And the 2016 Pantone color of the year is… Serenity, a cool, tranquil blue. But it’s also Rose Quartz, a warm, embracing rose tone. That’s right. The shade color experts who pick one shade they believe will be reflected most in the year’s fashion, home décor and landscapes have made a dramatic departure from tradition by not only picking the blending of two colors instead of one, but also by selecting shades so soft, they are a complete 180-degree turn from Pantone’s more consistently bold color introductions like last year’s Marsala, an earthy wine.

Pantone describes the colors as “a harmonious pairing of inviting shades that embody a mindset of tranquility and inner peace.” The organization thinks we need the calming combination of these colors in order to escape the stress of our everyday lives.

“Whether on their own or combined with other shades, the pairing of Serenity and Rose Quartz bring a feeling of calm and relaxation, especially into the home environment,” Pantone says.


I know what you’re thinking; I thought it, too: “These are baby colors: they couldn’t decide whether it was a boy or a girl.” And you’re partially right. Pantone calls the color combination a gender blur, something that is happening in fashion already.

“This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity; the consumers’ increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, which includes a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged; and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

However you interpret the shades, the key to any color trend is to know how to use the shades in clients’ landscapes.

What do you think of the color trends this year? How are you going to incorporate them into your landscape designs?