And the Winner Is...
For the first time ever, the experts at the Pantone Institute picked not just one, but two colors they believe you'll be seeing everywhere in 2016. Their selection is based on research and trends in the design and fashion industries, as well inspiration from film sets and popular travel destinations.

This year's selections are: "Rose Quartz," a pale pink, and "Serenity," a mix of cornflower blue and periwinkle. The two "demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer, embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness, as well as a soothing sense of order and peace," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a statement. While you might hear pink and blue and think of baby showers and nurseries, these winning shades are more subtle and faded than those, and we've got eight ways for you to use them in your home.

Try This Pairing

serenity desk
Photo: Courtesty of BEHR

If you're hesitant to incorporate pastel shades into your home, Sheila Schmitz, editor of the interior design site Houzz, suggests pairing them with espresso furnishings and floors, along with accents pieces in charcoal and chartreuse. This keeps the colors from looking too sweet or gender-specific.

Be Trendy Without Breaking the Bank

accent pieces
Photo: Sascha Traub/EyeEm/Getty Images

Pantone predicts that some of the most popular uses of Rose Quartz and Serenity will be in rugs, upholstery and accessories—great news for anyone who wants to test the color combo without making a big commitment. There are endless ways to incorporate the hues in small items; but you can start with candles, accent pillows and bedding. Or, as shown above, with a small piece of art and a vase.

Rethink Your Go-To Neutrals

You know that white, beige and grey play well with others, but a soft pink like Rose Quartz can be just as versatile—and add an extra punch of energy, says Quinn Larson-Pierce, BEHR Color Trends Specialist. Pastels work as neutrals because they exert a soft color presence without overwhelming the eye, like this living room's wall color, by interior designer Julia Goodwin. The soft pink makes the space feel dynamic, but it doesn't take away from the furniture or the artwork.

A Twist to Your Modern Kitchen

Give a modern kitchen some '50s charm with a pastel blue or pink mixer, toaster or set of dishware. The brands Smeg and Big Chill have cult-like followings for the retro-style refrigerators and ovens they offer, and have already incorporated the Pantone shades.

Create a Bright and Airy Bathroom

Blue has long been one of the most popular bathroom-paint choices, due to its soothing effect; but, Serenity's purple tones keep the space from coming off as too beachy or coastal.

Mix Them with Another Trend

Photo: Cassie Freeman, Hi Sugarplum!

Gold and copper have become increasingly popular accent colors and their warm tones partner perfectly with Rose Quartz and Serenity. Cassie, of the blog Hi SugarPlum!, uses gold accents against a Rose Quartz bookshelf backdrop, which helps convey warmth—especially when light reflects the blush color on to the gold pieces to cast a dreamy rose-gold glow.

Add Midcentury Modern Furniture

A contemporary #pink {#interiordesign by @arentpyke_inout, 📷 by @felix_forest}

A photo posted by Chairish (@chairishco) on

The neutral, crisp lines of midcentury, modern furniture keep pink upholstery from seeming too princess-y. This is a popular way we've seen bloggers and shelter magazines use Rose Quartz in the home.

Tweak the Trend to Work for You

serenity bedroom
Photo: Courtesy of Sherwin Williams

What better place to use colors that Pantone says will evoke "an easy, calm, embracing and restful mood" than in the bedroom? But if you find it hard to jump on the pastels-as-neutral bandwagon, use Rose Quartz or Serenity for color inspiration then tone it down in the bedroom to fit your style. If you want your room to feel warm, but not as delicate as Rose Quartz, the experts we spoke with suggested an earthy tone like BEHR's Pink Quartz, or a more muted choice, such as a light coat of Benjamin Moore's Tippy Toes. For a cool and airy bedroom, you could go with a moody version of Serenity, such as Sherwin-Williams' grey-blue Aleutian. Or, if you don't like the hints of purple in Serenity, go with a true light blue, such as BEHR's Bluebird.


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