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Pantone Names ‘Very Peri’ As Color Of The Year

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Pantone has named

Pantone has named "Very Peri" as its 2022 Color of the Year.

Sophie Griffin on Jan 4, 2022

Every year, for the past 23 years, a group of experts from the Pantone Color Institute has combed the world looking for new color influences — from interior design, travel and entertainment to technology, sporting events and even socio-economic conditions — all in search for a hue that will shape trends for the next 12 months.

But 2022 is not an average year and, therefore, Pantone’s Color of the Year couldn’t be average either. It called for invention — in the form of the new Pantone 17-3938, a shade of periwinkle more colloquially known as “Very Peri.”

“Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our Pantone Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement. “As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us.”

The decision, announced by the color giant last month, was met with fanfare by the design world on both a global and local level. Pantone describes the periwinkle color as a future-facing one with “a carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit,” according to its website, with a dynamic mix of red and blue that will energize the year ahead.

“I was excited to see it,” said Shannon Willey, owner of Sea Green Designs in Southampton. “​​It goes with our coastal vibe, it’s definitely a cheerful and bright color. I thought it was also very interesting that they created a new color for the Color of the Year, which I don’t think is anything that they’ve ever done before.”

Following last year’s pair of colors — Ultimate Gray and a bright yellow named “Illuminating” — Very Peri speaks to an “altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives,” according to Pantone.

“As we move into a world of unprecedented change, the selection of Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri brings a novel perspective and vision of the trusted and beloved blue color family, encompassing the qualities of the blues,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement, “yet at the same time with its violet red undertone, Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expressions.”

Despite Pantone’s goal to forecast color trends, interior designer Jeffrey Parker — owner and president of Jeffrey Parker Interiors, based in East Hampton and New York — couldn’t help but reflect on periwinkle’s popularity through the ages.

“It’s always been a fascinating color to me, funnily enough,” he said. “I’m not always entirely enamored with the ‘Color of the Year,’ but this Very Peri actually does take me back. It was a color that was very popular, in fact, in the 1970s and early ’80s — but more importantly, it was a color that was very present in the Art Deco period.

“I don’t like to say colors are trends as much as they are cyclical,” he continued. “I think that's a natural thing for human beings. I think that we love things and then our attention span wanes, and we want something different. We want something fresh. We want to change. I think we are creatures not only of habit, but we are also creatures of change. It keeps us interested and involved and active. And the things that involve beauty around us are the same.”

Every year, a new color from Pantone brings a fresh perspective on the months to come, but how much these hues actually impact trends in interior design and beyond largely depends on a number of factors, according to Willey, among them locale.

“I think in some areas, people follow trends more often than others,” she said, “and I think it translates more into fashion rather than homes. People are not looking for trends in their homes. Our clients are typically looking for something that they’re not going to grow sick of over time. I do find that sometimes, in terms of smaller home accents, that’s where we’ll see those color trends come up.”

A pop of periwinkle can create contrast against a more neutral setting, Willey explained, and suggested pairing it with a brighter color, too.

“I can definitely see using this in accent pillows, trims on window treatments. I can even see this coming in on bedding, or even in floor coverings,” she said, adding, “I’m really looking forward to having a new color to play with in our coastal aesthetic — and I think that this is something that we could really have some fun with.”

Parker agreed that the color will makes its way into plenty of East End interiors, perhaps paired with deeper purples, reds and oranges.

“I absolutely think it’s a color that lends itself completely to residential design in the Hamptons,” he said. “I think it is a wonderful reflection of the sunsets on the East End. If you observe the sunsets regularly in the Hamptons, so often — and particularly going from fall into winter — you get these blazing red, orange and purple combinations. That, then, is softened by this sort of blue-gray and then there is this periwinkle color that comes through all of that.”

In the 1980s, Parker designed a west-facing Manhattan apartment with sunset views, he said. In taking inspiration from the setting sun, he used those same colors — leaning on textiles designed by Jack Lenor Larsen, who founded LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, that were “very much periwinkle, and they had these little shots of orange and red in them,” he recalled.

Today, Parker suggested playing with Very Peri against more contrasting tones — such as a periwinkle living room with oyster white trim, he said — or using it as a transition color that draws the eye to another part of the house.

“I imagine a wide arched, or cased, opening that was leading to, say, a dining room,” he said. “The dining room could have burnt orange lacquer walls. It would be fabulous to see the burnt orange through this opening from a periwinkle living room.”

Both Parker and Willey pointed out that trends aren’t always meant to be followed. In interior design, it is most important to create spaces based on perpetuity, not necessarily spontaneity, they said.

“I think the softness of this Very Peri is something that has a lot of longevity,” Parker said. “It’s a color that’s very easy to live with for a long time. I would happily use it in an interior space and feel very confident that, even in a few years, people are going to be happy living in that space with that color palette.”

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