Home Featured ‘I cannot imagine a home without color,’ says Pantone’s color expert

‘I cannot imagine a home without color,’ says Pantone’s color expert

by Monika Bürger
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What does colour mean to you? Following Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 reveal (where Classic Blue was revealed as the definitive It colour for the forthcoming year), we asked Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, about the significance of colour and how she uses it to decorate her home.


‘I cannot imagine a home without colour,’ Leatrice tells ARTERESTING Decor. ‘It is just so intrinsic to who I am.

‘I think it is such a wonderful form of expression and I know that some people who are less confident and want to play it safe, who will use the whites and beiges and the greys – and I’m certainly not disparaging the use of those colours, they have a place in the home too – but I think that a home should be a part of who you are and how you express yourself.’

US-based Leatrice uses yellow in her living room to counteract the dull grey days often experienced during winter.

‘I live in the North West and we do get a lot of grey days in the wintertime. I used a yellow through my living space because it personifies the sun, good sheer, and all those wonderful things we think about when we see the colour yellow, because I live in an environment that demands it.’

2020’s COTY, Classic Blue, is described as a boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, bringing a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge. The universal favourite colour lends itself to relaxed interaction.


And guess what? This hue has a place in Leatrice’s home. ‘I am going to be using a few more blue touches, Classic Blue in my living room because it’s a great contrast to the yellow that is on the walls,’ she explains.

Pantone introduced its first COTY in 2000 (at the time it was Cerulean Blue). For 2019 it was Living Coral, and for 2020, Classic Blue. So as each new year brings a new colour, how exactly do we use and adapt to these trending colours in the home?


‘I think what we have encouraged people to do is to use colour in combinations and get their creative juices going,’ says Leatrice. ‘Our purpose is to take, for example, Living Coral and challenge ourselves to use that with Classic Blue, allowing us to utilise what we already have and love and yet still inject some newness into it.’

And if there’s one piece of advice Leatrice wants to pass on to anyone decorating their abode, it’s to ensure that your home is expressive and true to you and your tastes.


‘Colour influence starts so early in our life when we’re children and we’re not even that aware that it’s important to us but give any child a box of crayons and they immediately start to scribble with great abandon – they will start to express themselves in colour,’ says Leatrice. ‘As we get older, some of those wonderful feelings are submerged. We’re concerned about criticism or not making the right choice but if you embrace that inner child and expressive self, you can have a wonderful time with colour.

‘I encourage people all the time – don’t worry about what other people say, it is your living environment and it is an expression of you. Everybody is going to have their own opinions, which they are free to answer within their own homes, but in your home, it needs to be an expression of you and your significant others. Most importantly it has to suit your comfort level.’

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