As you look into the future, you may think of works like hope, dream, grow, fresh or new. For Pantone, their hopes and projections for the year ahead are embodied by their pick for the color of the year. Greenery as 2017’s choice is a bright and refreshing color straight from nature. As interior designer Madeline Fraser states, “Humans need greenery, vegetation, and outdoor life; it’s nice that we are now bringing this indoors. It’s great that the Pantone color of the year, Greenery, is bringing this trend to life even further.” Pantone describes their pick as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew … Greenery is nature’s neutral.”
What Is a Neutral?
Designers and homeowners use a neutral color as a base or a backdrop for a palette. Traditional neutrals are beiges, creams, grays and whites, as they can be used in wide swaths across interior spaces without overwhelming the eye. These colors highlight textures, materials or patterns by removing most colors and allowing the eye to see the subtle details of a piece of furniture or overall space. Neutrals are often associated with classically designed spaces because their lack of bolder colors can translate across design styles and architectural building types.
Experts Weigh In
Amy Wax, international color consultant and creator of the Color 911 app and blog, explains it best: “A neutral color is a color that compliments the other colors in a room without overshadowing them. It can be the mediator between the bolder colors in a design … Describing a color as a neutral means that it gets along with every color you are using, it is easy to work with and blends in easily.” With that in mind, a neutral becomes less about the color itself and more about how it harmonizes and relates to the other colors in the space.
Color Scientist Gillian Rose, owner of The Science of Color, has a similar take on creating a palette with Greenery, “Interesting enough, ‘a neutral’ can mean almost any color if it is the main color used throughout a space. In color, neutral means to ‘not conflict.’ Therefore, if you created a room in predominately Greenery, Greenery would become your neutral.”
While many popular color schemes use a sage green as a neutral, Charmaine Wynter — a luxury design expert and owner of Wynter Interiors — had this to say about Greenery as a neutral, “I see this translating into a neutral for the year to come quite easily, as earth tones have always been easy to live with. While this tone, Greenery, is more vibrant than the hues of green (sage) we’ve seen on the walls in the past, it only needs to be grounded with the correct accent colors to give it the visual depth required.”
Designing With Greenery
There are many ways you can implement this idea of Greenery as a neutral in your home. Pantone has released a series of 10 color palettes that incorporate Greenery as one of the colors, and you can easily use these as inspiration for your space. These palettes range from bright and colorful, to earthy and subtle.
As Kate Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color, mentioned to us, “Closely associated with nature, Greenery paired with other colors ubiquitous in the great outdoors — blue, brown and tan — is a ‘can’t go wrong’ combination.”
Pantone’s announcement includes a video with mostly a green and white palette. For a bold and daring look, you could take that as direct inspiration and paint your walls in green and add a crisp white as an accent color. In this way, white becomes bold, and Greenery becomes the backdrop to showcase it.
If Greenery isn’t quite your style, but you are taken with the idea of using green as a neutral, you can go for a paler green, a darker shade of green, or something in the same family of colors to create the space you want.
Diana Hathaway Timmons, About.com’s color expert, says, “Watch for lots of green dining rooms and foyers this year — designers are not bashful about using strong wall colors right now. Paired with the newest satin brass fixtures, the yellow-green of Pantone’s Greenery can be stunning.”
In the end, Greenery is a vibrant choice for a Color of The Year for 2017, and can inspire you to embrace nature’s neutral as a way to design spaces and incorporate some greenery into your home. If you love this year’s color, check out our post on 2016’s colors.