Happy New Year, Emerald Green! Bossy color’s finished powder room

Yes, Gentle Readers, the rumors are true. Emerald, aka 17-5641, is Pantone’s color of the year for 2013. Hooray!

Pantone color of the year 2013 Emerald 17-5641

I’m going to be honest. Emerald green as “emerald green”, emerald as I think of it, a true jewel tone, green with a little blue in it, really saturated, really deep…

It’s not my fave.

Greens of late have been yellower, mossier, kiwi-er. You know…hipper.

Kiwi green modern room

“Emerald” is, well, I’m just going to say it: ’80s. It looks ’80s, ok? Sue me.

And then I keep thinking of Elizabeth Taylor. Even though I know she’s all “Diamonds” and all.

Pantone color of the year 2013 Emerald Green

But those Pantone pictures seem to be sorta liberal in their interpretation of “emerald.”

Shades of green emerald green Pantone color of the year 2013

Just to show you what a team player I am (there’s no “I” in team, no “I” in imerald, I mean, emerald), I did, in fact, finish my powder room over the holidays. Yep, FINISHED it. Strong word, I know. But that sucker is GREEN. Maybe not totally blue-y emerald green, but it’s GREEN.

Emerald green powder room Farrow & Ball wallpaper

When we last discussed my powder room, it was a heckuva lot better than it had been. (I’ll say it again: a full bathroom off a dining room? EEEEWW.)

But it was painfully obvious that despite our removal of the shower, gutting of the floor, and replacement of the window and fixtures, the room wasn’t done. It needed green trim (not white), a window treatment, and artwork.

Check, check, and check.

  Shades of green emerald green Pantone color of the year 2013

The awesome painting over the towel bar is by Elizabeth Brown, aka Dragon’s Appetite on Etsy. What can I say? She’s a favorite of mine. She’s all over my living room, too.

Shades of green emerald green Pantone color of the year 2013

An 8-year old friend of my daughters’, Lizey, was at our house a few weeks ago. She went into the powder room, and when she came out, she whispered into Ruthie’s ear, “Your bathroom is fancy!”

That’s the look I was going for, bub. Glad you like it.

Quoted in publications from The New York Times to The Washington Post to Real Simple magazine, Annie Elliott is considered an expert in color, residential space planning, and telling people what to do in the nicest way possible. Her interior design firm, bossy color, has been serving residents in the greater Washington, D.C. area since 2004.


  1. Karen says

    I DO NOT LIKE that tone of green, at all. It reminds me of a very preppy 80′s Izod shirt.
    I was thrilled when Orange was named color of the year. This year, I will have the buck the
    trend and do my own thing.

  2. says

    Your powder bath has a “old fashion” charm to it! Love the wall finish! I just finished an accent wall in a living room in greens; not quite as much yellow in the green. I still like greens…. emerald green however is not my favorite! What made you paint the trim green? Just curious!

  3. Amy Halvorson Miller says

    I agree that Pantone is too liberal in what they call emerald. To me it is the clear green of the jewel, which can be lovely used sparingly.

    The green trim in your bathroom works. I would not have thought of it myself, but we recently bought a home with a bathroom trimmed the same color as walls. Seems to work for small spaces, where white trim might look choppy and distract from things like favorite artwork.

  4. sherri says

    Annie, I’m thrilled to find your blog today. Gorgeous green wallpaper you used in your powder room & your client’s living room. I’m just about to decide on that very same color myself, if it is Farrow & Ball’s strie in color #1254! It seems to go with almost everything. Anyway, if possible, would you let me know if it is the very same? If it is, I’d like to consider that same green paint trim, if you wouldn’t mind sharing. Love it all & thanks, Sherri


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