet. Talk about a pink OD. BUT I did love that place – so many fond memories.

  23. Carla Hanson says:

    I like these two colors used in combination. I’m more of a subtle shade person vs. the bright screaming colors. I also like the varying shades of white. All have their place in the right setting.

  24. Remember the mauve & blue also in the early 90’s. I’m not digging this time around. Pink is a color I love but not in home decor unless it is for little girls & then doesn’t last long nowadays. I love subtle shades that can be swapped around & coordinate easily room to room. Small house I have now and has to flow well. I did love the restrained golds & the deeper shade under it. I used that whole strip on the lake house & never tired of it. I love paint colors!

  25. I agree — very 1980s! I will have to start paying attention to see where the colors pop up!

  26. Hi Rhoda! I actually think the rose quartz is swoon worthy in a modern room! Not sure if I’d put it in my home, but still! Reminds me of all the rose color my mom used to decorate with. Not sure if that’s a good thing! LOL!

  27. I’m glad someone else mentioned that this color trend goes back even further, to the 1950s. I’m not old enough to have decorated my own home that way, but my grandparents had a little house in Santa Monica that had been built in the 40’s or 50’s. They had two bathrooms, one with light blue tiles and one with pink tiles. I can still remember those colors so vividly.

  28. No pinks in my home! I grew up in the 50s/60s and have those colors and golds, bronze, and greens to remember. Burgundy! RUST! No thanks . .I went with greige, sand, white..a little green with grey undertones.
    Not to say I didn’t go head over heels for Southwest pink/green santa fe when we first moved to Texas…but that’s 40 years ago! Aqua! Oh geez! Taco Villa!
    I’m staying with greige,sand and white . ..I’ll take color from my blue and white chinese, Italian and Portuguese, greenware…along with cream ware and Nambe. Woodwork, Silver Feather and doors black. Oh front door ..Eggplant!

  29. Oh my goodness, how funny. Believe it or not, I have a rose room and a wedgewood blue kitchen, recently painted, so I feel a bit moved to duck around the corner and hide for awhile after reading the other comments. It has fit nicely with my French country decor where I’ve incorporated so many splashes of color (yellow, berry, red, brown, orange, green and even some white here and there). But I also have a doll room and a teacup collection, so maybe that explains my taste. The past couple of years have been pretty tough, having fought breast cancer and going through a divorce because my new marriage simply wasn’t strong enough to withstand my cancer fight. I was diagnosed 3 months after being newly married … ugh. With a wonderful clean bill of health now, I decided to put my new found energy into turning my home into something I have always wanted for myself, which is to turn it into my own little dollhouse, so to speak. I just turned 54, feel extremely blessed to have a second chance at life and am very excited to continue my decorating projects. Your blog gives so many wonderful ideas, and I love your energy and inspiration.

    • Hi, Kelly, I’m so sorry for your struggles. Life is so hard sometimes & we can’t plan for what may happen. So glad you are on the other side & back to decorating. Enjoy your space!

  30. Gotta tell ya, Rhoda, from the first time I saw this “prediction” on HOUZZ, I knew it was not going to be a big trend. The general public decides what catches on and what doesn’t. I PREDICT…it will be a trend fiasco of the 2016’s.

    I mean, who is really comfortable living in those colors? Not my husband! hahahaha. And, truthfully, not me either.

    Maybe a new-born, but then again…not his/her mother – – who spends all her time in the nursery. So, duh….WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!? hahaha
    Hugs, cat

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