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Tinkering With Tradition: Holiday Color Stories Are Finding Freshness by Embracing the Pastels That Are Normally Reserved for Springtime

With the impending arrival of a new season, we graciously welcome winter botanicals with open arms. While recipes showcasing classic Christmas reds and forest greens will forever hold a nostalgic place in traditional wintertime decor, this year, many are turning to unconventional color schemes and compositions to help tell an updated story of the holidays.

A nod to popular color trends for 2022 (you can read more about it here), there is a significant push towards atmospheric palettes, especially those supported by neutral greens. It’s not surprising, then, that this year for Christmas we are seeing a playful array of flower projects augmenting (and in some cases replacing entirely) the merry, holiday red and robust burgundy with cooler tones. Adding a soft, refreshing touch to the traditional, consider flowers and colors in the peaceful pastels used in the PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2022 "Clarify" color story.

A desire for simplicity comes through in Clarify, "a palette whose airy nature rests on a practical foundation of finishes and materials that are not too fragile or ephemeral," as Pantone notes. "Durable and lasting, [Clarify represents] a pragmatic group of color that contributes to our sense of well-being." Examples of cool shades that transition effortlessly from Clarify to 2021 holiday decor include Bright White, Lilac Snow, Bay, Nantucket Breeze, and Nimbus Cloud.

Several retail giants and lifestyle publications have also embraced this trend full force, showcasing their latest winter product collections (or magazine features) splashed with assorted pastels and an anchor tone of holiday red. Particularly, the mixture of clear pinks with Christmas reds or robust burgundies is showing prominently in fashion and home decor accessories for winter, from brands including Target to Bergdorf Goodman and Better Homes and Gardens to Martha Stewart Living.

Target's Opalhouse™, for example, has partnered with Jungalow™, a lifestyle brand by Justina Blakeney, to offer a collection of home decor to fit any design style or holiday celebration. Featuring decor, furnishings, and festive storage, these themed products display soft textures and color palettes that combine classic and cool tones for the season.