Interior Design

Do You Like Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year?

December  8, 2016

News broke, sometime in the wee hours of this morning, that Pantone has selected their new Color of the Year for 2017. As always, their choice is a mash-up of trends they've been seeing in the fashion and design world and a projection of sorts, hopeful or otherwise, on the year ahead. Last year's colors, rose quartz and a light blue called "serenity," were easy to like—easy on the eyes, easy to mix into the existing color schemes in our wardrobes and homes.

But this year's color—called Greenery, "a fresh and zesty yellow-green," as Pantone puts it—is a little more surprising, and complex. It's meant to symbolize everything from the "lushness of the great outdoors" to the reinvigorating nature of a deep breath, and also "reassurance" in the amidst of our currently tumultuous political climate.

Seems ironic.
Liz, who is astute
Photo by Pantone

As the New York Times has already pointed out, Greenery green is everywhere in the world of food and home—think of all the green plant walls, and green juices, and matchas, and, well, greens. When, in March, I wrote about how great green paints can be, every designer I reached out to piped up with a green paint suggestion in minutes, all glowing with praise for green walls.

And yet, this particular shade is not as easy to love as baby blue and dusty pink (or even "marsala," the color from two years ago). I polled our company to hear instinctive reactions, and here's what I found.

I owned a pair of tennis shoes this color in college.
Sam, child of the 90s

the good

What people liked about Greenery:

Photo by Pantone

Nostalgia & Throwback Vibes:

  • I am into the green. I owned a pair of tennis shoes this color in college. —Sam
  • I like it! But as someone who owned an electric orange denim jacket in college, I am into garish. —Olivia
  • I like it! I think for housewares it might be an awkward fit, but like that it sort of makes a statement and would fit into a late 70s bucket paired with mustard or a cobalt blue. —Meghan

Positivity & Hopefulness:

  • Could the name be better? Yes. (Greenery sounds like the holidays rather than "new beginnings.") But this is the color of spring. The color of buds on trees and new growth pushing up through dead leaves and snow—so bright it almost seems fake. —Lindsay Jean
  • I like it—it's lively and bright! The past colors seem muted and it's nice to get something bright. —Eunice
Like spring itself. What's not to love?
Mayukh, in an unencumbered fit of positivity
  • It's like a reclamation. This year has seen an association of this particular color with gross anthropomorphic frogs, like Kermit, and some really ungainly frog-based memes. It sucks. This Pantone endorsement is like a rejoinder to all of that, like some testament to why this color is, in fact, good. Like spring itself. What's not to love? —Mayukh
The closest our Shop comes to Greenery.

the bad

Could the name be better? Yes.
Lindsay Jean, a very good editor

The quickest responses to my inquiry were all negative, such as "NO." Here's why the dissenters were turned off:

Negative associations with the tone itself

  • No, gross. It's like gum color. —Anne-Louise
  • Gut reaction is a hard no. Too Kermit-y. —Megan
  • I don't like it because it looks a little putrid to me, like the color of this sauce I watched in an episode of Chopped where one of the contestants blitzed together lime gelatin and durian fruit. —Riddley
  • It's a bit sickly :/ —Connor
  • Way too loud; no warmth. All I see is Slimer from Ghostbusters. —Jojo
It's a bit sickly :/
Connor, who asked for a more precise color swatch before weighing in

Political implications

  • I don't like it because I'm not done feeling shitty about the struggles to come in the next four years. Green = go about your business as normal, things will be ok. Feel optimistic. And I disagree. —Josh
  • It reminds me of the color that corporations try to use to “look” environmentally-friendly. BP (British Petroleum, the gas station); or the green color added to the outside of cans of crushed tomatoes to make it seem fresh. Clearly I’m jaded. (There’s a pun there.) —Jeff
Muted and richer shades of green in our Shop, respectively.

Aesthetic preferences

  • I understand that plant/leaf patterns are big. And so is green. But feel this is best achieved by having actual live plants in the home. —Jojo*
  • Hate it! It's way too lime green. I'd never want to decorate with this specific color. Wish they had gone for a richer palm leaf green or forest green. :( —Kristina*

*Jojo and Kristina are buyers for our Shop, so don't expect a flood of Kermit-green accents there in the coming year.

It's way too lime green. I'd never want to decorate with this specific color.
Kristina Wasserman, a very fashionable person
  • No. Because it's ugly. :) —Tim, who is our Senior Graphic Designer
  • Don't love it. Seems like it'd be funky in context—like, a green leaf looks lovely on its own, but the yellow tones and juiciness of it don't seem like they'd be a good fit for a year of being star. —Clare
  • Yeah, that's gonna be a "no" for me, dawg. —Zoe

the ambivalent

I guess it's fresh.
Jovan, who throws an annual Pantone Color of the Year party on NYE, at which "guests are strongly encouraged to wear the color of the year to attend"

The majority of Food52ers felt conflicted about this color, choosing to defend one thing about it but not another:

  • I like the green side of it, not the yellow side (too 70s). —Lauren
  • I like this color, yes—it feels nice and fresh (that leaf!) and bright (a salad of a color!) and it makes my eyes widen—but I'm not sure I love it in every application. Colors look different depending on where they are, how they're used, the context in which they're placed (a revelation, right?). I LOVE the chair in the Times article (!!) and can imagine this color would make a really nice blanket against a white linen bedspread (!!), but would I wear this as a sweater or buy a rug in this shade? No. —Sarah
  • I don't love the name. And they did emerald recently. I guess it's fresh. —Jovan
Blue-greens, and real greenery greens, from our Shop.
What I like about it is it's pushing my boundaries.
Kenzi, digging deep for an upside
  • My natural instinct is that I don't love it—green was my favorite childhood color, and so it feels a bit juvenile to me—but, not understanding the forces of fashion, but knowing they are sneaky and pervasive, I bet in 5 months from now you will find me wearing a shirt in this color and loving it. —Kaitlin
  • Generally, I like when the Pantones give a distinct feeling and this really leaves me feeling... not a whole lot. I don't find it exciting. BUT perhaps they are doing it to help bring awareness to climate change, etc? WHO KNOWS. —Kate
  • Immediately, I don't love it—it makes me want to squint a little where maybe I'm looking for colors to curl up with. Cozy colors. What I like about it is it's pushing my boundaries. —Kenzi
  • Is it more celadon or more green juice, I can't decide? But either don't feel very "current." Celadon is the color of my childhood bathroom and green juice has been around years now. —Ali
  • Seems ironic. Is Pantone a bunch of Trump voters? —Liz
Somewhere between kelly and chartreuse is a weird place to be.
Me, speaking honestly

While my primary reaction was surprise (it's such a departure from the moody, dusty tones of years past!) I fall pretty squarely in the dislike category. Pantone could have gone even brighter and perkier—as in potato vine green, I earnestly argued to our editorial team—to really drive home the hopefulness and spirit they say they want to achieve. But that said, I didn't attend any runway shows this year—for shame—so I'm not really sure what colors are trotting down the Gucci catwalks.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“This shade , like emerald , which was a Pantone color of the year in 2013, is a tough sell in home. It is okay in few accents pieces to update a room but can get tiresome quickly. I wouldn't paint a room or buy a couch in this color. maybe a few toss pillows.”

Greenery: Do you like it or love it or hate it or feel funny about it? (Pantone's version... not the real thing!)

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • BerryBaby
  • EmilyC
  • sammy
  • Bevi
  • Jusika
Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


BerryBaby December 15, 2016
Reminds me of Chartreuse that my Grand mother painted her kitchen back in the early 60s. Guess she was way ahead of her time LOL!
EmilyC December 9, 2016
Count me as a fan -- I'd love a scarf or handbag or big throw pillow in this color!! Not so much as a paint color, though, as I think I'd tire of it.
sammy December 9, 2016
josh, i feel you, dude.
Bevi December 8, 2016
I like it. It reminds me of spring bouquets, some ferns, and I think the name is therefore perfect.
Jusika December 8, 2016
trying to unsub from this thread!
Connor B. December 8, 2016
Hi, Jusika! When you write a comment, there's a checkbox underneath where you type that says "send me emails about new comments." which you can uncheck before posting so you don't receive email notifications. Hope that helps!
foofaraw December 9, 2016
Hi Connor,

That would mean that you'd need to write another comments (whether that is useful or just for the sake of unsubbing) before getting unsubbed from an article thread if you forgot to check that box.

Is there no better way, or can Food52 find better way for this* (like having checkbox on top of comment thread that is always visible to all logged-in user and we can check and uncheck whenever we want)? Thank you for your attention!

*that, and an edit/delete comment button would be a major improvement.
hardlikearmour December 8, 2016
I'm a fan -- I've always loved green and in particular this type of green. I also ♥ licorice and coconut so I'm perhaps a bit odd :-)
Connor B. December 8, 2016
If I'm going to provide my opinion, I want to make sure I have the everything straight! Thankfully, my rock-solid ":/" stance remained after clarification.
ChefJune December 8, 2016
It's just a tad too yellow for me to love it. I had a wall ALMOST this color in my previous living room, and it was gorgeous. This one has an edge I can't quite wrap my head around.
PHIL December 8, 2016
I am in the home furnishings business and have used this shade occasionally . This shade , like emerald , which was a Pantone color of the year in 2013, is a tough sell in home. It is okay in few accents pieces to update a room but can get tiresome quickly. I wouldn't paint a room or buy a couch in this color. maybe a few toss pillows.
Jusika December 8, 2016
love it! :P
Laura December 8, 2016
Love it! It's the color of my front door :)
Olivia B. December 8, 2016
I'm very pleased with how many people weighed in.
sydney December 8, 2016
I'm an illustrator and painter. It's not the most interesting green in the palette but it's very 'natural', 'new', and 'fresh'. You can't really hate it; that would be like hating nature itself. But not my favorite, either.
liz A. December 8, 2016
well stated.