Color Reflections

A Look at How Pratt & Lambert’s 2016 Color Trends Defined the Year in Design

December is crowded with holiday parties, shopping expeditions, and decorating sprees. But the festive season is also an occasion for reflection, for looking back at the trends that have impacted the past year.

Paradigm, Pratt & Lambert’s 2016 trend forecast, introduced four striking color palettes: Odyssey, Urban Jungle, Heirloom, and Catalyst. Over the past year, we’ve kept our eyes out for how the colors of Paradigm have inspired the world of design and interiors. It should come as no surprise that many of these colors were the stars at some of the biggest trade shows as well as in the work of some of the designers and stylists that we most admire.

Here is a quick look at how Paradigm has added color to our lives in the past year.



The colors of Odyssey were inspired by the bioluminescence of the deepest depths of the sea and the darkness of deep space. This color palette brought the remotest limits of human experience to our homes.

The Odyssey palette predicted the biggest color trend of 2016—Faded Rose 6-13, which was named Pratt & Lambert’s 2016 Color of the Year. Back in October, designer Kate Martindale raved about Pratt & Lambert’s selection of pinks, especially airy Pink Hibiscus 2-2. In November, we gave a shout out to designer Kim Markel’s pink Glow Chairs. The color of these cast-resin pieces shifts between Jessie 5-10 and Ballerina 29-1, depending on the light. All of these shades of pink suggest the magical light of deep-ocean jellyfish, and they force us to consider that even in the deepest depths of the ocean, there is still color.

Pink Hibiscus 2-2

Jessie 5-10

Faded Rose 6-13

Ballerina 29-1

Odyssey’s Purple Nite 30-17 and Designer White 33-1 lift us to the other extreme of our world—outer space. Together, these colors create a contrast reminiscent of a starry night sky. We noticed this same fusion of metallic whites and ebonies in the industrial tones that dominated the fall Maison & Objet show in Paris. The metal-and-glass pieces from Eichholtz, the famed Dutch design firm, had the sort of modern edge that we so closely associate with the limits of the galaxy.

Designer White 33-1

Purple Nite 30-17

Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle

The Urban Jungle palette took its cue from the proliferation of eco-conscious design. This palette honored the tribal cultures that have influenced our thinking when it comes to sustainability, and this was shown in the patterns and raw earthy tones that made Urban Jungle so eye-catching. Juxtaposed with these tropical tones were the more refined man-made elements that adjusted the palette to accommodate a more metropolitan lifestyle.

Bright greens, such as Envy’s Eyes 17-14, were essential to the Urban Jungle palette, and we’ve been seeing these everywhere in the past year. At New York Fashion Week, we spotted bright emerald in Tory Burch’s latest collection. That emerald reminded us of the malachite accents that Christina Wressel highlighted as an interior design trend, particularly when paired with dark tones, such as Oxford Deep 11-17.

Envy’s Eyes 17-14

Oxford Deep 11-17

Urban Jungle is centered around a single glowing object—the tropical sun. Blazing yellows, like Urban Jungle’s Country Kitchen 15-12, made too many appearances to count, but among those that really made an impression was a similar shade of yellow, Sutter’s Gold 12-7, which shined a light in the dining room of the Traditional Home New Orleans Showhouse. Designed by William McLure Interiors, this room added a splash of modern color to the 1895 Queen Anne Victorian Home. Another yellow we couldn’t take our eyes off of was the Summer Petal 15-7 that Kyle Roberts used for the master-suite sitting room in the Hampton Designer Showhouse. This brilliant and beaming yellow will bring a refined yet tropical warmth to any room it graces.

Country Kitchen 15-12

Sutter’s Gold 12-7

Summer Petal 15-7



Heirloom was inspired by the artisanal movement that has returned handcrafted goods to the elevated status they truly deserve. The colors of Heirloom highlighted the materials and textures used by craftspeople, from the rough rope of basket weavers to the natural pigments used in ceramics.

One our favorite examples of this palette in action are the shibori pillows that stylist Christina Wressel pointed out to us during our November conversation. The shade of indigo utilized in the ancient shibori dyeing process resembles the weathered blue of Heirloom’s Monsoon 25-14. As denim, especially raw denim, continues to be used in more than just jeans, watch for all the ways this shade is used in the next year.

Monsoon 25-14

In that same conversation, Wressel also highlighted another color trend that Heirloom confidently predicted: grays are the new neutral. Shades such as Flint 32-20 and Trout 33-13 still allow bright accents to shine in a room, but they also add a depth and mood of their own. Two rooms in the 2016 Hampton Designer Showhouse perfectly illustrate how these new neutrals can transform a space. In the master suite, by Mabley Handler Interior Design, the gray agate of patterned fabrics catches and absorbs that legendary Hamptons light, which creates the calming effect you want in a bedroom. And in Kate Singer’s great room, her blue-tinted grays lend the space a similarly tranquil atmosphere by mimicking the shade of an evening ocean.

Flint 32-20

Trout 33-13



The fall Maison & Objet show, in Paris, was where this final palette from the Paradigm trend forecast really attracted attention. Every designer seemed to offer an interesting play on the saffron-and-persimmon tones of Brazil Brown 10-14 and Apple Candy 4-15. Whether it was the shag pillows by Jonathan Adler or one of Zac Posen’s vibrant print dresses, this striking color trend was impossible to miss.

Brazil Brown 10-14

Apple Candy 4-15

Catalyst was inspired by the shifting social and cultural winds of the larger world as well as by how a younger generation is stripping away restraints and tearing down barriers in response to these changes. In many ways, Catalyst is the “catalyst” for Captivate, Pratt & Lambert’s 2017 trend forecast. The four palettes introduced as part of Captivate all address the future and the myriad ways humanity is learning to convert the future’s challenges into opportunities. In Captivate, you will learn how cutting-edge technology is merging with a retro 1970s color palette. You will see why the the skin tones that are the product of a healthy, wellness-centered lifestyle have influenced the colors of organic and sustainable design. And most of all, you will experience the thrill and excitement that always accompany uncertainty.

But one thing is certain: The colors of Captivate will define the new year.