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The History of Pantone Colors of The Year 2010 Through 2022 And How To Use Them

pantone colors of the year

Are you looking to add a touch of pizzazz to your home décor? Why not try the latest Pantone color of the year! Since 2000, Pantone has been releasing a color of the year that is meant to reflect the current cultural landscape.

Pantone’s color of the year for 2022 is Veri Peri, described as a purplish-blue with red undertones; it signifies a fresh start (after the Covid-induced dreariness of the previous 2 years).

While it can be used in any number of ways, from fabric and paint to furniture and accessories, this particular hue is often thought to be quite trendy.

The Pantone color institute makes uses of the Pantone color matching system (which basically builds upon CMYK,  cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to bring you new hues and shades every year.

If you’re curious about what colors have been chosen in years past, or if you’re just looking for some inspiration, read on for a rundown of Pantone’s color of the year history.

2010: Turquoise

pantone colors of the year

Pantone 17-4023, otherwise known as “Blue Turquoise”, is a vibrant and vivacious hue that can soothe the soul while making it soar. It was chosen to represent 2010 because of its association with nature, exploration, and an escape from everyday life. At the same time, however, it is vibrant enough to be used in more urban settings as well.

2011: Honeysuckle

pantone colors of the year

This bright hue, described as “playful and celebratory,” is a captivating color that evokes the feeling of being outdoors. It was chosen to represent 2011 because it represents encouragement to take life lightly.

It represents a fuchsia rose hue and is perfect for sofa or upholstered chair; this can also be complemented by more sober tones like carbon or charcoal gray in your living room.

Paint your living room wall gray and choose a honeysuckle pink sofa to give a playful vibe to your living room; mix with bright yellow rug to really make your living the center of attention.

2012: Tangerine Tango

pantone colors of the year

This rich orange hue is “vibrant and full of life.” It’s the perfect choice for an interior that needs a boost of energy, from a dining room to a family room. According to Pantone, it evokes feelings of comfort while encouraging warmth and togetherness.

This is one the most cheerful color trends of the last decade; it gives life to the most simple of settings and compliments the most plain of rooms. Have a plain brown sofa? Combine it with orange cushions (tangerine tango) and the see the dramatic change.

2013: Emerald Green

pantone colors of the year

Representing growth, renewal and prosperity, this shade of green–along with its 2018 counterpart–is meant to evoke feelings of newly blossomed life. It is thought that these aren’t easy colors to wear nor are they readily associated with nature.

Emerald green is the contemporary color of choice for living room furniture; it mixes perfectly with pastels: peach or beige. It also goes well with more subdued shades of burnt orange; try this in your living room: a subdued tan sofa with an emerald green ottoman or accent wall.

2014: Radiant Orchid

pantone colors of the year

Radiant orchid is described as the most feminine shade of purple. It invokes feelings of creativity, imagination, and intuition.

This captivating hue can be used in a variety of ways, from walls to fabrics to home accessories. It will be the perfect shade for a girl’s bedroom but it’s not restricted to the feminine at all.

You can use it for your living room sofa (i.e. buy one in this shade and pair it with light wood floors) or it’s perfect for curtains.

2015: Marsala

pantone colors of the year

A wine red shade called “the sophisticated accent” for its earth tones, this color denotes passion while also evoking feelings of warmth and comfort. According to Pantone, it’s an excellent color for office interiors because it encourages leaders to take action while promoting focus among employees on organizational goals.

Marsala promotes ‘directness and focus’ so this is perfect for study rooms or in a professional setting. It will also be right in place in your kitchen as an accent wall; if you pair it with a brick floor, all the better. This is one of the bolder choices in Pantone colors in the last decade.

2016: Rose Quartz And Serenity

pantone colors of the year

The result of “a thoughtful pink” that’s equal parts tender and striking, this color was chosen to represent 2016 because it encourages us to dream big. It can also be used in combination with other colors without appearing too loud or brash–perfect for mingling with your existing décor!

This muted blue color represents comfort through an association with the sea. According to Pantone, it’s a calming hue “perfect for creating serene environments.” Whether you want to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom or calm down.

This is perhaps the ‘most’ calming combination on this list; the light ‘sky blue’ on gorgeous sunny day and the pale, soothing pink. You can readily use these in your living room to make for an ultimate calming space – to unwind and relax and sink into a plush pale pink sofa with your eyes closed.

2017: Greenery

pantone colors of the year

Pantone’s color of the year for 2017 was Greenery, signifying a fresh new year, healthy and mindful eating choices, the outdoors in the full bloom of spring and then in summer.

This green hue goes well with lighter colors, the best being pure white. Paint a room white and put light green sofas in there, put a couple of full-size indoor plants and set aside your curtains to let lots of natural light in – and then just see this setting glow.

Light green also compliments wooden floors; medium shades, it combines with the wood hue to give the room a fresh and calm ambiance.

2018: Ultra Violet

pantone colors of the year

This deep, dramatic color is one of the most popular choices for contemporary spaces. It’s rich, regal shade reminds us that though it may be dark, there always exists a subtle light within. According to Pantone, it symbolizes imagination and has an ability to evoke mystery while evoking creativity.

Ultra violet goes well with gray, so if you have sofas in an ultra violet, choose to paint your walls a carbon gray or a charcoal gray.

2019: Living Coral

pantone colors of the year

This bright color “bursting with youth” represents optimism and joyfulness. It is not likely to cause negative feelings, but rather excitement about what is to come. Also, since coral is one of the earth’s most precious resources, it symbolizes good health and prosperity for all.

This shade of pink is complemented by colors such as pale sea green, white or yellow with warmth to balance out the excitement it brings in more minimalistic environments. 

If you want to create a positive, exciting mood combine it with  dark hues like navy blue and charcoal gray, these are ideal dark accents when used alongside living coral.

2020: Classic Blue

pantone colors of the year

Does it get any better than Classic Blue? Pantone’s choice for 2020 (maybe inspired by 2008’s Blue Iris?) was the people’s favorite for decades (if not centuries); the classic blue hue signifies calm, confidence, and connection and the natural human desire to build a solid foundation for the future.

Classic blue goes well with pastels – like pale pink or off-white – if you choose to color an accent wall blue, go with a pale pink sofa or a large ottoman.

To make a crisp connection, pair white with blue; in the kitchen the island base could be classic blue and the top a pure white marble. This contrast is really attractive and leads to an immediate lifting of one’s mood.

2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (Sunny Yellow)

pantone colors of the year

Pantone’s color of the year 2021 turned out to be Ultimate Gray and Illuminating; a vital mix of happiness (Illuminating) surrounded by Fortitude and Calm Assurance (Ultimate Gray).

Both colors naturally go with each and can be combined in any room for great effect. In the kitchen a slate gray floor will be complemented with yellow cabinets.

In the bedroom, gray bedcovers with yellow pillows or a yellow dresser will look right at place.

For living rooms, combine a yellow accent wall with a gray sofa, the room aesthetic will be both calming and cheerful.

2022: Veri Peri

pantone colors of the year

A combination of a dynamic periwinkle blue hue with vivifying violet red undertone … Veri Peri is all about getting a new start in life. It is an optimistic and cheerful look on life.

Veri Peri goes well with wooden hues (for the floor). For the curtains, a sunny yellow will be perfect and (if setting up a room) dark pink for the bed covers will instantly match with purple-blue curtains.

Pantone Color Of The Year

Pantone’s color of the year is a well-known trendsetter in the world of fashion and interior design. The company selects one color to inspire designers and consumers alike, with an eye towards creativity that will be seen on runways and homes around the globe for years to come.

Over time, this has become more than just a single shade or hue—it’s now also representative of global culture at large. 

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