It could have been worse, Gentle Readers.
Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2022 is Very Peri, a clear, perky purple with a blue edge. Bold but cold.
The people at the Pantone Color Institute say, “Very Peri, a dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet red undertone, blends the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red.” As a person who has written many art history papers, I appreciate this level of creative interpretation.
Other statements from the Institute mention, newness, technology, and reimagining the future. I’m not going to argue with any of that.
But as a color for interiors…it’s not my fave. First, it evokes 1980s Laura Ashley for me. I owned a LOT of clothing in this color, and a high school friend’s bedroom was wallpapered in a periwinkle Laura Ashley print. (I was insanely jealous, needless to say.)
And second, it’s cold. It’s not welcoming, and that’s the number one word my clients use when describing their ideal home.
As with all of Pantone’s Colors of the Year, Very Peri will be watered down for the masses. It will find its way onto walls in the form of light lavender (which looks amazing with red Oriental carpets, by the way)
and into rugs and textiles in the form of a deeper majestic purple. Big-box stores will sell accent pillows in exactly this color, but not many.
As I said earlier, though, Pantone’s selection could have been worse.
It could have been SAGE GREEN. Which is what both Benjamin Moore AND Sherwin Williams selected. They must have been trapped in a fever dream of Pottery Barn in the mid-aughts, with sweaty flashes of cranberry accents to complete the hallucination.
No, Pantone at least selected a color with some life.
What we have to remember that in selecting its Color of the Year, Pantone isn’t thinking only of interiors. They’re more focused on fashion and product design.
So there you have it, Gentle Readers. A new year, a new color coronation by Pantone. Do with it what you will ;)
Annie Elliott Design is based in Washington, DC, with offices in St. Michaels, Maryland and Middlebury, Vermont. Annie recently reported on 2022 design trends from High Point Market on NBC4.