Decorating, Interiors, Trends
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Let’s talk about “Colour of the Year”

Pantone 2017

This post isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t already know. If you follow anything remotely interiors/fashion/media related, then you’ll already know what this year’s official “Colour of the Year” is. Ya know, by Pantone.

Today’s post is to question what “Colour of the Year” actually means (and for me to have a little moan about it) because, although my husband is the most wonderful person I know, even he would struggle listening to me grumble on about this kind of stuff. But I know you guys will get it…

Last September, Dulux UK released their chosen hue for 2017, “Denim Drift”.

“Denim Drift is the must-have color of 2017. It is truly adaptable, fitting into all life and interior styles, making it the perfect choice for reflecting our new perspective for 2017.”


Blue and grey are hardly new but I do like “Denim Drift”, a grey-er, more versatile shade similar to Pantone’s release last year, “Serenity”. Remember that one?

At the same time as Denim Drift’s release came “Starry Sky” from Dulux Canada. A deeper, more purple-y version of Serenity.

“Starry Sky (70BB 21/147) is a mid-intensity, grey-violet colour that works well in any room. This purple is mysterious, exciting and calming all at once and provides a stellar decor backdrop.”

With the world of arts, interiors, popular culture, media, fashion being universal and transferable, especially throughout the west, I’m not sure why Dulux felt the need to release different colours for different continents. Inspiration certainly isn’t limited to our direct surrounding. Now everything is online, interiors inspiration can come from literally anywhere. I know a lot of my fave design ideas come from overseas.

Moving on.

PPG Paints, an American paint company, had similar ideas to their neighbouring Dulux brand going more purple again, with “Violet Verbena”.

Which from this image looks like a load of Rose Quartz and Serenity mixed up doesn’t it?

“Defying convention, (is it really?)Violet Verbena is a grayed-off, moody purple with a chameleon-like presence, blending ideations of gender, relationships, careers, workplaces, and living spaces.”

That’s certainly ringing bells from last year’s Pantone colours announcement?

“This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity…”

Anyway, I think you can see some kind of theme developing here can’t you?

Or can you? Because Benjamin Moore, a huge paint brand over in the States had other ideas.

“Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year, Shadow 2117-30, is allusive and enigmatic — a master of ambiance.”

Keeping with the violet again, they’ve gone full on dark, rich, moody purple for their champion for 2017.

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.”

Making some bold claims here isn’t it? I have a really weird relationship with purple. It’s not an easy colour to work or an easy colour to wear. Especially when your hair is red and your fave lippy is hot pink. Always tends to look a little goth too. Says the lady who continues to paint more and more of her home black.

So, so far we have Denim Drift, Starry Sky, Violet Verbena, Shadow… Are you still with me? Come on, keep up. There’s more.

Sherwin Williams, another US paint company went all maverick on us with:

Yes, I know. Another one.

“The color we anticipate defining 2017 is Poised Taupe. SW 6039 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.”

This reminds me of all those caramels and chocolate wall colours that were everywhere back in the late 90’s early noughties. The tone isn’t quite hitting it for me, but I actually think we’ll be seeing more nudes, blush and tan colours coming through in the next year or so. Countering all those strong colours we’ve been painting on our walls. You know who you are out there… yes you, the #styleitdark mafia! Those dark inky walls won’t simply be whitewashed again. Nope, we’ll be moving on to warm, skin tones. Think of a palette of foundation (as in make-up) colours.

Last but not least. The biggie. Pantone’s line-up for Colour of the Year for 2017 was initially looking quite interesting at the end of last year. “Pale Dogwood” and “Hazelnut” are a perfect example of those fleshy tones i’m expecting to come through by the end of this year and into 2018. Maybe they’ll choose one of those?

Pink Yarrow? I’m sold. Niagara? Me likey. But the colour I was really rooting for was Kale. A dirty, dark olive-y green. Yes. Please let it be so.

And what did Pantone select for their winning colour for 2017?

“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings…. a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.”

It’s not that I don’t like the colour, it’s the colour of plants, life, growth. I LOVE plants and insist in putting them in every room and project I work on. They just need to be there for that pop of “greenery”. But as a wall colour, room scheme, interiors trend. I’m not the biggest fan.

I’m starting to see this colour spring up around and about now. Little pops here and there. And it does work in small doses. But just to test my theory what colour would you put behind the same sofa as above, from this selection below? Be honest.

I like a few of them, but Greenery wouldn’t even get close to any of my walls. A Yucca, yes. Greenery coded paint, no.

Ok, so why have I written this post?

It’s to tell you all to ignore whatever we’re being told to look out for. Don’t worry about being on trend and painting your rooms Kermit green. Some colours do not translate well to walls. This is one.

Mood board for Edwardian Bedroom Redesign

Pops of Greenery appearing in my latest project

By all means, treat yourself to some green accessories, play around, see if you like it. I know i’ll probably be painting a wall in Greenery somewhere at home, just to see what effect it has. Who knows? Maybe i’ll love living with Kermit. Stranger things have happened.

What do you think of all these “Colour of the Year” shenanigans, do you try and follow the trend? Are you completely oblivious? Or do you simply ignore and follow your own colourful path? I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this. And of course, what do you think of Greenery



  1. Anne Brown says

    Such an amusing and thought provoking post. Thank you. Like you I’ve been exercised about colour trends for several years now, and in particular why is it X one year and Y in another? I’m still favouring the ‘gentleman’s club’ look so the Kale works for me too, but then it’s the main colour of the built-in bookshelves in my sitting room. Mind you it wasn’t called Kale then but Jevington by Brewers. The colour – harking back to the more secure feel of the 1950’s – goes well with black wooden floorboards and the battered rusty-red chesterfield sofa.

  2. Greenery is definitely too intense except in small doses (what I usually recommend when I’ve got someone interested in trying on a trend like that. Those bold colors aren’t easy to cover up if you change your mind! Most of the others are spot-on and fairly adaptable, at least…

  3. Oh my god I love this post so much. It echoes much of what goes around my head when I see all these announcements (and I had no idea they released a different colour of the year in Canada – why just why?!). Oh and yes, I think you are absolutely spot on that more ‘fleshy’ colours will be big this year and I was expecting something in the green family and hoping against hope it’d be a deep olive colour. It’s just a colour I have always loved (see my olive green sofa purchased in 2010!) and I think it works so nicely with the shades that are all the rage right now. As for Kermit green? No, no. Not convinced at all. It reminds me of Changing Rooms. I loved your illustration with that Anthro sofa!! Oh my god. Spot on. No way you’d ever use that colour with it in your right mind. Anyway, I’m rambling now but awesome post! xx

    • Karen Knox says

      Haha. Thanks. You always make me laugh Ms D. I do love your olive green sofa. It’s a beauty!xx

  4. Salpal says

    Never been a fan of green. I like plants, but will patiently wait out the year hoping for a better color next year. I tend to ignore the color trends but when colors I like are in i take advantage. There was a period of about ten years when I could not buy a navy blue skirt. As soon as they started appearing again, I stocked up. So i will ignore the green, shop the sale items for leftover tranquility things. ????

    • Karen Knox says

      Ha. “Tranquility things”.
      And yes, I tend to stock up on things when I find them in a colour I adore. Sod the trends, buy what you like I say!

  5. An interesting post! Personally I will do what colour I want for my home regardless of trends but the paint colours that are chosen do end up influencing the homewares and stuff we see in the shops. Interesting that you found all the various shades of violet. I personally think it’s a nice shade but again going nowhere near my walls 🙂 a really interesting post, thanks!

  6. LOVE this round up. I think Benjamin Moore’s is the winner for me. My inner goth is loving all that darkness!

    I’m feeling the same as you really. I really like the colour generally – as an accent. I’ve got LOADS of pops of it in my house already and didn’t even realise. Mostly through Play-Doh and lego but y’know. Just can’t envision using the citrus colours on a main wall without it looking really tacky. Soz Pantone :'(

  7. Agree with you so much here. It’s all about selling paint and I want to be convinced to buy a shade that will work with my home than one that is going to be in fashion for a year.

  8. Hannah Trickett says

    I find it really had to follow the colour of the year. I like to be inspired by it but often find it is used more in graphic design and advertising, then potentially high street interiors. Though I don’t think it’s so literal that whatever the colour of the year is you have to change your colour scheme. I think I’ll stick with inspiration. 🙂

  9. I think I tend to ignore the colour of the year forecasts and just go with my own style, though I do like the fleshy tones and the soft pinks, pale dogwood is lovely, and I’d much prefer it to greenery! x

  10. I enjoyed this post! I do kind of like to see what’s been put forward as colour of the year, but like any other ‘trend’ or fashionable ‘thing’, I like to just look at it but not really do much with it! So, marketing ploy? Yep, I think so!

    That said, I’m sure if these colours are used by enough people, I’ll end up pinning those images, reading those blog posts and being ‘influenced’ by it enough to not even notice what’s happening… such is the way these things go, right!?

    Like you, I’m not totally sold on the kermit green… but ask me in a few years and I might have painted my kitchen green and professed that it was an idea I came up all on my own! 😉


  11. Greenery is such an odd one, isn’t it? I love it small doses but no way would I brave it in more than plant form in any room of my house. I was hoping for something blue because that’s always a winner with me. There’s so many COTY variations, though, isn’t there? I think you have to take them with a pinch of salt.

  12. Great post Karen. Agree with everything you’ve said. Interesting that most companies have gone blue/Violet. I can totally live with that. In fact I really like Shadow by Benjamin More. Why Pantone went for greenery I’ll never know. I predicted it would be a green but I was sure it would be a lovely deep, dark green. I just can’t see greenery being a big hit. I love following trend predictions and seeing how they affect our homes but I don’t let them influence my own home unless I really love them. I’d quite like to see more nudes coming through too.

  13. Hadn’t realised there were quite so many Colours of the Year. Maybe we should launch the Interiors Bloggers COTY?! Kermit green is growing on me, but I definitely wouldn’t paint all my walls with it. It reminds me of the bright lime green decor often seen in early 90s home reno TV programmes.

  14. Olivia Miller says

    Whether we want to paint our rooms in ‘Greenery’ or not is somewhat besides the point. The colour choice reflects an increasing nod towards nature and the role it can play in our urban (both exterior and interior) lives.

    Pantone’s ‘Greenery’, and their installation that came about through collaborating with Airbnb, demonstrates that there is a marked shift toward bluring the lines between indoors and outdoors – between the artificial and the organic.

    The colour is about more than paint. It is about a shift in lifestyle. However urban our local environment may be, we can still connect with nature through the colours, textures and materials we choose – if we want to. The colour choice should be seen as optional inspiration, and should be interpreted freely – if at all!

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