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Time to Tango? The 2012 Color of the Year is Showing Up Throughout the Home


By Jay McKenzie

Is the color known as Tangerine Tango this year's hottest trend for your new home? The color experts at Pantone think so. And they should know.

For decades, Pantone has served as the global arbiter of color standards, working with designers worldwide in fashion, interior design, home furnishings, advertising, publishing, graphic design--even product design and packaging.

You've probably never given it thought, but someone has to define the exact hue of each color. Otherwise, designers have no common language. Around the world, designers of all types refer to colors using standardized codes and names determined by Pantone.

In addition to defining colors for the world, each year the experts at Pantone research and bravely name...The Color of the Year (COTY).

The 2012 Color of the Year is.....Tangerine Tango!

Tangerine Tango Swatch

Here's how the experts at Pantone describe this brave new hue: "Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it," said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

"Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset," Eisman added, "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."

Since being named the Color of the Year for 2012, Tangerine Tango is permeating interior design--often as an accent color, as shown on the valances and throw pillow below.

Tangerine Tango Large Bedroom

When Pantone names a Color of the Year, you see it soon in products you can buy. This is especially true in home furnishings and decor, where Tangerine Tango has already danced its way onto the scene.

Knowing that designers and manufacturers around the world are poised to immediately produce hundreds of new products means that selecting the Color of the Year is no light undertaking.

"It's a very thoughtful process," says Eiseman. "To arrive at the selection, we quite literally comb the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention."

How does this affect you? Drop by your favorite department store. You'll seeTangerine Tango in cookware, plates, lamps, nail polish and more throughout the store.

Tangerine Tango large collage

You can also find fabrics galore and even a coral bracelet--all in gleaming shades of, you guessed it, Tangerine Tango.

Fabric swatches


Is Tangerine Tango not your favorite shade? Here are past winners of The Color of the Year. Perhaps one is more to your liking. And the odds are good that you have one or more products in your home today that were inspired by these trend-setting colors:

  • Honeysuckle (2011)
  • Turquoise (2010)
  • Mimosa (2009)
  • Blue Iris (2008)
  • Chili Pepper (2007)
  • Sand Dollar (2006)
  • Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • Tigerlily (2004)
  • Aqua Sky (2003)
  • True Red (2002)
  • Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • Cerulean (2000)

It's fascinating to look behind the scenes at the high-stakes world of selecting The Next Big Color. As you furnish your new home, keep an eye on these colors.

We'll be sure to keep you posted each year when the new Color of the Year is named, to help you decorate your new home in your own personal style.

Jay McKenzie heads up content and scoial media for