Pantone Color of the Year: Emerald - Quicken Loans Zing BlogIn 2013, everyone’s going green, and I don’t just mean environmentally.

The color experts at Pantone have chosen a new color of the year: Emerald (Pantone 17-5641), for its elegance and ability to enhance a sense of harmony.

Emerald is not only the birthstone of yours truly…its lush, radiant color has been adored by Cleopatra, encrusted in royal treasures around the world, and considered a stone of protection for thousands of years.

Embracing Emerald 

While some may have rolled their eyes when the color of the year was announced, I got excited. To me, emerald green is one of the few colors that everyone looks great in, no matter what skin tone you have. It’s a happy color, a natural part of earth’s color scheme and consequently a color of calm and refreshment. Who would roll their eyes at that?

You may not have been a fan of last year’s Tangerine Tango, but something as natural as the color of grass? That’s something to rave about. I’m not saying to break out a bucket of high-gloss and paint your living room green, but adding Emerald accents into your décor can add a splash of color that’s rich, inviting, and did I mention, seasonless?

Not sure where to start? Typically, decorators use some form of the 60/30/10 rule, where a room features a dominant color (60%), a secondary color (30%) and an accent color (10%). With Emerald being such a vibrant shade, it makes for a great 10% of a room.

Bold Emerald Accents

Here are a few home décor accent ideas to help you embrace Emerald and all of its jewel-toned beauty.

  • Pillow/Pillow Cover: You can find geometric, leafy prints, or embroidered designs that incorporate Emerald at many home décor and department stores.
  • Rug: Placed under a coffee table, or as a splash of color against your normal flooring, a rug can add dimension and character to a room.
  • Live Plants/Faux Greens: If you don’t have a green thumb and suspect you may kill a real plant in a week’s time, there are plenty of real-looking faux greens available at your local craft store. From topiaries to faux grass squares to cacti, you can find replicas of the real thing that fit into your décor. Place a couple on your kitchen windowsill, an end table, or as a centerpiece in your dining room.
  • Photo Frame: If you have dark furniture, placing your favorite photos in a beautiful green frame takes your wood pieces and makes them even more classic. If you have light-colored furniture, a green frame can make any tabletop look airy, fresh, and updated.
  • Vase/Apothecary Jar: Consider buying small, one-stem vases in different shades of green and placing them in a line or cluster on your mantle. You can add flowers for a spring look, or branches for an earthy one. If you can’t find green vases to your liking, purchase clear glass apothecary jars of different heights and fill them with green acrylic gems or sea glass from your local craft store.
  • Lamp/Lampshade: Bring color to an otherwise dreary corner of a room by adding some light. A green lamp doesn’t mean your room has to look like a law library. Décor stores such as HomeGoods and Pier 1 offer all kinds of plain or clear lamp bases that only call for the addition of a decorative green lampshade.
  • Tableware: Green doesn’t have to be reserved for the holidays when it comes to your dining room. Plates, bowls, and servingware with Emerald green designs on them can make for a fun and refreshing dining experience. Or consider green-tinted goblets in place of your everyday glassware to complement the dishware you already own.
  • Linens: If you aren’t ready for new plates and glasses, try incorporating Emerald into your table linens. From tablecloths and runners, to placemats and napkins, your table settings will look classy and elegant even when you’re just sitting down for a bowl of cereal.
  • Towels: Emerald green towels in the bathroom can create a calming and serene environment to unwind and relax. To totally transform your bathroom, select a shower curtain or bathmat in a coordinating green or complementary color. Place a couple of aromatherapy green candles on the counter of the sink to tie the look together.
  • Art: Transform your wall or just a little space of it with artwork or photography that features the color of the year. It should be an image you don’t mind serving as a focal point on the wall. Choose nature scenes, watercolor or modern geometric graphics depending on your existing décor.

Coordinating Colors:

You’d be hard pressed to find a color that doesn’t go well with emerald green, but there are definitely ones that truly complement this royal hue. It’s lucky 2013, so here are 13 of my recommendations:






Light Blue

Light Pink




Sapphire Blue



It’s easy to incorporate the Pantone color of the year in your home affordably and with minimal effort.  Have you embraced Emerald? How have you decorated with Emerald at home?


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *