Color of the Year 2013

cottage dining room with emerald green and white tableclothIt’s official! It’s Emerald, the color of money – just in time.

Back many years ago, when I was a food writer at the Chicago Tribune and later at Newsday, I would produce the annual “in and out” list. I loved doing that because it was easy to see how things had changed thoughout the year. But unlike the world of fashion and restaurants, home décor trends move very slowly. You can be crazy for a color on a piece of clothing but it’s quite a different matter on a couch. That’s why the annual naming of “the” new color by the Pantone folks can be exciting or, like last year (Tangerine Tango) merely amusing. Some hipster will buy an orange sofa but how quickly will that look dated? Emerald, Pantone Color of the Year 2013

Still, the news is  that Emerald — “the color of prosperity,” as they are delicately phrasing it — is back. It was a huge color during the 1970s when the late, great Yves St. Laurent – still my favorite designer ever! – used emerald a lot. Of course, it’s also the color of Christmas, a major precious gem, and clover [used in the tablecloth, top].

Chinese Art Deco rug with emerald green field or backgroundI confess to actually having owned a pair of emerald-colored St. Laurent bell bottoms and matching Gucci shoes (long gone) as well as this  Chinese Art Deco living room rug with an emerald green background (which I sold in 2007). Lately I’ve gone for more subtle greens but emerald remains a favorite.

Noritake Fitzgerald dinner plate with emerald green and gold decorationIn small doses, emerald china can be great. Noritake’s Fitzgerald sets a striking table (Wedgewood’s vintage Powder Green Ulander is the predecessor of this style, popular during the ‘60s, that lives today only at Replacements).

Emerald green Venini Fazzoletti Murano glass vaseBarney’s New York sells the chic Italian Murano glass Venini Fazzoletti vase.

Flavor Paper's emerald and gold Starglint wallpaperAnyone who loves wallpaper should check out Flavor Paper, which has some mad designs including this emerald-and-gold Starglint paper pattern.

emerald green goatskin console "bracelet" table in the style of Karl SpringerFor me, this “bracelet” console table is a little scary looking but, thinking back, a lot of the fashion and the furniture from the 1970s could be described that way (including my green rug). The finish was meant to mimic malachite. Then again, in the right house – say a huge monochromatic loft with reclaimed wood, tons of concrete and natural light, this table could be nothing short of emerald city.

(Source: housetohome, Pantone, Barney’sNY, FlavorPapers,, 1stdibs)

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  1. Spring Accent Color | Atticmag | Kitchens, Bathrooms, Interior Design - December 22, 2013

    […] is showing up everywhere. Fabulously or hideously (perhaps both) I lived with a Chinese Art Deco emerald green rug for many years and still find it a challenge for home décor. So what’s fresh and great I asked […]

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