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Creating luxury through colour

What if you could create a luxurious atmosphere that helped your guests feel grounded and energised, simply by updating the colour palette of your hotel? Pantone’s new 2018 colour of the year might do just that.

It might sound like a bit of a stretch, but colour is scientifically proven to have an impact on one’s mood and general wellbeing. Since the year 2000, Pantone (best known for its colour matching system) has been naming a ‘colour of the year’ that reflects current trends and attitudes.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Colour Institute.

“As individuals around the world become more fascinated with colour and realise its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use colour to inspire and influence. The Colour of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design.”

This year, Pantone has opted for a colour named ‘Ultra Violet’. The company describes it as a blue-based purple that “takes awareness and potential to a higher level”.

Enigmatic purples have long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. According to Pantone, Ultra Violet symbolises experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

The colour is often associated with mindfulness, making it an interesting choice for places of relaxation, such as hotels. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places is said to energise the communities that gather there and inspire connection.

So how could the new colour be used for the benefit of hotels and guests?

Graphic design

As design becomes more sophisticated, blue-toned purples are said to have a ‘multi-dimensional’ feeling, helping content to stand out from a page and be noticed. Consider using the new colour of the year to grasp guests attention on websites and marketing content.


Considered exotic and enticing, purple fruits, vegetables, and starches, such as acai, purple shaded cauliflower, yams, carrots, asparagus and cabbage are also known for their natural health benefits. These new ‘it’ foods are naturally rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and also bring vibrancy and sophistication to the table. Consider adding this vibrant colour to your food and beverage offering, not only for aesthetic purposes, but also for the nutritional benefit of guests.


With golds or other metallics, Ultra Violet is said to be “luxurious and dazzling” and with greens or greys it evokes natural elegance. Similarly, Ultra Violet takes on distinct appearances with different materials. Lush velvets in the colour suggest intrigue, but are also unexpectedly modern. Consider using the colour as an accent in throw cushions or blankets, or as a stand-out sheet colour when bedding is pulled back.


In interiors, the colour can transform a room into one of “extraordinary self-expression”, or conversely its polish can tone down a room with subdued, modern pairings. Adding spice and brightness, Ultra Violet is said to call attention to a tufted couch, piece of art or accent wall. As a colour that can take you in so many directions, it could make a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness. In hospitality, purples like Ultra Violet are taking centre stage in interior spaces as large and small hotels harness colour and design to entice travellers and stay relevant.


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