Pantone Color of the Year: Emerald

N ow that we are well into 2013 I’d like to review Pantone’s color of the year, “EMERALD”, and how it’s being used.

Emerald, Pantone Color of the Year

Even as the perfect color for an economy that’s “on the mend”, I admit that this choice surprised me a bit this year. I was betting money on lilac based on it’s current popularity in design magazines.   Pantone considers more than design though when choosing this honor, and I’ll freely admit I didn’t make it to the auto shows this year.

Pantone ( is the “world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries.”  They are responsible for most of what is available on the mass retail market by following high style, cutting edge visionaries in numerous industries and emerging trends.  Their system is ideal for assembling creative palettes and conceptual color schemes, as well as providing color communication and control in the manufacturing process. After distilling this information they publish forecasts, which are then bought by most companies (from graphic arts, fashion, home interior to industrial design and consumer markets) and used as a reference when making product decisions. 


Spain: Restrooms and Restaurants

I  can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since I visited Spain.  While the architecture and food were wonderful, one of the things that stand out the most in my mind is —THE BATHROOMS .  Can you believe it?  Here in the US, commercial design for bathrooms is often an afterthought.  Money is invested in the dining area and kitchens while the bathrooms “just need to be nice and clean”.

My husband laughs at me because everywhere we go, I like to check out the ladies room to size up the true design of the place.  Of course trips abroad are no exception, and I was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful the bathrooms were in Spain (as opposed to Greece).

To my husband’s horror, I had to take pictures (I got few stares from patrons too) of the best of the bunch.

Restroom Door with "tongue in cheek" graphics

This was a bathroom in Barcelona, which was in the basement so I was a little worried at what I would find inside.  I smiled at the tongue in check signs on the door but once inside, I laughed out loud.  Back at the table I begged my husband to go tell me what was in the men’s room but sadly he didn’t need to use the facilities!

This restroom was unexpected since it was set in a more traditional style restaurant. From the look of the door, you wouldn’t expect something so fun when you entered.  I loved the way the papers wrapped around on the floor and over to a modern wash area.

Newspapered RestroomRestroom with Newspapered floor

Newspapered Restroom



Spain: Exteriors and Entryways

While traveling through Spain, time and again I was impressed with the importance placed on hospitality and the Spaniard’s desire to make me feel welcome.  This was most obviously displayed in the lavish exteriors and entryways I saw throughout Spain.

Tiled Entryway in Seville

 Most of the buildings that were relatively simple on the outside, added flower boxes and bright punches of color to help it feel sunny and bright.

Exterior with Flower Boxes in Segovia


Arched Entry of Mezquita


Stylish Stairwell in Barcelona

Tiled Stairway in Granada

Once you walked through the front door you were treated with a feast for the eyes!  Often small, these entries were lavishly decorated with beautiful tiles and designs, inviting you into the space. Even the modern designs added color or architectural details to make the transitional areas stand on their own.



This got me thinking about the homes here in Colorado.  Our foyers or entries are often smaller than homes in other parts of the country, thus they are often overlooked and under-decorated areas.  This doesn’t have to be the case.  As you can see from the pictures, you can do a lot with a little.

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