The late great Prince might've been pleased by this development: Several authorities on the subject matter of color forecasting in design — particularly of American residential interiors — have declared their colors of the year for 2017. And most of them lean toward — you guessed it — purple. Here’s a recap of what some of the leading paint brands, and, of course, color expert Pantone, have chosen as the Color of the Year:
Benjamin Moore’s Shadow (also shown at top)
Back in October, we reported on Benjamin Moore’s selection of Shadow (2117-30), a deep amethyst purple with gray undertones. “We picked the one that we thought was very relevant, very energetic and really a part of the design all around us,” said vice president of color innovation and design Carl Minchew at the unveiling party in New York City. “A little darker, a little more emotion. More than a color, it’s a story about light as well as shadow.”
Benjamin Moore’s Shadow
What the public might not have heard during the Benjamin Moore hoopla was that, on the very same day as the paint giant’s announcement, competitors PPG Paints and Glidden also unveiled their 2017 colors, both of which are part of the purple family, albeit on the lighter side. Glidden’s choice Byzantine Blue (50BB 32/117) mixes periwinkle with violet, for instance. “The name may say blue, but Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise,” said Misty Yeomans, PPG color marketing manager for the Glidden brand, in a statement. “It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all of the best qualities of blue and gray, making it an appealing color choice for nearly any room.” In fact, to some eyes, the color chameleon takes on more of the gray when juxtaposed with dark neutrals or blue when paired with whites. “Its unique versatility and incredible ability to bring out certain hues based on its surroundings make Byzantine Blue a perfect shade for all ages. It is also gender neutral, making it easy to use throughout your home,” Yeomans continued.
Glidden’s Byzantine Blue
Meanwhile Violet Verbena from PPG Paints (PPG1169-5) is another purple with a tinge of gray that’s very closely related to the Byzantine Blue. “Violet Verbena is at once as nostalgic as it is modern,” stated the company’s senior color marketing manager Dee Schlotter. “It’s substantial in a world that can sometimes seem so temporary, luxurious in a harsh world that needs pampering and introspective and private in an invasive world.” Schlotter continued to describe how this shade is making its way onto fashion runways and commercial and home textiles, but also how it carefully straddles masculine and feminine and young and old, much like Glidden’s Color of the Year.
PPG Paints’ Violet Verbena
Olympic Paints and Stains, yet another PPG brand, named Cloudberry (OL677.3) as its top color for 2017. This pastel tone is still considered a member of the soft violet family but offers hints of pink and beige, making it a more neutral hue capable of creating a soothing and calming environment.
Olympic Paints and Stains’ Cloudberry
Here’s where the selections stray farther off the purple path: The neutral Poised Taupe (SW 6039) is the 2017 Color of the Year for paint brand Sherwin-Williams. (Though one can argue that taupes have a purple undertone.) “Poised Taupe celebrates everything people love about cool gray as a neutral and also brings in the warmth of brown, taking a color to an entirely new level,” said the company’s director of color marketing, Sue Wadden, in a statement. “Not cool or warm, nor gray or brown, Poised Taupe is a weathered, woodsy neutral bringing a sense of coziness and harmony that people are seeking.”
Sherwin-Williams’ Poised Taupe
Last — but certainly not least — was the Pantone Color Institute’s announcement. A stark contrast to the picks of the aforementioned paint brands, Pantone’s Color of the Year, Greenery (15-0343), is a vibrant leafy hue that, although not purple, is an ideal complement to it. While some designers aren't exactly enthusiastic about this bold and bright green, the detractors should note that Pantone is a global company and provider of color systems for more than paint products — it’s a standardized system that extends to graphic arts, publishing and industrial design. And other various design industry professionals have been weighing in about how relevant the color actually is.
“Homeowners are increasingly seeking a connection with nature and looking for new ways to bring the outdoors in,” says Christine Marvin, director of corporate strategy for Marvin Windows and Doors. “Larger, more expansive windows and doors are in demand because they offer unobstructed views of the outdoors, bringing in natural light, vibrant colors found in the environment and a source of fresh air. In essence, letting nature itself be the source of this refreshing green hue in a space.”
"I love the idea behind this color choice!" said Alexandra Markey, an associate at IA Interior Architects and a senior designer within the firm's Atlanta office. "It speaks to the concept of biophilia, which is so important in our tech-driven world."
"Pantone came up with an unusual interpretation of what hue would shape our color experience in 2017," commented Jill Pilaroscia, founder of architectural and product color consultancy Colour Studio. "According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Greenery will 'provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment.' Green references nature and puts a positive spin on the opportunity for growth. It suggests a bright, happy, uplifting feeling. We like Pantone’s spunk and 'dare to be different' attitude."