NEST BUILDING COLUMN: The Palette of the 21st Century


I am definitely not a follower of fashion when it comes to colours. I know what I like and, equally, I know what I don't like; I believe that society would be a much healthier body if it too, collectively, felt as certain. However, it is always fascinating to see what the marketing machine is working on each year and what colour or colours they hope to convince the fad-followers to adopt. It is, after all, essential to both the fashion and interior decorating industries that there is always something new in order to make what we already have into something old.

The palette of the 21st century according to Pantone has, so far, taken us from a rather insipid start to the new millennium with 'cerulean'—meaning, like the sky on a clear day—to 2012's 'tangerine tango'. For me, the worst year, colour-wise, was 2011 with its Pepto-Bismal-like 'honeysuckle'. Fortunately, I don't think it caught on with the masses, as I don't recall seeing it displayed in many shop windows.

This year, 2013, Pantone has given us a rather energetic, refreshing and optimistic colour: emerald green. It is a resplendent colour reminiscent of lush greenery, royalty and, of course, precious gems. How it will work its way into our homes and closets, however, is another matter. I think it will be one of those colours best applied in small but eye-catching splashes … scatter cushions, glassware, a feature wall, towels, and so forth. I think it will exist happily alongside equally pure and dazzling colours such as turquoise, magenta, lime and royal purple—I'd steer clear of red unless you enjoy Christmas all year round. Taupes, soft yellows, ivories and creams will provide background support and a complementary context.

Emerald green is a beautiful colour and a very happy one to boot. Let's hope it is a harbinger of the year to come.

This is my first post on the Nelson Star site. You can look for my posts on the first of every month. If you have questions or comments about interior decorating and other 'nesting' issues, I'd love to hear from you:


Kate Bridger is a Nelson artist and author:


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