Introducing Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018: Ultra Violet

It seems like 2017 went by in a rush for just about everyone, but as the year draws to a close, it’s time to slow down and think about the year to come. Everyone from car companies to fashion designers are already rolling out new models and predictions for 2018, but one of my favorites (and certainly one of the most important in the design world!) is Pantone’s color of the year. This year’s pick is Ultra Violet – a color that represents “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking.”  Not only is this a prediction of one of the top colors in design and fashion for the next year, but also a color to help set the mood so you can start 2018 on the right foot.

Incorporating Ultra Violet Into Your Decor

Ultra Violet is a bold, assertive color that is potent enough to dominate a color scheme even in small doses, but can produce a beautiful look when used with a skillful hand (by Mod & Stanley Design Inc.)
Ultra Violet is a bold, assertive color that is potent enough to dominate a color scheme even in small doses, but can produce a beautiful look when used with a skillful hand (by Mod & Stanley Design Inc.)

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On paper, I’m a big fan of this year’s pick: it’s a lovely color, and I’m totally on board with the sentiment that “inventiveness and imagination” are “what’s needed in our world today.” That said, Ultra Violet can be a tough color to work with when it comes to interior design. A little bit goes a long way, the color changes pretty dramatically based on light levels, and unless you’re really a fan of purple, too much of a good thing can be a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for a small accent that can pack a lot of punch, though, or to add a little drama to a room, Ultra Violet might be right up your alley.

Paint An Accent Wall

Paired with other deep, earthy colors, an ultra violet headboard wallcan make a soothing addition to a bedroom - perfect for promoting sleep and relaxation (by Joan Stapelman)
Paired with other deep, earthy colors, an ultra violet headboard wall can make a soothing addition to a bedroom – perfect for promoting sleep and relaxation (by Joan Stapelman)

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One of my very favorite ways to use this year’s color of the year – and one of the easiest if you’re looking for a quick weekend project – is to paint a small accent – like a headboard wall, fireplace surround, reading nook, or really just any single wall in your home that you’d like to draw attention to. Ultra Violet is a deep, rich blue-based purple that will absolutely make any wall you put it on pop, but set against white or off-white walls in the rest of the room, it’ll be a bright bit of color rather than feeling overwhelmingly purple.

Swap Out Your Accessories

Just a few ultra violet colored accents can take over a room's color scheme, so use this color with a gentle touch (photo by James Yochum)
Just a few ultra violet colored accents can take over a room’s color scheme, so use this color with a gentle touch (photo by James Yochum)

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Another good, relatively subtle way to incorporate Pantone’s color of the year into your decor is with accessories – specifically your linens, like pillows, towels, curtains, bedding, area rugs, or blankets, or other small accessories like lamps, lamp shades, vases, or artwork. Even a little bit will stand out, so in a room with a neutral color scheme, coordinated Ultra Violet accents can single-handedly change the appearance of your space, giving it a vibrant yet soothing look and feel.

Make A Statement With Ultra Violet Accent Furniture

If you want to add an eye-catching pop of color that's a little more permanent than a throw pillow, consider dressing up your space with a purple chair or two (by TS Design)
If you want to add an eye-catching pop of color that’s a little more permanent than a throw pillow, consider dressing up your space with a purple chair or two (by TS Design)

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Maybe my favorite way to use Ultra Violet, though, is with accent furniture. While you might find yourself regretting buying a big purple sofa even before 2019’s color predictions start cropping up, purple upholstery can actually work really well on something a little smaller, like a decorative arm chair, ottoman, chaise, or even for a sleek dining set. The material you choose will obviously have a bit of an impact on the look, but there’s basically nothing more regal than a little bit of purple velvet, and a simpler fabric is a great way to add a little pop of color that accentuates your room without overwhelming it.

Lean Into The Look And Go Ultra (?) Violet

An all-purple room certainly isn't for the faint of heart, but the result can be incredibly striking
An all-purple room certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, but the result can be incredibly striking

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Of course, if you are someone who really, really likes purple, 2018 is your time to shine. A floor-to-ceiling Ultra Violet color scheme isn’t one you should rush into lightly, but the final effect can actually be really lovely. A purple-on-purple decor can be soothing, and per Pantone’s write up about the color, it can help create a meditative space that can provide “refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.” Even just painting your walls Ultra Violet can help create a space that’s both mentally relaxing and creatively stimulating, helping revitalize and rejuvenate the mind.

Take It Literally – UV Lighting For A Cinematic Aesthetic

Installing ultraviolet lights might be taking Pantone's color of the year a little too literally, but it's also a great way to get a chic, futuristic look in a modern home (by Cassidy Hughes Interior Design + Styling)
Installing ultraviolet lights might be taking Pantone’s color of the year a little too literally, but it’s also a great way to get a chic, futuristic look in a modern home (by Cassidy Hughes Interior Design + Styling)

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The whole idea behind Pantone’s color of the year is that it’s looking to the future – shaping what 2018 will look like by making predictions about what it ought to look like. But while a lot of that means paint chips, fabric swatches, and makeup palettes, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another place that Ultra Violet is making a splash: in cinematic lighting color schemes. Blacklights and mixed blue, pink, and purple fluorescent lights have cropped up as the lighting effect of “the future” in everything from Guardians of the Galaxy to Bladerunner 2049, and while I’m not advocating switching all your bulbs to blacklights, having a little fun with your lighting can actually be a great way to give your home a futuristic feel and give you the energy you need to become your own action hero in 2018!