Pantone’s color of the year for 2013 is Emerald green – a bold, regal gem tone in contrast to last year’s bright, spunky tangerine. That means that it’ll be the go-to color in everything from fashion to cosmetics and – you guessed it – interior design. So if you like the color and want to keep you home on top of color trends, this year you might want to incorporate the color into any new designs. Whether that means swapping accessories or remodeling from the ground up is up to you, but if you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas to help you build an Emerald dream you’ll love.
To some, Pantone’s choice might be a little surprising. After all, last year’s color was all about vivacity and energy, and emerald is much more soothing and subdued. According to them, though, that’s the point – Pantone sees 2013 as a year to return to our roots with a color that inspires well-being, balance, harmony, and unity. Both natural and sophisticated, Emerald pairs well with earthy neutrals (a maybe overly-literal interpretation of this year’s trend toward going green) while still offering a regal elegance. It’s a bold choice, but also a familiar natural color that’s intended to promote clarity, renewal, and rejuvenation – as well as growth and prosperity.
Paint It Green
Perhaps the most obvious way to add a little Emerald to your home is to go out and buy a gallon of Pantone 17-5641 TCX Emerald paint, pick a room, and paint. But be aware that though this particular tone is a fairly mellow, blue-tinged jungle green, it’s very very bold and can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t used to having a dark color on the walls. But this particular shade of green is nicely balanced out by either black or white – white giving it a cleaner, brighter, more natural finish and black giving it a more sleek, sophisticated style. And, of course, just because Pantone says Emerald doesn’t mean you can’t opt for a more mellow sage other, similar green.
Maybe the easiest way to add a little green to your home is one that has nothing to do with paint or fabric: just add a potted plant. After all, green is the most common color in nature, and adding a beautiful plant not only adds a striking point of green, but also a friendly little sense of the natural world. If you know you don’t have a green thumb, silk plants can work as well, and shaped topiary can add a touch of whimsy to your space, though they won’t afford the same (literal) breath of fresh air you get from a living plant.
Fabric Never Fails
One of the best, fastest ways to add Emerald to your home is to go for the easiest swap outs: fabric. I’m talking pillows, comforters, and especially window treatments. Decadent, full-length Emerald curtains are one of the most popular choices this year, with a solid color and simple lines, but so bold and cheerful that they immediately attract the eye. This quick change works well on a smaller scale, too – from less expensive linens like bath towels, dish towels, napkins, and tablecloths, to other common items like stemware or dishes. If you’re looking to update and remodel in one fast swoop with minimal manual effort (or paint smell), this is definitely the best way to do it.
…But What About Upholstery?
If you really really love Emerald – or if you just have a burning desire to stay on top of the latest, greatest, hottest home trends, you might be tempted to go all-out and opt for new, green furniture. And believe me, there’s certainly a place for plush, luxurious, Emerald arm chairs and even sofas. Solid, dark green furniture – especially in classic, Victorian-inspired shapes like a wingback chair or shapely sofa, or with a thick, velvety material – offer an old world sense of style and sophistication.
That said, that much green can be a little overwhelming, and difficult to balance in a contemporary space – not to mention expensive, especially if you’re opting for all-new furniture. Instead, I’d like to offer two alternatives. First, instead of solid emerald green, opt for several slightly different shades of green, or better yet, multiple patterns. This will help break up the color and add visual interest to your space, creating a springier, more contemporary vibe. Second, instead of replacing your furniture outright, look into having it reupholstered. This is not only much, much less expensive, but allows you to get exactly the perfect pattern for the season. Furniture slipcovers are great if you want to change annually, and work especially well when they’re well tailored, like the Couture Covers collection from Bailey Street.
Easy Mode: Chairs
Buying most new furniture is expensive, but if you’re dedicated to doing it, Emerald accent chairs are the way to go. Think about it: it’s a great way to add a single, bright pop of color to your space without splurging for a huge budget. They’re easy to arrange, and easy to replace if you need to, and add a little hint of the unexpected in a compact package.
Grab A Can Of Paint
Emerald is also an excellent choice for a single bold statement piece. If you have a tired, plain looking piece of furniture – like a desk, chest, or accent table – just go down to your local hardware store, get a pint of Emerald paint and a brush, and by the end of the day you can turn that tired piece into a focal point for your room. If you don’t have a piece you’re inclined to paint, head to your local thrift shop, where you can find old, attractively shaped furniture that might not be in the best condition. A quick sanding and a new coat of paint will breathe new life into a tired piece, combining a rustic, homey quality with a bold, eye-grabbing color.
Pick One Place (And Accessorize)
Of course, Pantone’s annual announcement isn’t a mandate to go and remodel your whole home. In fact, especially with such an assertive color, it’s probably best to pick a single room or space to focus on. Whether that means doing a bathroom, living room, bedroom, or even just a walkway or stairwell, choosing one spot can help you focus and maximize your design. And you don’t even have to do any of the things I’ve listed here. In fact, sometimes the most effective remodels are the smallest ones, like reaccessorizing with Emerald artwork, picture frames, or even vases or bookends. Choosing small, brightly colored home decor accents is often one of the best, simplest, and easiest ways to build something really beautiful.
Where do you think Emerald will fit best in your home? Are there any other color trends that appeal to you?