Classically Capitalizing on 2013’s Color of the Year

Katie Avatar

When Pantone announced emerald as the 2013 Color of the Year there was the expected subsequent outpouring of love and admiration for the hue all over the design world. As excited as I was to hear the news, I must admit I felt a little disheartened at the prospect of my favorite color being overdone, overblown and even – *gasp* – trendy.

Since I am a early May baby (and my mother is too) emerald has always been a staple in my wardrobe. I remember receiving my first “real” piece of emerald jewelry in the first grade – a gold ring with a teeny tiny emerald on it from my godmother and beloved Aunt. I’ve been in love with my birthstone ever since, and now that emerald is getting some well deserved attention I wanted to share some thoughts on how to effortlessly incorporate the classic hue into your surroundings.

A little background: The mineral Emerald has an extensive history and has been associated with prominent figures since ancient times, so technically it’s been “So hot right now” since 4000 BC. Cleopatra adored emeralds and they have long been thought to hold mystical powers by a myriad of societies and cultures. Emeralds are thought to represent fidelity and balance, and help promote creativity. They have also been thought to prevent some health problems and aid in business matters. Emeralds themselves can actually vary in shade and depth of color – darker, richer hues are more desirable, particularly in jewelry.

For my fellow adventurists who like to get their hands dirty there are actually some emerald mines you can visit and hunt for emeralds in located in western North Carolina. That sounds like a fun weekend adventure – vacation with a potential payday included anyone?

Now focusing on the color itself, there a lot of ways you can subtly incorporate the hue into your life without a lot of effort or cost.

Plants of course are an obviously easy, cost effective, and simple way to pay homage to the color of the year. Even if you don’t have a green thumb a simple low-maintenance succulent will do the trick.


Elfin Thyme is also a great choice to decorate your outdoor spaces.


My first indication that emerald green was making a surge (at least in the home furnishings world) were all of the lacquered emerald finishes I saw at High Point Market in October. Lilly Pulitzer showcased an elegant emerald desk at market, while Del Ray and Associates featured a lovely antique dresser and side table at the Antique and Design Center (if you scroll down those photos, you’ll even catch a peek of me in an emerald green frock!)

Not wanting to make a large decor investment in a trend but still want a classic piece? Opt for a small home accent, such as this vintage emerald green pitcher and bowl set from Anchor Glass in Forest Green.


For your wardrobe, snag a great pair of emerald bottoms (JCrew shown below) and balance them with a neutral top.


You can also make Dorothy wish she’d never left the Emerald City with a gorgeous pair of emerald pumps such as these Pour La Victoire beauties.

And of course you can rarely go wrong with a set of emerald baubles. Most recently Beyonce showcased a perfect incorporation of emerald jewelry in an outfit with those spectacular gems she wore at Obama’s inauguration – and there is definitely no faking that elegance regardless of how you feel about lip-syncing.

Obviously emerald is an excellent statement hue guaranteed to catch the eye, thus it’s often best to use it in moderation (As are most things in life, right?) Pair it with other bright colors for a vivacious effect, or even with neutrals as to allow the emerald to be the center of attention – which does make sense after all as Cleopatra wasn’t known for being a wallflower, was she?

(All photos Copyright of Katie Thompson 2012 unless otherwise noted.)

5 responses

  1. Rebecca

    i love you && green!

    1. Katie

      Love you too Becs! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Donna Frasca

    Emerald is a pretty color but best left in fashion. It doesn’t translate all that well to wall color. Love those green pants!

    1. Katie

      Thanks Donna! It’s funny you mention leaving Emerald in fashion…I debated on having emerald walls in my bedroom/kitchen. I opted not to, because it just didn’t feel “right.” Perhaps it did get lost in translation in my brain before it hit the wall, thankfully!

      1. Donna Frasca

        It would be fun for about a week then onto the next color.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: