Decor and Design / Trends

2016 Trends: Pantone’s ‘Colours of the Year’ tap into the mindfulness movement

‘Mindfulness’ has become a buzz word of modern times. From desperate housewives hot-footing it to holistic yoga retreats, to overstretched, over-educated graduates colouring in picture books as a hobby, many are in search of the optimum tool to achieve focus in the present moment.

So what actually is this holy grail of the self-help movement? According to, “mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”.

Easier said than done. Life is unquestionably more cluttered than it has ever been before. The multi-media age has no off switch. Our phones buzz constantly; it has become de rigeur to always be ‘on’. Relationships are more complicated, we are ‘friends’ with people on Facebook that twenty years ago would have been a mere footnote, or just a face fleetingly recognised in the street. Dopamine levels are increasingly triggered by numbers of ‘likes’ and What’s App notifications. We are a culture saturated by stimuli.

As such, there is a growing trend towards creating an environment which will help us turn down the noise. The influencers at Pantone have recently released not their usual one but TWO key colours for 2016 – a first for the international gurus of colour.

Rose Quartz and Serenity

The soft pastels of Rose Quartz and Serenity are heavily inspired by the modern search for stillness. Rose Quartz is a soft pink shade, described by Pantone as ‘a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.’ Serenity, meanwhile, is light blue; ‘weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.’

Although an unkind criticism could be levelled that the shades are also reminiscent of pearlescent eyeshadow at a 1970s disco – perhaps a simpler time? – Pantone hopes Rose Quartz and Serenity will act as a soothing counterbalance to all the stresses of the modern world, fulfilling our deeper ‘yearning for reassurance and security’.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute, joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity ‘demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace’.

Living Room Breakdown - Pantone Colours of the Year

The contrasting colours are also Pantone’s way of subtly alluding to the blurring lines in gender that have occurred across society. The increasing fluidity of boundaries is something that fifty years ago would have been unthinkable. Pink or blue. Girl or boy. Considered separately, ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Serenity’ are tints of these colours – yet they have myriads of permutations when blended together and deployed by designers.

See how the Australian interiors industry interprets international colour trends at Decor + Design 2016 – Melbourne, 21 – 24 July.

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