Drumroll, please. This year’s Pantone Color of the Year is … we have a tie! Rose Quartz (PANTONE 13-1520) and Serenity (PANTONE 15-3919), step right up. The crown is yours to share. Even Steve Harvey couldn’t mess this one up, because both of these beauties are winners, the first two-color selection in Pantone’s history. Technically, it’s the blending of both shades, but “Quarenity” is a bit of a mouthful, so we understand why Pantone demurred on “shipping” the name.

Initial Reactions

We asked some of the experts to offer their opinions. Most seemed eager to use the new colors and see how they would look in homes in 2016. Others wanted to see how it played out.

“Interior design professionals were surprised by the choice, after last year’s bold choice of Marsala,” said Diana Hathaway Timmons, lifestyle writer, designer, and internationally-known color expert for “Though both Rose Quartz and Serenity are showing up in fashion right now, interior designers and color experts are working to find the best use for these soft and dreamy colors.”

Author of “Sell Your Home Without Losing Your Zen,” Hathaway Timmons explained that the surprise came from not only there being a “melding” of two colors, but also the large disparity between last year’s color, Marsala. She said that was a warm and bold color, while Rose Quartz and Serenity are near-pastels.

“With the whole greater than its individual parts, joined together Serenity and Rose Quartz demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” said Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman in the release that accompanied the Color of the Year announcement.


Image courtesy of Vanessa Francis. Photography by Stephani Buchman.


Paul Gleicher, a New York designer to the stars, plans to “(embrace) these opposites.” He thinks it’s a great mix of color and mood for rest and relaxation.

“The combination of two winning colors speaks to today’s desire for a bit more depth and complexity but in a warm and comforting environment,” Gleicher said. “The combination of these two opposite colors on the color spectrum works wonders.”

Home Office by Paul Gleicher

Image courtesy of Gleicher Design Group

Where It Works

So now that we have our Color of the Year, the question becomes “what’s next?” Naming the Color of the Year is one thing, but whether it catches on with a larger audience is another. Gleicher envisions the colors featured in a cozy bedroom or even a family room overlooking the water. Most of the designers seemed to agree that the bedroom was a good spot for these colors. After all, one is called Serenity.

“I think they would make beautiful accent colors as a trim on a solid color drapery or a rich raw silk pillow,” said Kimberly Whitman, TV host, author and editor-at-large of Southern Living Magazine. “They would also be beautiful colors for a matte in a frame of an old drawing or engraving to add pops of colors to a wall. And let’s not forget that they would make a beautiful monogram color on a table or bed linen!”

Hathaway Timmons is already seeing Rose Quartz and Serenity in pillows, wall art and bedding. She said Pantone’s Color of the Year is also found in fashion, packaging, and even graphic design. Because the Color of the Year in general is so widely used in other industries, it might sometimes suit one industry better than another. What works in fashion may not work in the living room. Vice versa, a color that perfectly suits a bedroom may look out of place on the fashion runway.


Image courtesy of Coco + Kelley


Pantone expects to see the colors in kitchen items and tableware, but also home accessories such as candles, decorative bowls, vases and floral arrangements, add subtle color accents and contribute to a welcoming and peaceful space.

Goes Great with…

Whitman said the color would pair well as pops of color against deep dark colors like chocolate brown or navy blue. They offer a gentle and soothing contrast to strong colors.

The people at Pantone believe the colors pair well with finishes in translucent, glazing, matte and metallic shine.

Arianna Belle Living Room

Image courtesy of Arianna Belle. Photography by Stephanie Godfrey.


Hathaway Timmons offered some ideas about how best to group the Serenity and Rose Quartz.

“The move to incorporate soft rose and pale blue into wall color has not happened yet, as many designers want to be sure they’re not recreating a late 80s vibe,” Hathaway Timmons said. “We’re most likely to see these colors as decor accents and to soften monochromatic color schemes, using the creamy white paint colors that are hot for 2016.”

The History of Pantone Color

Pantone has picked a Color of the Year since 2000. The company is the most widely known color standards system in home and fashion. Rose Quartz and Serenity were one of 210 new shades introduced in August.

Previous Pantone Colors

For 53 years, Pantone has worked to establish itself as a color expert on more than 10,000 hues. The color authority doesn’t necessarily set the agenda for color, so much as it responds to trends it’s already seeing in the design space.

Sometimes color is much more than color. Ad Age did a feature on how Pantone picks its color. The New York Time suggests the color choices might have a political bent. Uh, how about you decide on that one for yourself. One thing is sure, we’ll never look at a rainbow the same way again.

Happy New Year, New Color

The experts agree that Pantone picked a winner, or winners, this time.

“I think they are sweet and oh so pretty!” Whitman said. “I hope that is how 2016 turns out as well!”

Shop our selection of home decor, lighting and furniture inspired by Pantone’s Color of The Year here!

Staunton Blue Wingback Club Chair
Judy Dusty Rose Throw
Splash Sky Table Lamp
Safavieh Cambridge Light Pink and Ivory Rug


Diana Hathaway Timmons – Innovative Brand Evangelist & Color Expert for

Paul Gleicher – Architect and Founder of the Gleicher Design Group

Kimberly Whitman – TV host, author, blogger and editor-at-large of Southern Living Magazine

Doug Kaid has been employed as professional writer/reporter/editor since 2000, a remarkable feat if he does say so himself. And he does. All the time. In his spare time, Doug spends way too much time thinking of plays on words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *