Pantone Color of the Year 2015…Reactions from an Interior Design Perspective.

Whether you look forward to the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year or not, there is always a mixed reaction amongst design professionals:  good, bad, or indifferent.  From the perspective of an Interior Designer I would have to say that my reaction is indifferent…please allow me to explain.

Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2015: PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala

Image Source  "This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors." -Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®
Image Source
“This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.” -Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®

As a professional Interior Designer, I am teased quite a bit by my colleagues (aka Architects) who affectionately refer to me as a “color picker.”   I always grin and correct them with “That’s color picker extraordinaire to you!”  Let’s just say (for the sake of my colleagues), one of my many tasks as an Interior Designer is to pick colors.  According to Pantone, they have our profession in mind when choosing the “Color of the Year,” so I thought I should weigh in on the subject.


Marsala is a Fine Color

It’s not because Marsala is nothing to get excited about as a color, Marsala is a fine color. It’s the objective of the “Color of the Year” and while fun to see, it’s not the go to for design professionals when making decisions with their clients.  I do believe it has some merit in the fashion and cosmetic industries, but to be honest, it is not the go to for graphic and interior design.  It is almost impossible to encompass every creative profession with one color of the year.

But It Is Also a Trend…

The Pantone “Color of the Year” is a trend in my world and in that of our clients who are primarily business owners investing in buildings that will be there for 50 plus years; in this world TREND is a bad word.  Our clients want LONGEVITY and RELEVANCE.  Your space should support your message and organization. It should convey how you would like your customers to perceive you and make them feel when they walk through the doors.  It’s all about you and your brand not what Pantone executives tell you it should be.

The “Color of the Year” really does nothing to influence my day-to-day decisions regarding my clients at K4 Architecture + Design.  It is my job to be impartial, but at the same time have strong opinions and ideas of how to execute the client’s objectives.  This can be tricky, but that is for another article.

I have been working in this industry for so long, when friends or colleagues ask me what my personal taste is my answer is, “I don’t know.”  It seems crazy but it’s true.  There is a place for everything, even the most outlandish and crazy of styles.  I always approach every job with the same attitude and a keen focus on the vision of the client and how can we make it great for them.

What Does an Interior Designer Use When Selecting a Pallete?

The COLOR WHEEL designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.

Image Source
Image Source

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Sir Isaac Newton’s color wheel, it is essentially the rainbow bent into a wheel.  But when bent into this genius wheel, it creates color chords and associations that the creative profession has implanted consciously or subconsciously for years.  When the color associations come together you get schemes that balance and work together seamlessly. The end product just feels right.  Thank you, Mr. Newton.

It is not an executive team that combs the world looking for inspiration and deciding for you what you should be buying and influencing the world with their choices.  It’s actually science and nature and how the world perceives color that influences the design professionals working for their clients to make their visions come to life.

At K4 Architecture + Design our values lie in creating our client’s visions; not our vision.  We just like to enhance and make it better than they imagined!