Orange is the new Ultraviolet

11th January 2019

It’s that time of year. No, not mince pies and Rudolph but Pantone’s big announcement: Colour of the Year. There is undoubtedly a substantial amount of research, justification and rationale that goes into this. It can take us folk here at Paint the Town Green HQ a little while though to endorse their final choice.

We are passionate about colour. We may be a fairly small decorating company but we like to think big. It’s why we have our own range of eco-paint, a Nicky Haslam collection, a showroom and offer an in-house colour consultancy. Colour is at the heart of what we do. We speak to customers and homeowners daily about their colour choices. Colour is an extremely personal choice – can one colour alone really reflect the mood of the nation?

In 2017 – we were of course in love. Pantone’s colour that year was greenery. We blogged about it at the time. It reflected people’s desire to reconnect with nature. Traditionally associated with healing, greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. Pantone said that as life-affirming shade, greenery was emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality. 

From a paint perspective, green is also an extremely versatile colour for interiors. The right green can calm, energise or infuse a room with happiness. Soft greens ground a room; bright limes are invigorating; green with grey undertones give a sleek modern look and muted olives are wonderfully vintage. In essence, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signalled the desire for people ‘to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate’. We were 100% on board with this.

In 2018, Pantone reckoned Ultra Violet was where we were at, suggesting the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. Symbolic too of unconventional counter culture and artistic brilliance (Prince, David Bowie) where purple acted as personal expressions of individuality, Pantone claimed it symbolised experimentation and non-conformity. The colour they said is also associated with mindfulness practises offering a higher ground to those seeking refuge from an over-stimulated world.

Although we didn’t love it at first, we got there in the end. In a sense, it felt like Ultra Violet was a slightly more anarchical extension to the need for green. When announced it received mixed reviews. For us Agate and Pure and Simple sold well last year. Pure and Simple a calming lavender-infused tone and Agate a purple-brown from our Haslam range. So, overall we couldn’t deny Pantone were onto something, whether galactic neon is your thing or not.

This year however, we question whether Pantone’s accolade continues to be a true colour snapshot of the current global culture, representing overriding moods and attitudes. Politically and econonomically nothing much has changed. If anything, there is only more uncertainty than ever before.

The colour institute have just announced 2019’s colour of the year: Living Coral. With warmer neutrals predicted to steal back wall space from cool greys next year, it doesn’t feel completely out of kilter. Pantone say Living Coral ‘embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment’. It would seem the need for refuge continues. Pantone say ‘in reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy’.

Orange, Pantone continue, ‘is sociable and spirited. It welcomes and encourages light-hearted activity, symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits’. Having debated and reflected this, we have come to the conclusion that we salute Pantone for getting to the core and encapsulating a national truth through colour. We’d agree that the world at large is seeking hope and joy and rest bite. Doubtful it will ever happen mind but we say ‘hear hear’ to sociable and spirited. To a more simple and meaningful way of life. There is no better place than the home to welcome this. And the warmer hues that are making their way back into people’s homes will reflect this desire for connection.

Our colour palette lends itself very well to next year’s trends. From classic Dignity to Wuthering Heights, a muted green with a hint of grey through to Fade to Grey, a spot-on grey beige – we are all over the philosophy behind Pantone’s Living Coral. 2019 – we welcome you with open arms. Home is, afterall, where the heart is.



Paint the Town Green offer a full colour consultancy. Our eco-friendly paints have the lowest possible levels of VOCs making them a better choice for you and the environment. All water based, they are odourless, quick drying and come in three finishes: matt, wipeable or eggshell.

For more information about our paints or for a decorating quote, please visit our showroom at 39a&b Allfarthing Lane or call us on 020 8871 0531.

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