My husband teases me when we go shopping for paint because I have a habit of reading the names of each hue aloud, as if I have to approve of the color and the words attached to it before I commit. And inevitably, I wonder, “Who has this job, anyway? Who gets to name paint colors?” I confess I feel a bit envious. I would have liked to be the person who considered the warm brown-gray in Farrow & Ball’s lineup and then dubbed it Mouse’s Back. I might have chosen something other than Relentless Olive for a green-brown Sherwin-Williams hue, but I heartily approve of Amorous for a romantic soft purple from Benjamin Moore.

Of course, when it comes to color, it’s not just the mix of dyes (and words) that matters; it’s how the shade makes us feel. And that’s what the Pantone Color Institute—the self-described “global authority” on these things—hopes to tap into with its annual color of the year. In mid-December, the institute (ambitiously) offered up Greenery, a springy hue, for 2017 as an antidote to the stressful cultural and political environment we inhabit. The message: You can start fresh with a tangible reminder that no matter how cold the winter, the springtime brings new life.

That’s a tall order for a color. A specific hue may not be enough to make you forget about problems on a global scale, or even a personal one, but the right palette can bring you satisfaction at home. For proof, check out our room-by-room color guide, “Bright Ideas”. You’ll find spaces that show off a range of hues (even black!) and give you designers’ best ideas for using them. For more color smarts, don’t miss “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Color Correcting,” stories of two homes that showcase bold palettes. Pretty soon you’ll be contemplating whether you could revamp your kitchen in the perfect shade of blue (Benjamin Moore’s delicious Blueberry Hill, perhaps?) or make over your powder room with green wallpaper (like F. Schumacher’s Tropical Zebra Palm)—and with the tips and tricks throughout this issue at your disposal, the answer should be a resounding yes.

This article was originally published in 5280 Home February/March 2017.
Hilary Masell Oswald
Hilary Masell Oswald
As the former editor for two of 5280’s ancillary publications, Hilary Masell Oswald split her time between the vibrant design-and-architecture scene in the metro area for 5280 Home and the always-changing field of health for the annual 5280 Health.