Posts Tagged ‘Color of the Year’


The 2017 “Year of Kale” Just Got Brighter

December 14, 2016

Pantone just announced its pick for the 2017 Color of the Year and it’s not Kale. It’s a much more hopeful color they’ve named “Greenery”. The yellow undertones remind us of the regeneration and revitalization of Spring, “something life affirming to look forward to” according to Pantone’s color guru Leatrice Eiseman.

If you’ve been reading my newsletters (& especially my most recent Living Well), you know how important I think nature is to our very well being and that I use green in some way in most all of my interiors because it is THE most healing neutral that coordinates with all other colors. As much as I love green painted walls and woodwork, of the many greens I have in my color palettes, I don’t have this exact hue. I find it could be rather jarring on all four walls, however you can easily get the same effect with my Spring Green, Tulip Leaves, Chartreuse, Jaunty Jen or Peridot. Spring Green was used as an accent wall with Beige by color consultant Barbara Jacobs in the office below:

One of the most popular rooms featured on both Apartment Therapy and Pinterest is Natasha Nyberg’s “Plant-Filled Sunroom” below painted in “Peridot”:

Now, if you’re really brave with color, like our client artist Hunt Slonem, you might like “Juliet’s Potion”, but keep in mind it’s not the most resful color, so it’s used as one of many colors in his new Brooklyn studio:

“Chartreuse” was featured in House Beautiful by our client designer Barry Johnson who named it as his favorite healing color in the article “Life-Changing Colors”. I created Chartreuse back in 2007 as my version of Akzo Nobel’s pick for color of the year because it is the perfect balance between yellow and green. blogger Courtenay Dunk makes it sing with her red chaise and my “Tiffany Turquoise”:

If any of these colors strike your fancy, you can order free hand-painted samples

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, you know we will have our drawing for the winner of our Holiday Giveaway tomorrow, December 15th! So if you haven’t LIKED & SHARED Ellen Kennon Design & Full Spectrum Paints, do it before tomorrow. This is the first of many paint giveaways to come and the being a Facebook friend, you’ll always be the first to know!


The Last Word on the 2013 Color of the Year (& other news)

December 6, 2012

In my Autumn Living Well Newsletter on the 2013 Color of the Year & Color Trends, I reported on predictions of next year’s color of the year by pretty much everyone but Pantone. Although it was looking like “Monaco Blue” would be Pantone’s pick, they just announced that “Emerald” was their pick for 2013.


(“Emerald” in the center is Pantone’s pick for 2013’s Color of the Year)

Interesting that it is very close to Pratt & Lambert’s “Tidal Pool” which was their pick for the 2013 color to watch, a dead ringer for our Full Spectrum “Albania Teal”, that appeared in the October issue of House Beautiful. Here’s a photo of Albania Teal in artist Hunt Slonem‘s NYC studio featured in Russia’s Architectural Digest Magazine (I didn’t even know they had an Architectural Digest!). “Albania Teal” was named after one of his plantation’s in Louisiana. The great thing about this color is that it is both soothing and rejuvenating at the same time.Image

I have to say, I’m still selling a lot more whites and complex neutrals, than the saturated colors predicted. We mostly use the more neutral, easy to live with colors, in main areas and save the jewel tones for jewel box spaces like powder rooms, closets, inside of cabinets and bookcases.

Speaking of whites, one of my biggest “JV Cloud White” (JV for Designer Jon Vaccari & created for his New Orleans showroom) fans, Karina Gentinetta, has been making quite a name for herself on the national scene and will appear on More Magazine‘s television special about women who reinvent themselves (Karina was an attorney for 13 years before becoming an antiques dealer, artist and interior decorator). After seeing this video of her segment, I’m thinking she needs to have her own TV show! (Karina used “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs Showroom and Annunciation Restaurant in New Orleans which you’ll see in the video.)

(Click here to watch Karina’s More Magazine segment

I’m currently working on my Winter Living Well Newsletter featuring one of Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet‘s latest projects, where he had another designer friend of mine (Ken Tibbils of St. Francisville) make this table:


(I have featured Marc’s projects often over the years. and this latest project showcases his amazing design versatility. Wait until you see the rest of the photos!)


Chartreuse, Spice and All Things Nice!

May 29, 2012

I’m thrilled to report that Interior Designer Barry Johnson (of “Barry’s Babylon” color fame) was quoted in the June House Beautiful Magazine, naming our “Chartreuse” as his favorite healing color in the article where designers shared their favorite “life-changing colors” (color #5). Here’s Barry’s quote in HB:

“This color is about birth, growth and nature. It’s the color of new leaves. Chartreuse can be very acid but this is more of a soft yellow-green, Easy to work with. I see it in a Master Bedroom with creamy linens and a touch of coral. It would bring in some life.”

I created my full spectrum version of Akzo Nobel’s “Color of the Year” for 2007 and named it “Chartreuse” because it is the perfect balance between yellow and green. It is actually more traditional than the name suggests and I’ve used it recently on a couple of projects down here to brighten up spaces that had lots of dark wood (floors, beams, etc.).

I recently recommended it to Courtenay Dunk, author of the wildly popular Blog, when she sent me this photo of her office, saying that she was having trouble selecting a new wall color because all the samples she tried tended to have a greenish cast. In addition to her divine red & white chaise longue and rug, the only other major color in the space was her turquoise desk chair.


Courtney’s “before” photo of her office.

As soon as she said “turquoise”, Chartreuse immediately came to mind. I also figured if the light in the room tended towards green, why not enhance it and go with a green.


All photos are courtesy of Courtenay Dunk,

The turquoise in the recesses of her bookshelves needed some special attention since the shadows affected how the colors we tried (Turquoise, Tiffany Turquoise and Eco Hues’ Peacock Blue) looked. We ended up going with 75% of the Peacock Blue formula, which turned out to be a gorgeous color and perfect with the Chartreuse.

When I first heard from Courtenay, I was immediately intrigued by her website,, in her email signature, so I visited it to discover a treasure trove of information about spices, cooking, exotic places and more! Courtenay describes herself as “obsessive cook, style fanatic, avid traveler, reluctant writer, food photographer when the light is right”, and as you can see by her photos, she’s quite the talented photographer!

When we finally talked over the phone, I asked her more about her office. She explained that this is where she writes her spice blog and her grandmother’s chaise longue is where she has tea most afternoons (and sometimes a nap). Books on the shelves are about spices, herbs and cooking. Objects have been collected on her travels.


All photos courtesy of Courtenay Dunk of


On top of the Tibetan chests there are jars of rare Indian peppercorns Courtenay picked up in Paris. “This is ‘le sniffing bar,’ where I try to keep my sense of smell honed by inhaling the scent of different spices everyday. Right now I’m trying to distinguish between varieties of peppercorns grown in different regions without looking at the labels.” 


The Buddhist Lohan is a beneficent figure whose presence bestows good fortune. 

Courtenay’s blog is far more than an interesting read. She also helped a coffee grower she met in Veracruz who was about to go out of business, turn his business around! You can read about it in her post, “The Butterfly Effect“.

Here’s what she says about her new Chartreuse office:

“I love your Chartreuse so much that I haven’t hung a single picture on the walls. It’s soft and lively at the same time.  When I’m working in my office, I feel as if I’m bathed in a gorgeous light that relaxes and recharges the spirit.  The modified Tiffany blue is like a little glimpse of the Caribbean.  It’s a more electric hue which really makes the inside of the bookcases pop.  The two colors are fantastic together, especially with the red in the upholstery and the Moroccan rug.”

If you’d like a hand-painted sample of Chartreuse, email me at with your address and we’ll get one right out to you!


Final word on 2011 Color of the Year

December 9, 2010

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, today’s the day Pantone announced their pick for 2011 Color of the Year and what a surprise! The color name is Honeysuckle (no, not my golden yellow “Honeysuckle” that comes from the way our white honeysuckle blossoms turn with age), a deep pink-red. Here’s what Pantone had to say about the reason for their color choice:

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.”

Pantone's 2011 Color of the Year: "Honeysuckle"

This year, speculation sure seems to run the gamut! While I LOVE this color, I can see how it will be more popular in fashion and packaging than interiors.  Pantone is suggesting it for walls in foyers and dining rooms because it’s such a happy color and also stimulates appetites. In kitchens, they suggested using it for accessories like placemats, glassware and other accents and even suggested painting your kitchen cabinets this color! I don’t know about that! I just can’t see my clients going for it, but never say never!

So to recap, Akzo Nobel was the first to come out with their color “Lime Twist” with a theme of “appreciation” (see my August 18th 2011 Color of the Year post), followed by Benjamin Moore’s “Vintage Wine” with their theme of “balance” (Update: 2011 of the Year & Color Trends post)  and now Pantone’s very colorful “Honeysuckle” to “embolden us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor”! It’s all good, no?


The pink-red is in the same family as Akzo Nobel's pick for their red for 2011


As you can see, Akzo's 2011 Red is also a vibrant pink-red!

So tell me, what color do you want to see more of next year?



Update: 2011 Color of the Year & Color Trends

December 1, 2010

More information continues to come from different sources reporting on next year’s color trends since my original post on the 2011 Color of the Year, back on August 18th. Interesting that Benjamin Moore chose “Vintage Wine” as the color for 2011 which they describe as a “rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet”.  They chose a theme of  “balance”.  Although I like the color, especially as it is shown in their photo below; I must say, I think the international team from Akzo Nobel has a better handle on how people are feeling with their theme of “appreciation” and their lighter, airy, citrus yellow that symbolizes positive energy, hope and optimism. I know I am finding that more paint clients of mine are expressing a desire to “lighten things up”.

Ben Moore's pick for 2011 Color of the Year (Vintage Wine)

I was recently interviewed by Andrea Veron for her All The Trappings blog, and I have to say, I still feel that the color trends I’m seeing more and more of are complex neutrals including whites–what I call “atmospheric ‘no color, colors’ “.  Of course, these colors are complex because they are full spectrum! In the past few months, I’ve been delighted to have been called such names as “interior wizard” and “marketing master” in articles that appeared in Country Roads Magazine and In Register Magazine, but I have to say, I think I like the name “Little Ms. Sunshine” the best! Of course, I don’t know if you could call drinking a bottle of wine in front of the fire an “interview” but it could account for Andrea’s effusive praise. 🙂

All The Trappings: Little Ms. Sunshine

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE color, but most of the designers I work with, like Barry Johnson (see Summer 2009 Living Well Newsletter), use neutrals in the main living spaces and the bright or a deep dark colors in rooms with no or little natural light.

Sherwin Williams was all over the place with palettes of every kind, ranging from understated neutrals to exotic, saturated hues and soft pastels.  No one color was selected as the color for 2011.

Word or shall I say “Twitter Buzz” is out that Pantone’s pick for 2011 Color of the Year will be announced on Thursday, December 9th, so stay tuned!




Cool Blue (another version of 2010’s color of the year)

May 8, 2010

We’ve already had temperatures up in the nineties down here in St. Francisville and my daughter is returning home from school soon, so we thought we would welcome her home with a facelift on the deck off of her room. So to cool things off, we painted the picket fence around it (and the exterior trim around her little stained glass windows) “Cornflower Blue”. I can’t begin to tell you how great it feels! I swear, it really seems cooler!

So, if you need to cool things off, this color is now available in exterior paint. It would also be great for furniture. What do you think?

To order call 877-877-7628 or email me at


More on 2010 Color(s) of the Year

December 29, 2009

My post back on October 2nd (2010 Color of the Year) has certainly generated quite a few comments! I wrote this post shortly after finding out what the International Color Team for AkzoNobel (formerly ICI Paints) selected as their “Color of the Year”. Although there are other experts that predict color trends (Pantone & the Color Marketing Group), I have found for the past couple of years that Akzo’s color experts have seemed ahead by a whole year (could this be because there aren’t just Americans on this panel?). For instance, last year, their color was a blue-green (similar to Pantone’s turquoise color for this year) and the year before, Akzo’s team predicted a golden yellow (very close to Pantone’s “Mimosa” color predicted for last year). 

So, as one of the commenters asked, what is it? Blue or Green? Well, according to Kiki Titterud’s Trend Tuesday Blog post today, the Color Marketing Group (the premier international non-profit organization of color design professionals) there’s yet another contender for the role: “Mardi Grape”!  Could this be named because they held their last meeting in New Orleans? In any event, they describe it as “a crossover between brown, purple and gray”.  James Martin, president of Color Marketing Group says “This purple is browner and grayer, a neutral we can love long-term.   These days everyone is seeking versatile colors with staying power.  Colors used to be the focus while neutrals were the understudies.  Today, neutrals are the lead performers, chameleon colors that shift and change.” I love the photo they selected to showcase this color and although it is similar to our “Lilac Mist”, I think I’m gonna have to make a full spectrum version of this one, too!

Color Marketing Group's pick for 2010 Color

So as you can see, there are many ideas out there for what colors will be seen as “hot” for next year, but I think you’ll have to agree, it is hard to choose just one

Be sure to read Kiki’s Trend Tuesday Blog Post to find out more about what the Color Marketing Group predicts we’ll see more of in 2010 (Kiki is a prominent member and nationally known color forecaster)!