Pantone Colour of the Year and Trends for 2018

A suitably feminine and spiritual antidote to our turbulent times, Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year is the sublime, cosmos-inspired Ultra Violet. With a nod to the maverick spirit of music legends such as Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix this shade of purple is a rallying call for creativity and non-conformity that seems all-the-more crucial in our current cultural climate.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” says Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Colour Institute. “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” It also connotes a coalescence of ideas and communities in its synthesis of the tonal poles, red and blue, and can evoke a powerful emotional response in the beholder.

Sydney home by Brendan Wong (Photography: Maree Homer)

Incorporating this bold but still surprisingly soothing hue into your interior scheme requires some daring, but the effect can be terrific. Inspired by the wisteria on a hand-painted wallpaper by De Gournay, interior designer Brendan Wong swathed a stately home on Sydney’s north shore in all shades of purple, including an arresting stair runner custom made by Whitecliffe Imports. The result is a mood of radical elegance, striking a perfect balance between a sense of regal refinement that befits the home’s history and grandeur, with a more artistic, bohemian and whimsical sensibility.

Sydney home by Baker Kavanagh Architects. Photgraphed by Nicholas Watt

For those not quite so ready to paint it purple, accessories can inject an Ultra Violent element into the home. A piece of amethyst used as a sculptural element on the coffee table or as bookends, or softer elements such as cushions and throws can create impact. With its blue base, Ultra Violet works surprisingly cohesively with neutral tones, introducing an unexpected but still beautifully harmonious moment of vibrancy against a backdrop of ivory, beige and stone.


Monochrome mania will not go away in 2018, but an emphasis on unexpected, frayed or organic textures will give this look a new edge. Think charred timber, blackened brass, plastered or lime-washed walls, accessories in horsehair or dyed jute, and brick surfaces painted in brilliant white or noirish black.

Sydney home by Stephen Collins. Photographed by Tom Ferguson


The juxtaposition between clean, robust architectural lines and the wild fecundity of tropical planting will continue to inspire in 2018. This trend channels the enduring legacy of South American modernist architects such as Oscar Neimeyer, Luis Barragán and Marcio Kogan.

Legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s tropical modernism


Designers are eschewing copper and rose gold, instead turning to polished chrome – a briefly unfashionable finish that recalls the tubular steel furniture of 20th century masters such as Marcel Breuer – as well as more muted, organic textures with a time-worn patina, including aged bronze, oil-rubbed brass and pewter.

Studio Henry Wilson ‘Sconce’ light at Sydney’s The Paddington Inn


With advances in LED technology, designers are increasingly able to indulge their daring side with statement lighting that more closely resembles an Alexander Calder mobile sculpture or a piece of avant-garde jewellery.

‘Cirque’ light by Giopato & Coombes

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