Tuesday, February 27
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Getting a Green Light

Tis the season for the Pantone Color Institute to declare its color of the year. For 2017 it is shade number 15-0343, AKA “greenery” — a bright “yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.”

The color authority doesn’t just pick a random hue. Its researchers spend the prior year observing trends from fashion to décor. What they noted: fashion houses from Michael Kors to Gucci showed the leaf green color on their runways. Green also showed up in other products including a new Mercedes roadster – and this is a bit of a stretch – green smoothies. I guess all that kale’s influence is wide ranging.

“Greenery” is an antidote to the stressful world we find ourselves in, according to Pantone spokesperson Leatrice Eiseman. It represents, she says, a sense of renewal and hopefulness. Amen.

But is it turning up on the East End? We spoke to local experts to find out what colors are showing up in East End homes.

Mecox Gardens
“As an outdoor and indoor-focused home and garden furnishing resource, anything natural and green is perfect for Mecox and our clients,” says Mecox Gardens’ owner Mac Hoak, who recently commissioned New York ceramist Chris Spitzmiller to make custom colored spring green chargers and marbleized green plates. “I have also loved featuring [abstract artist] Leslie Milsten’s amazing artwork in our two Hamptons stores.” Milsten’s pieces, with their myriad shades of bright green, seem to conjure up the birds and the bees. “We also have leaf green garden stools. It’s the ideal spring and summer color for any East End home and garden.”

Mendelson Group
Interior designer Gideon Mendelson admits that he never follows color trends. “Clients usually have strong feelings about color, so I let them guide me.” However, the New York head of the Mendelson Group says that when undertaking country projects he “takes cues” from his surroundings. “What makes the Hamptons so special is that you have a little bit of everything – ocean, beaches, farmland and lush lawns.” Hence, blues and greens are his go-to East End hues with Pantone’s Greenery creating the “perfect tone for a sophisticated and lively space.” He pairs it with neutrals such as a muted olive and contrasts it with” hits of turquoise” to forge “an energetic palette.”

Sea Green Designs
It’s no mistake that interior designer Shannon Willey calls her design firm and Jobs Lane home furnishings boutique Sea Green Designs. “My interior design is inspired by our coastal surroundings,” she says. “I’m always incorporating shades of blues and greens into my work.” Yet – do you notice a theme cropping up? – her backdrops are neutral while she reserves “pops of color” as accents. While she is not using Greenery at the moment, she says: “I will be incorporating it in accent pieces on future projects.” Her shop also carries several small landscape paintings “with that refreshing feeling that Pantone refers to. I can see them working well in a small space.”

Elsa Soyars Interiors
Elsa Soyars, head of her eponymous interior design firm, has been using Greenery, or at least leafy greens, for the last two years. “Greenery is a great fresh color that has a Pop Art feel,” says the designer who works between the Hamptons and New York. “It’s a very energizing modern color.” It is also easily mixed with other colors such as whites, greys, turquoise and teals, says the designer who has used it in art, upholstery and accessories. “You’re not limited to how you can play with it.”

Debra Geller Interior Design
East Hampton interior designer, Debra Geller, is not enamored of Greenery unless it is used as an accent and mixed with other colors such as teal or a warm hue like orange. Instead, Geller is taking her color cues from Benjamin Moore, which has named its paint, Shadow 2117-30, as the company’s color of the year. And it couldn’t be more different than Pantone’s Greenery.

Shadow is a deep purple, “rich, royal and elegant,” according to Geller. “Dark colors create a sensual mood,” she says. Color is a huge factor in her work. “The first thing I ask my clients is what colors they love and don’t like. Color can affect your mood greatly.” For a bedroom she chooses soothing shades such as light lavenders and blues, and of course white. She makes sure to check that a home’s colors “look good with the colors in your closet. You’re literally wearing your house all day long, so you want to paint it colors that make you feel good.” But she has a word of warning: “Don’t pick colors at sunset.” Light at that time of day impacts perception. “Put colors on a wall in the morning and look at them throughout day.”