Cyan Designs Murano glass chandelier, houzz.com

Decorating with Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year


A couple of months ago, I shared Color of the Year picks from paint companies such as Benjamin Moore, Behr and Sherwin-Williams. But the color announcement that really juices up the creative community is the one from the Pantone Color Institute. And this week, it declared that the 2018 Color of the Year will be Ultra Violet.

In a press statement, Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, describes the color in philosophical terms: “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.”

Pretty heady stuff, especially as she adds, “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

As expected, the choice pleased some and annoyed others. Purple is polarizing. As much as I love color, I don’t use a lot of purple around the house. I don’t mind the color — it’s just very bold and can easily overpower a room. I do have a purple blender in my kitchen; I didn’t realize I was so on trend.

So how can you incorporate Ultra Violet in your own decorating? Here are some tips, along with some fun décor items that will give your home a nice pop of purple.

Ground it in neutrals

T-Fal nonstick cookware set, kohls.com

Ultra Violet looks fantastic with white, black or gray. This shade of purple can teeter between dramatic and juvenile, and these neutrals push the color to the regal side.

Punctuate with purple

Cobi desk chair, poppin.com

A little goes a long way with Ultra Violet. Too much of it, and people will think you’re Prince (or Miss Piggy). Use it as an accent color in pillows, throws, frames or area rugs. Avoid an entire room painted in this hue. Instead, use it on an accent wall or alcove for a touch of drama.

Mix with other colors

The boldness of Ultra Violet can be softened when it’s presented with other hues in the same color family. Think mauve, blue or lavender. Pastels such as pink and mint also can make this deep purple more compatible to your decorating scheme.

Spray paint with it

Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer, williams-sonoma.com

If you have an old décor piece that you’re tired of, say an accent table or framed mirror, spray paint it with some high-gloss purple paint. High-gloss spray paint can turn the most boring item into a glamorous showpiece. And when it’s purple — clutch my pearls!

Try it in a small room

Laural Home decorative pillow, overstock.com

Bold colors like Ultra Violet work well in small spaces like powder rooms. You get to experience the drama, but you’re not overwhelmed by a lot of square footage devoted to purple. It could turn out to be your favorite room in the house.


Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow.” You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.

+