Julie Nelson

As a self-diagnosed green fanatic, I was excited to hear about the Pantone Color Institute’s 2013 color of the year: emerald.

Since my teen years, I have had a passion for the color in all its shades. I even named my daughter Erin because I wanted her to have a “green” name. The name is traceable back to the Emerald Isle and is said to mean “Ireland” in the Gaelic language.  

The Pantone Color Institute is a national voice in the color trend industry; they influence home décor, fashion and everything in between. Emerald — Pantone color 17-5641 — is a rich, bluish green. It is a lively color with a robust personality.    

Emerald can be sophisticated and subdued or playful and energetic, depending on what it is paired with or how it is used. Pairing emerald with deep earth or jewel tones will bring out that sophistication, whereas combining it with turquoise or other vibrant colors will bring out its playful side. Upholstering a sofa in rich emerald velvet is sophisticated; a giant emerald-green print bean bag chair is playful.

When using emerald, you can go daring with wall coverings or window treatments or you can keep it unobtrusive by using it to modestly accent a space through pillows and accessories.  Makers of home fabrics and furnishings have jewel-hued greens ready for consumers and designers.

For me, emerald immediately brings to mind brilliant precious gems. It’s cultured and luxurious.  It is also a color endowed with so much added meaning, including growth, renewal, prosperity, healing and unity. According to Leatrice Eisman, Pantone’s executive director, “Green is the most abundant hue in nature; the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.”

Deep green has long symbolized prosperity and good fortune, and this elegant emerald feels particularly serene. The look and feel of home décor is continuing to trend toward comfort and relaxation.   

Emerald also satisfies another trend for 2013: A longing for luxury. What better color is there for an economy that’s hopefully on the mend? People are coming out of the financial leanness of the last few years and they want to put the glamour back in their homes.  

In 2013, we will see many rich colors — dazzling purples, rich browns and multiple jewel tones.

Bold colors lead to bold patterns. Expect to see geometric prints in home furniture and accessories and wallpaper. Ethnic-inspired Ikat and Moroccan designs will be prevalent.

I suggested using emerald in unexpected places. It’s a wonderful accent color that can be used inside of bookcases or in a luxurious throw blanket.

Give your room an unexpected twist with emerald.

Circle Pines resident Julie Nelsen, an instructor at St. Catherine University, designs for Twin Cities interior design firm Live, Love and Design. Reach her at julie@liveloveanddesign.com.

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