7 Subtle Ways to Incorporate Pantone's 2018 Color of the Year into Your Life

On December 7th, renowned color company Pantone released their pick for the 2018 color of the year, Ultra Violet:

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Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, says Ultra Violet will "[take] our awareness and potential to a higher level ... [it] lights the way to what is yet to come."

Purple signifies creativity and imagination, as well as introspection. It is a luxurious, thoughtful color, stimulating the problem solving area of the brain. (You can read more about the color theory of purple here.)

While you may not be ready to run out and paint your entire home the luscious shade of Ultra Violet, here are 7 subtler ways you can incorparate the color into your life for 2018.

This gorgeous frosted glass lamp. It's just under two feet tall and is the perfect addition to any side table in your living room. Add some cute coasters, a candle, and some of your favorite trinkets, and your side table is all set! The Taylor Lamp is available at Chown Hardware.

Aromatherapy and essential oils continue to grow in popularity, so what better way to introduce Ultra Violet into your life than through all of your senses. Mr. Steam Aromatherapy has several steam head options, and the violet nirvana essential oil is available at Chown Hardware.

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. has this super adorable Woodland Meadow sheet set and matching quilted pillow sham. It's available in twin, full, queen, and king sized sets, and offers the perfect subtle pop of Ultra Violet. The Woodland print is exclusively made for Schoolhouse by Austin-based artist Leah Duncan.

Subtly incorporate the color into your kitchen with this chicken-print tea towel from Portland-based shop Budd + Finn, named for the owner's rescue dogs, available in a variety of colors, including Ultra Violet.

The Galligaris Amelie chair is a sleek and comfy addition to any room. It's designed and manufactured in Italy, and comes in a variety of colors and fabrics. You can purchase the Amelie at Hip PDX.

McMinnville home decor shop MD Haney currently has this linen apron, (shown in eggplant), available on their website. An apron is the perfect way to start wearing Ultra Violet without much comitiment since you don't wear it out of the kitchen.

Last but definitely not least, you can get this James Ward china plate at Budd + Finn. The design features a bulldog in an Ultra Violet mask, to protect his identity after he finishes off the whole plate of cake. The plate is eight inches in diameter.

If you are ready to add more Ultra Violet into your life, you can find lots of great products at Wayfair.

To learn more about Pantone and Ultra Violet, check out their 2018 Color of the Year page.


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Choosing the Right Countertop Material for Your Lifestyle

There is an abundance of countertop materials to choose from when renovating your kitchen - marble, quartz, quartzite, soapstone, butcher block, concrete, granite, limestone, laminate, recycled glass, stainless steel, terrazzo, ceramic tile, and even paper composite. But which material is right for you and your lifestyle?

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular materials:

MARBLE

Pros: The look (obviously); marble is as classy as it gets; it's mostly heat durable; and it's timeless so you maintenance aside, you won't want to change it.

Cons: Marble is a porous surface so it will absorb liquids and stain and etch, meaning it needs to be resealed every year or two. It gets nicked, cut, and scratched easily. Plus it's the one of the most expensive materials you can pick for your countertops.

If you watch home improvement shows at all, you've probably heard the phrase "carrara marble" thrown around a lot. Carrara marble is a variety of marble that is one of the highest qualities of marble, and it comes in the typical white and blue-gray color people picture when they think of marble. Marble is absolutely beautiful, but it is also extremely expensive. If you are going for a kitchen that is luxurious, timeless, and more show-than-tell, marble might be the right countertop for you.

QUARTZ

Pros: Quartz is the man-made version of marble, so you get the beauty of the real stuff, combined with great engineering that has gotten rid of the flaws, making quartz stain, scratch, head, acid, and impact resistant. It's also a non-porous surface, so you don't ever have to reseal it - you gotta love low maintenance.

Cons: Like the real thing, quartz can get chipped, particularly on the corners and edges, and the repair work requires a professional.

We here at Square Deal Construction Company love quartz. We always include it as an option in our kitchen remodel estimates because we think it's so great! If you like the look of marble, but you have a budget and you actually use your kitchen on a daily basis, quartz is probably the countertop for you. To see what your kitchen would look like with quartz, check out Cambria's online app DragonVision, or if you have iOS, you can use the Cambria AR app.

GRANITE

Pros: Granite comes in a huge variety of color options and variations, and it can be polished (shiny) or honed (matte). Once it's been sealed, granite is non-porous so it's easy to clean. It's also mostly resistant to heat, cuts, and scratches.

Cons: Needs to be sealed! Seriously, granite absorbs absolutely everything if it's not professionally and properly sealed, and periodically resealed. Another con is how easy it is for the corners to get chipped.

Because they are anything but man-made, granite countertops are one-of-a-kind. If you don't mind a little more maintenance for your counters, and you are possibly interested in more rare colors, granite just might be what you're looking for. You can see what different granite colors look like in a kitchen with the Keystone Kitchen Visualizer.

CONCRETE

Pros: Because concrete is so sturdy, it's almost completely stain, heat, and water resistant, as long as it's been properly sealed. It's also super easy to customize - everything from the thickness to the edges to the color to the finish can be customized.

Cons: Concrete will patina (darken in color) over time and it does require periodic maintenance such as resealing to keep it in tip top shape.

If you're going for a more unique, very stylized aesthetic in your kitchen, concrete might be just the countertop you need.

RECYCLED GLASS

Curava  Recycled Glass Surfaces from  Keystone Granite

Curava Recycled Glass Surfaces from Keystone Granite

Pros: Recycled glass countertops are super unique and fun. They have large pieces of glass to significantly more finely ground pieces. It's also mostly resistant to cuts, scratches, and heat, although that varies by manufacturer.

Cons: The two biggest cons for recycled glass surfaces is that they can stain and how wide a cost range there is.

If you want a more colorful, eco-friendly kitchen, recycled glass is a good way to go, although you should definitely do more research into which manufacturers are better.

BUTCHER BLOCK

Pros: Butcher block brings some often much-needed warmth and character to a kitchen, and it is a great way to have multi-use surfaces. They are also extremely sanitary when they've been properly sealed. 

Cons: Butcher block needs to be sealed and oiled regularly to stay in good condition. It's not a great material to put around a sink because of how wet the sink area usually is, but it's a good option for a counter space near the oven or as an island top. The wood is also susceptible to scratches and dents, just like a regular cutting board.

If you like a more natural look, and you need multi-functional space, you should consider adding some butcher block to your kitchen.

 

You can find more information on countertop materials at these locations: Studio McGee's rundown of countertop surfaces pros and cons; Consumer Reports "Best Countertops for Busy Kitchens" report; Stock Cabinet Express's comparison of granite versus quartz; the Countertop Preview consumer toolbox Countertop Comparison Chart; Jenna Burger's helpful rundown of materials; Zillow's guide; and Lindsay Stephenson's revisit of quartz countertops.


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Best Practices for Picking a Paint Color

Picking a color to paint a room in your home, or your home itself, can be daunting. There are hundreds of thousands of colors, shades, and tints. There are a few ways you can get started. One way is to decide what kind of mood you want the color to evoke. You can learn more about color and mood in our Color Theory 101 rundown. Another thing you can do is look at pictures you’ve liked on Pinterest or a similar website or app. Is there a common color or theme that sticks out to you?

Once you have a general idea of the color you want, it’s time to get specific. Here are a couple attack plans for figuring out exactly what color and shade you want without having to stand at the paint counter at your local home improvement store and look at every single color option to narrow down the playing field. Find a picture that has the color you want and upload it to the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap tool on your phone or computer. The ColorSnap tool will give you a color palette based on the colors in that picture. Here’s one I made:

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Another thing you can do is go to the Pantone Color Finder. From here, you can select a color, hit submit, and it will give you 100 shades of that color.

 
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You can click on any of the shade options and it will give you the color value details.

 
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You can then take that color into your local paint/home improvement store, and ask them to color match it.

A great way to narrow down the options is to ask for samples of a few colors you like, and then paint a 1-foot square on your wall of each to see what it would look like in that room and with the lighting in that room. Sometimes a color looks great in theory, but then you get it on a wall and it’s not what you were expecting. 

If you’re nervous about painting a whole wall or room, you can use the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer to upload a picture of your room and test out different paint colors in seconds.

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A lot of companies also provide a “Color of the Year” or a “Color of the Month” for the trend-seekers out there. Check out a few of them here: Pantone, Benjamin Moore, Valspar, PPG, and Sherwin-Williams.

Something else to consider is a color palette or scheme. If you are more of a tactile person, check out The Color Scheme Bible by Anna Starmer – while it was written in 2005 and a bit outdated in terms of what’s trending, the “Color Palette Dictionary” that makes up the majority of the book has some good ideas for combining different colors in a room. You can also use this helpful infographic.

When it’s time to buy your paint, remember that a gallon of paint can cover up to 400 square feet, so consider how many coats you’ll need and plan accordingly. If you aren’t sure how many square feet you are working with, check out this handy calculator from Glidden


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Color Theory 101

THE BASICS

The phrase "color theory" may sound like something art students would care about and not much else, but I think any one who ever plans on even looking at paint colors should have an understanding of some basic color theory.

If you have a basic high school education, you probably know that there are six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. (Science makes the distinction between blues, adding in indigo as a seventh color, but we're going to stick to Art's six colors for this conversation.)

There are cool colors - blue, green, and purple - and there are warm colors - red, orange, and yellow.

Red, yellow, and blue are called primary colors because they combine to make all the secondary colors - green, orange, and purple.

There are also tertiary colors: red-purple, red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-purple. This is when a secondary color has more of one primary color than the other.

(color wheel courtesy of  pixabay )

(color wheel courtesy of pixabay)

HUES V. TINTS V. SHADES V. TONES

Hue: a pure color

Tint: a hue with white added

Shade: a hue with black added

Tone: a hue with grey added

PAIRING AND COMBINING COLORS

There are many different ways colors can be paired and combined.

Complementary colors are the most basic combination of colors. Complementary colors sit directly across from each other on the color wheel. Basic examples of complementary colors include: red and green; blue and orange; yellow and purple.

Analogous colors are 3-4 colors who sit adjacent to one another on the color wheel. For example, blue-purple, purple, and red-purple. Analogous colors give off a harmonious feeling.

Split-Complementary might be a bit confusing, so follow me on this one: the main color and the two colors adjacent to the main color's complementary color. So say your main color is red. It's complementary color is green, so red's split-complementary colors would be yellow-green and blue-green. (Now might be a good time to scroll back up to the color wheel.)

Triadic colors are 3 colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel. This one can get confusing depending on the color wheel you look at because everyone spaces things a bit differently, but just as a basic reference, the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) are also a triadic pairing, as are the secondary colors.

THE NEXT STEP: COLOR PSYCHOLOGY

Now to the important stuff - colors express emotion. This might seem like a "duh" moment, but not everyone is aware that colors have as strong of an effect as the do. So the following sections will go into a bit of detail about what each color can symbolize and some of the physical effects they may have. (Keep in mind that this is specifically as these colors relate to Western Culture.)

activating, adventurous, anger, antagonistic, assertive, country, courageous, cultivated, danger, demanding, desire, dramatic, dynamic, earthy, elegant, energy, established, exciting, expanding, expensive, heat, hot, impulsive, love, magnetic, mature, motivating, overly-aggressive, passion, powerful, provocative, refined, rich, robust, spontaneous, stimulating, stirring, strength, sturdy, sumptuous, tasty, temperamental, violent, warlike, warm, warning

It is best to use red minimally, as it physically stimulates the heart, raises blood pressure and heart rates, and makes the viewer feel a sense of urgency almost lending to anxiety.

active, affordable, animated, childlike, communicative, confidence, courage, energizing, expansive, fire, food, friendly, frivolous, fruitful, fun, glowing, good-natured, gregarious, happy, harvest, hot, ignorance, jovial, juicy, loud, optimistic, persuasive, raucous, self-assured, sluggishness, sociable, spontaneous, success, sunset, tangy, vital, warmth, whimsical

Orange is friendly and inviting, and it depicts movement and energy. Viewing orange will stimulate the logic center of the brain, but too much of it can cause anxiety.

abundant, autumn, awareness, betrayal, bright, buttery, caution, cheering, comfort, cowardice, creativity, easy, energetic, enlightening, friendly, fun, happiness, hazard, hospitable, hot, illuminating, innovative, intellect, irresponsible, jewelry, joy, lively, luminous, mellow, multi-cultural, nourishing, optimism, original, perky, pleasing, radiating, soft, stimulating, sunbaked, sunshine, surprise, sweet, tasty, unstable, warm, wheat

Yellow gives the impression of happiness and cheerfulness. The purest yellow is seen as child-like, while darker shades are considered more antiquated. Like orange, yellow can stimulate the logic center of the brain, but again, beware of long-term exposure leading to anxiety.

acidic, artsy, balance, bold, calm, camouflage, citrusy, classic, cool, drab, earth, environment, envy, fertility, finance, forest, fresh, gaudy, grass, growth, guilt, harmony, healing, health, hushed, jealousy, jewel-like, life, lightweight, lively, luck, lush, luxurious, military, mold, money, natural, neutral, new, new beginnings, prosperity, pungent, quiet, reassurance, refreshing, rejuvenating, reliable, renewal, restful, safari, sharp, sickening, slimy, soothing, spring, startling, stately, tacky, tart, traditional, trendy, trustworthy, up-scale, youthful

Green is representational of balance and harmony, stability and affluence. In fact, it even stimulate harmony in the brain, between the body and the emotions, which can aid in making decisions quickly and strongly.

aids concentration, aloof, aquatic, authoritative, basic, brisk, calming, clarify thoughts, classic, clean, coldness, compassionate, confident, conservative, constant, contentment, convivial, cool, cordial, creativity, credible, dependable, depression, distant, dreamy, electric, energy, envy, exhilarating, expansive, faithful, fear, femininity, flags, gemstone, genial, healing, heavenly, high spirits, impressive, infinity, integrity, introspective, lightweight, lively, loyalty, masculinity, melancholy, oceans, open, patient, peaceful, protection, quiet, reassuring, refreshing, reliable, restful, sadness, security, serene, sky, soft, sophisticated, spiritual, sprightly, stirring, strong, tasteful, thought-provoking, traditional, tranquility, transcendent, tropical, true, trust, vibrant, water, young

Blue is the best of both worlds - it's calm and friendly but also social. It can curb appetite and stimulate productivity.

abundance, aloof, ambition, contemplative, creativity, curative, dignity, distant, dramatic, enchanting, expressive, fanciful, imagination, intensely exciting, introspective, intuitive, lightweight, luxury, meditative, moodiness, mysterious, nobility, nostalgic, peace of mind, prestigious, protective, rich, romantic, royalty, sensual, sentimental, soul-searching, spiritual, subduing, thoughtful, thrilling, visionary, wealth, wistful, witty

Deep purple is considered to be evidence of wealth and luxury, while paler purple is spring-like and romantic. Purple stimulates the problem solving area of the brain and aids in creativity.

(includes peach and coral) action, affectionate, attention-getting, compassionate, composed, cozy, danger, delicate, delicious, desire, dusky, embracing, exciting, feminine, festive, flexibility, flirtatious, fragile, fruity, fuzzy, gaudy, gentle, happy, healthy, high-energy, hot, immaturity, innocent, intimate, inviting, life force, modest, nostalgic, physical comfort, playful, romantic, sensual, sentimental, soft, stimulation, subtle, sweet, tactile, tender, theatrical, tropical, vibrant, weak, wild, youthful

NEUTRALS

(includes taupe) authentic, basic, bland, boring, classic, compromising, conservative, crisp, dependable, discreet, dull, flexible, inconspicuous, modest, neutral, organic, outdoor, practical, quality, rugged, rustic, tasteless, timeless, versatile, woodsy

appetizing, comfort, conservative, delicious, dogmatic, durable, earthy, experience, friendly, grounded, longevity, natural, outdoors, practical, reliable, rich, robust, rooted, secure, sheltering, solid, stable, steady, supportive, traditional, warm, wholesome

accountable, balance, basic, classic, conformist, conscientious, conservative, corporate, deliberate, detached, dull, dutiful, efficient, enduring, formal, fundamental, gloomy, intelligence, lack of energy, logical, mature, methodical, modest, neutrality, practical, professional, quality, reliability, reserved, resolute, responsible, restrained, sad, security, sober, solid, sophisticated, staunch, steadfast, timeless, unobtrusive

basic, bold, classic, classy, death, depression, dramatic, elegance, empowering, evil, expensive, formality, heavy, intimidation, invulnerable, magical, menacing, modern, mourning, mysterious, nighttime, oppression, powerful, prestigious, protection, sober, sophisticated, strong, stylish, suppression, underworld, wealth

airy, arctic, bridal, bright, clarity, classic, clean, clinical, cold, comforting, creamy, easy, efficient, emptiness, ethereal, fresh, good taste, goodness, hope, innocence, isolation, lightweight, natural, neutral, openness, pristine, pure, silent, simplicity, smooth, soft, spotless, sterile, subtle, warm, winter

White can spark a sense of creativity as it is often viewed as a clean slate.

METALS

bling, divine, dreamer, egotistical, expensive, gaudy, glowing, greed, intuitive, luxurious, opulent, prestigious, prosperity, radiant, rich, self-righteous, traditional, valuable, wealth, wisdom

classy, cool, dreamer, dull, glamorous, graceful, high-tech, indecisive, insecure, modern, non-committal, sleek, stylish

RESOURCES

If you are interested in learning more about color theory and the psychology of color, Pinterest has a lot of great infographics, your local library will more than likely have books on the subject, and you can check your local art school or community college for color theory classes.