How to use the hottest colors of 2016 to refresh a room or inspire a home makeover

Feeling blue? How about pink?

The trend forecasters at the Pantone Color Institute are betting yes on both counts.


They've named not one but two colors of the year for 2016, boldly predicting that pastels Rose Quartz and Serenity will win over our hearts and home decor in the year ahead.

Now, the real magic starts: How to incorporate 2016's reigning colors into our homes is as individual as one's personal style. A sea of blue or just a splash? Think pink? Yes, yes and yes.

The whisper-soft hues can be used as accents to refresh a room or as the inspiration behind a renovation.

Both can also act as neutrals. "I think pink has become the new, light neutral," says West Hollywood interior designer Natasha Baradaran, "because it allows for color and warmth, but when it's put with other colors, it lets them shine — it doesn't fight anything."

Reminiscent of a Southern California sunset, Rose Quartz pairs cleverly with khaki, navy, chocolate, moss, lime and gray, to name a few. Paint and color expert Annie Sloan says, "I would team these colors with something strong, like a bright orange to create a modern-retro 1960s look."

A traditional interior might contrast the pastels with bright white, slate, black or brown. "I think that a palette of ivory, pale gray and coral work best with pale blue," says interior designer Kirill Istomin. "These are soft and pleasing colors to the eyes. I used this color combination in a client's living room, and they loved it. It creates a chic-yet-relaxed mood."

It's important to note that updating a room with color can mean going all in with new fabrics and furnishings or making it as simple as adding new art or accessories.

To dip a toe into the new look, consider a fresh coat of paint on a piece of accent furniture, switching out the lampshades, a new rug or painting the inside of a bookshelf.

Baradaran says what she likes most about Pantone's picks is the unexpected way they are being used: "That's what's really exciting about the selection."