Images Everything Photography | Colors of the Year 2016: How, where and when to use them!

Colors of the Year 2016: How, where and when to use them!

December 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

     The Colors of the Year 2016 have been announced, and I couldn't be MORE EXCITED about the choices some of the major paint manufacturers made!


Whether you’re a fan of Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2016, Simply White (OC-117) or not, let’s face it: White is a BLANK CANVAS.  It’s Carte Blanche’! You can do to/with/what ever you like. No need to “Go paint all of your walls Simply White.”  No need to make it be the centerpoint of your home’s color scheme or your wardrobe.  The beauty in Simply White is that, well, it’s SIMPLE…and it can be applied in large or small doses, wherever you see fit! What’s even better? It PLAYS WELL WITH EVERYTHING!!


As a photographer and decorator, NOTHING makes me happier than when I walk into an Art Gallery (where I am showing my work, or just enjoying someone else’s…) and see WHITE as the background.  It makes all the pieces POP!  It allows the colors of the pieces to talk to me…visually “GRAB ME”, while the white does its job to balance everything in the room.  The same goes with one’s home.  If you have a home filled with color, or even if you have “neutral” color walls, Simply White is the easiest to introduce in any way, small or large.  It can be some candles on your mantle, or soaps in your powder room, or your duvet cover in your Master Suite.  It can be time to update the trim on your casings and windows, or maybe you’ve always wanted crown molding, and here’s your chance to make a crisp, clean start.  Maybe your dark foyer or mudroom could use a white mirror to brighten things up a bit?!  Perhaps your garage needs a makeover, before you put all that new shelving up….and once it’s up, it will look SO new and clean, you’ll be more apt to KEEP IT THAT WAY!  The possibilities with Simply White REALLY are endless.


And let’s talk SEASONS: Winter is coming, and what better way to decorate for the season than with some WHITE accessories to get into the feeling of winter?  Snowy scenes on some prints for your walls or mantles.  White in your table linens to brighten an otherwise dreary scene (especially those in the Northeast and Northwest, who see drab browns and grays out their windows!)  Why not reminisce about white sandy beaches, white foam caps and white puffy clouds from that amazing vacation or summer home?  And if you live near water, whether it’s a lake, ocean, or anything similar, you can still decorate with white and blue all year round!  If you don’t live near water, you can still appreciate it by hanging a piece that puts a smile on your face, reminding you of warmer, sunny days.


PANTONE did something they’ve never done before.  They revealed not one, but TWO Colors of the Year for 2016.  Rose Quartz (13-1520) and Serenity (15-3919), are getting some bad reviews.  Now, the same goes with these as it did for Simply White.  You may not be a fan, but if you think about it, these colors are infused into our surroundings on a daily basis.  Every sunrise and sunset has a bit of Pink and Blue.  The sky, throughout the day, in any weather, has some hint of blue to it.  The bodies of water that surround us either are blue or can reflect blue from the sky.  Subconsciously, blue is representative of “Serenity” to us.  And Pink, especially where the sun in concerned, has the same affect.  The scenery that surrounds so many of us has hints of blues and pinks: flower gardens, birds, animals, babies, foods, drinks…again, we consciously and subconsciously enjoy these things.  If we didn’t have them, our daily routines would be dismal, dark, and unhappy.  Color has this amazing power to do something to our psyche.  The colors you wear, generally, make you feel good, right?  Take a look at your wardrobe.  Man or woman, adult or child, you have blue in your closet. Many even have pink! Why? Because they are soothing colors, and they make us feel at ease.  Blue and pink can even have a sophisticated or an empowering feel…just look back to the 50s for wardrobe inspiration. They are CLASSIC colors that will always thrive, because they will always “fit in” to our surroundings.  


Sherwin-Williams, another leading paint manufacturer, announced Alabaster (SW 7008) is the Color of the Year 2016.  Keeping with a neutral (white) color, Alabaster is one which is very versatile, and can be used in a number of different rooms, in a number of different ways. Pair it up (or maybe go for 3 colors!) from their 4 new palettes, and you’ll have plenty of inspiring colors to get your space just the way you feel comfortable.  And, of course, to be paired with Pottery Barn and West Elm isn’t so bad, either. Go with neutral on the walls, and play with their bolder, brighter colors when you introduce accent walls, your accessories and décor.


So, if you’ve got plans for 2016 to paint, decorate, or invest in artwork for your living and/or working spaces, having Simply White and all the other colors Benjamin Moore chose to coordinate with it are a great start.  And do I think Pantone got it right to introduce their choices, Rose Quartz and Serenity?  Yes, because they’re all around us, and bringing them into our homes and closets is easier than you think.  And if you’re stuck on “neutral”, because it’s safe (it’s okay, I get it!) then Sherwin-Williams has some palettes that will surely please. 


Whatever manufacturer you choose, and however plain or bold you choose to be with your colors in your home and office in 2016, just remember…when it’s time to choose some artwork or home décor to compliment your new surroundings, is your GO-TO place.  I’ve got HUNDREDS of images that you can turn into Wall Art and Home Décor to match any of the colors you’ve decided on.  Please visit my webpage “Decorating Tips by Cheryl”  to see how to incorporate my images into the paint/color palettes discussed here, and from previous years, as well.  Don’t make it a task you dread, make it a project you’ll enjoy, and then enjoy some more for years to come!


Color YOUR World,






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