For a world weary of so much red and blue, green may be just the right tone for the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year.
The 2017 anointed colour, Greenery, a "zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring," was announced Thursday. "Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape," said the release from Pantone, which provides professional colour standards for many industries.
The design community, paintbrushes and fabric swatches at the ready, was quick with its opinions on the annual colour choice.
"I am not surprised to see a bright and powerful colour this year," said Marika Meyer, a Bethesda designer. "People are craving the positivity and energy and drive we can get from colour. It's a very optimistic colour." Meyer says she sees the bold and citric Greenery not as an overall colour scheme in a room but as an accessory colour that looks good with blues, purples or aubergines. "It's an easy colour to interject, even with a floral. I think it indicates a sense of hopefulness."
So don't run out and paint your living room Greenery just yet. Although it does go nicely with Christmas trees and Grinch hats.
"It's a bit acidic and would not be my choice for a wall color and would be unflattering with some skin tones," says Barbara Hawthorn, an interior decorator based in McLean, Md. "Used judiciously, it would be a happy colour for an accent or to bring the outside in."
Does she think there are political undertones to the choice? "This colour could reflect those who are part of the organic movement and the hopes for ending global warming. It's unexpected. No one knows what is going to happen. And because of that, it probably reflects the sense of our mood: unpredictable. This green is a great colour when people need a lift. And we do."
Laurie Pressman, vice president at the Pantone Colour Institute, says Greenery was chosen to represent a yearning to reinvent ourselves. "The Color of the Year is chosen to reflect what is taking place in the world. This is a colour we see building up in all areas of design and is reflective of a mood." She says you see that shade of "yellow-based green" in technology, in apps and at Gucci, Pucci and Prada.
"Greens help our heartbeat to slow down, help us to breathe and pull ourselves away from a world tied to flat screens and immerse ourselves in the physical beauty of the natural world," Pressman says.
The Pantone tradition dates to 1999, when Cerulean, a serene sky blue, was named the 2000 choice. Last year's shocker: The naming of two colours, Rose Quartz (pale pink) and Serenity (hues of lilac and blue-gray), gave a nod to gender equality.
Hawthorn says Greenery reminds her of a colour used often in impressionist and modern art and a shade frequently found in restaurants. She also says she thinks it's the opposite of Shadow, the moody eggplant hue that Benjamin Moore recently proclaimed as its 2017 Colour of the Year.
"I think Shadow is a beautiful colour to wear to a funeral," Hawthorn says. "It would be great for a velvet evening gown or maybe a sofa. But for a wall colour, you would need something lighter. Such different choices. Shadow is dark and mysterious, while Greenery is invigorating."