No Pantone Color of the Year goes totally uncriticized, and some (Radiant Orchid) get it worse than others (Honeysuckle), but we've got an inkling that the Internet feeling-havers out there are going to take particular issue with 2016's picks, Rose Quartz and Serenity, for their infantile affiliations.
They're undeniably gender binary—and inarguably pastel—but to quarantine them to nursery and playroom palettes would be a gross underestimation of these two on-the-rise hues. Rose quartz is soft and powdery, but it's hardly just a blush. And Serenity, while goofily named, is closer to periwinkle or cornflower (both poised for a comeback) than a traditional boy's-room blue. Perhaps the best thing about the duo is that in combination, they hit on one of our favorite chromatic trends that's just breaking big: the new '80s pastels.
Need some more convincing? Scroll down to see how to pair up the trending colors in rooms that are far from juvenile.
Petal Pink + Peach
Ah, the almost match. We're big fans of this decorating device, which makes a room feel larger in the same way that painting out your walls, trim, and doors in the same color can. In pale pink and peach it feels modern and warm, but not toothache sweet.
Tropical Fish Tank Castle + Nanna's Cafe Curtains
Pairing a super bright contemporary hue like this electric aqua with a conservative one, completely reenergizes a staid—even stuffy—color. Welcome to the renaissance of dusty rose.
Palm Beach Green + Palm Springs Pink
Whether it's the buzzy hues of Lilly Pulitzer or the much more subdued take found in a lovingly restored Italian villa, there's something enduring and undeniably cheerful about almost every iteration of pink and green.
Amaretto on the Rocks + Bath Towel That's Been Around the Block
Tata Harper's Vermont country house is all about time-worn elegance and low key living, so it's no wonder her color palette evokes cozy evenings in with a no-fuss cocktail, and well-loved staples that smell like home.
Blue Cashmere + Turkish Red
If you're going for a gypset bohemian vibe, this pairing is your design failsafe. Throw in a few Far Eastern accents in crisp white, and pull the rich indigos and mustards from a vintage rug for your complementary hues.
Wedgewood + Goldenrod
In a stately Gustavian castle or a mod-inflected apartment, this twist on classic blue and yellow is sophisticated yet unpretentious. Plus, the muted tones always play well with others.
Pink + Sky Blue
Long overlooked for its baby room associations, the pairing of pale pink and blue feels especially fresh when used in a rich pattern, paired with flashy metallics and bold accents, or used in a distinctly grown-up space, like this bar.