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Two to Tango? 2012 Color Trends

There is nothing subtle about the hottest color trend of 2012.

Pantone, the company that has ruled color forecasting for more than 50 years, says the color of the moment is bold, hot and exciting. A bright reddish-orange hue known as Tangerine Tango is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2012, and you’re about to see it everywhere in home fashion.

According to the Pantone experts, orange is a shade that has been on a popularity upswing with designers and consumers. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says Tangerine Tango is a particularly special orange.

“Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy,” Eiseman said.

Because it is so spicy, the experts at Pantone suggest incorporating Tangerine Tango as an accent in textiles such as pillows, bedspreads and table linens. Look for decorative objects and even small appliances that will add a punch of orange. Or go bolder and paint an accent wall in this hot hue.

More Trends

Pantone colors for spring 2012
Source: Pantone

Tangerine Tango may be the color of the year, but its vibrant cousin, Solar Power, is no wallflower. Solar Power is a bright yellow that Pantone describes as full of warmth and cheer. Solar Yellow is one of the nine most fashionable spring shades that were spotted on New York Fashion Week runways.

Also starring in the spring forecast is Cabaret, a rich rosy-red that is vivid and bright.

Those hues are joined by Bellflower, a distinctive purple.

Taking a Step Back

Not all the hot hues of 2012 are, well, hot.

Sodalite Blue is described as a maritime hue.  It’s not quite a navy and is said to partner with every other color in the Spring forecast.

Cockatoo is a blue-green shade that is described by Pantone as the “whimsical” color in the palette.

And of course there is always room for pastels in any spring forecast.

Margarita is a classic springtime yellow-green.

And there is Sweet Lilac, which is a purple dusted with a touch of pink.


Pantone’s top 10 color choices are rounded out this spring by two neutrals that play nicely with all the colors in the forecast. Driftwood is a blend of grey and beige and Starfish is more of a taupe.

Pantone takes its color forecasting very seriously. The company’s experts say they travel the globe searching for the color influences that will be seen in home, fashion and industrial design.

They recommend you spice up your life and your space by doing a little Tangerine Tango this year.

By Carla Turchetti

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