Is it because of an impending royal wedding? Is it an homage to the late Prince? Is it a sign of the times?
It’s likely that Pantone’s choice of Ultra Violet as the 2018 Color of Year is due to all the above. The bright purple is a reminder to be mindful in the coming year.
“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, Pantone 18-3838 Ultra violet communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future,” Pantone declared in a news release about the Color of the Year. “Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”
That’s so much stock to put into a color. But that’s kind of the point of Pantone’s Color of the Year declaration. There are many declared colors of the year, but it seems Pantone’s is the one that matters most.
“Pantone’s Color of the Year is often used as the precedent for trend analysis all over the world, whether that trend has to do with color or not,” says Mary Cook, founder of award-winning commercial interior design firm Mary Cook Associates in Chicago. “The color Pantone presents is more than just a swatch; it is a tool by which the industry uses to help define and structure a holistic approach to design in the coming year: subtle versus bold, passive versus active, raw versus defined.”
Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is not just a color; it’s a declaration of optimism, says Leigh Spicher, national director of Design Studios for Ashton Woods Homes.
“Ultra Violet is not only a call for people to come together (ahem, red and blue), but it’s a playful statement color that is gender neutral and friendly,” Spicher says. “Beyond this appeal, it is also widely associated with wealth, royalty and power. In other words, it’s a confidence booster.”
So, how can you bring this color into your home, without going mad like King George?
“We’re already seeing the Houzz community experiment with deep purples, like Ultra Violet, in small bites, such as in luscious bedding, pillows and other textiles,” says Sheila Schmitz, editor of Houzz. “Or in a bold front door, a dining room alcove or other accent. It’s very fun to see early adopters use it on the outside of a clawfoot tub or swath of bathroom tile, too.”
Spicher suggests using Ultra Violet as an accent. “Choose a neutral, base palette with a cool gray undertone, then create a focal point in your room that can be home to Ultra Violet art of décor.”
Cook agrees: “Let’s let the neutrals do their job and let the Ultra Violet do the talking, or probably the yelling.”
Whether you go bold or subtle with Ultra Violet, don’t overhaul your décor — unless you’re ready to never say you’re sorry.
“Ultra Violet is by no means taking a polite position in regard to proactivity,” says Cook. “It is not passive. It is not ‘pretty’ for pretty’s sake. It is a color that is shamelessly asking people to take the same stance in their everyday lives — to do things. To be proactive.”
Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for NewHomeSource, the Associated Press, New Mexico magazine and the Texas Bar Journal. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, battling weeds and high-desert heat.