The 2018 Color of the Year (and 5 Ways to Decorate with It)
The Pantone Color Institute's newest selection
is an inspiring boundary-pusher.
The Surprisingly Adaptable Hue
Spiritual, cosmic, enigmatic ultra violet—the Pantone Color of the Year 2018—might just be the color you've been missing all your life. "It's untapped, says designer Meg Braff, author of The Decorated Home
—explaining that unlike other jewel tones, ultra violet has not been overused in home décor. Even better, though, Braff and other design experts we talked to promise that ultra violet is doable for nearly every interior (and even exterior). She admits she's gotten several requests for purple bedrooms from teenage girls this year, but ultra violet is not limited to the under-16 crowd; Braff has used the color everywhere from urban apartments to country houses.
The Upgrade for a Small Space
Unlike the popular peacock blue-turquoise color that's been a favorite in recent years but that can feel heavy in summer, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke of the interior design firm Madcap Cottage
say ultra violet feels fresh in warm weather (think tropical orchids) and "optimistic" in winter, especially in a small space such as a bathroom. If you are going to try it in a bathroom, though, stick to one that you don't use as your primary bathroom, because the tone will affect the room's light, which can make it difficult to apply makeup.
The Unifier for a Room That Feels Disjointed
Loecke (who co-wrote Prints Charming
with Nixon) notes that one of 2017's trends was "maximalism"
—that is, spaces that combine a riot of color and patterns. He sees ultra violet as a tool that can help you embrace this movement, since it complements so many colors, from red, green and yellow, to blue, black and gray. "We consider it a good 'bridge' color," Loecke says. For instance, a floral rug and striped wallpaper might seem at odds with each other—until you bring in a chair or other piece of furniture in ultra violet. The purple will help tie everything together, since the color looks great with so many hues. Braff also loves it with tangerine, aqua and apple green.
A Way to Bring Some Glamour
Ultra violet's connection with some of music's most inventive artists—especially Prince
and David Bowie
—make it an obvious choice for glamorous city apartments, say Loecke and Nixon. But that doesn't mean you can't use the color in a more rustic environment, especially in homes with lots of outdoor space. Braff suggests covering outdoor furniture cushions in ultra violet fabric, with navy piping (especially nice next to hydrangeas come summer). The one place Loecke and Nixon can't see ultra violet working? The American Southwest, because the color was so prevalent in that region in the 1980s and can feel dated.
If you'd rather start small, stylist Janet Crowther
, author of A Well-Crafted Home
suggests a throw or accent pillows. Or, she says, try decorating with amethysts; they're lovely on a mirror frame, or just place a couple to a tabletop. (Not all amethysts are as vibrant as the color of the year, but some, such as this geode
show off the hue beautifully.) One truly low-commitment way to try out the color: flowers. Verbena, clematis, iris and allium are all available in the bright shade.