(photos by david hugh bragdon)

Pantone Color Institute announced early in the year that its top color pick for 2013 would be Emerald. Sherwin Williams has chosen Aloe and Benjamin Moore has chosen Lemon Sorbet. All are beautiful colors and all can be used in conjunction with the other in decorating and in fashion.

As I started to research further the top industry color professionals' choices, I began to notice these three colors everywhere I looked. Out my window and across the canal was the big emerald painted house that I had considered an eyesore for the past five years. In my dish cabinet I found an emerald green serving plate of days gone by in Depression glass. Shopping for items for a presentation I was giving, I found an emerald lamp from the '40s and some hand-painted glassware etched in lemon.

Emerald promotes balance and harmony. Green in most countries is believed to promote healing, harmony and unity. The combination of Pantone's pick for 2012 Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango -- a vibrant, reddish orange -- and emerald are very noticeable today in fashion and design.

Aloe is Sherwin Williams pick for 2013 Color of the Year, a minty green with a 1950s vibe. Sherwin Williams describes it as vintage moxie. Aloe is very noticeable in retro home décor and even in today's fashion. Walking through department stores one will notice dresses, pants and blouses in aloe mixed with emerald.

Lemon Sorbet was chosen by Benjamin Moore because it is the perfect transitional color between the mid-tones and saturated colors seen in today's home furnishings and the softer, lighter pastels that are emerging.


It's a citrus shade slightly brighter than cream that also has a nostalgic look. Lemon Sorbet teamed with Aloe and Emerald is a winning combination. The softness of Lemon Sorbet on a wall offers a calming feel to a room. Lemon Sorbet is an easy color to use as a field or base color. Adding accent colors such as tangerine, aloe and even emerald will add pop to the room.

Here's an example of a vignette created with 2013 color picks from the industry's color leaders.

A soft yellow and gray toile upholstered chair, accented with a taupe textured floral pillow in aloe, emerald, tangerine and reds. A tangerine retro foot stool (from the '60s) was added as an accent color. A tall recycled glass vase in emerald green brings color up to the mantel, complemented by a tangerine-colored vase on the opposite side. A multicolored cut glass garden table (another vintage find) in shades of emerald green complements the grouping.

Incorporating current color trends into you interiors can be easier than you think. Look around your home. These are colors used in the past. You could already be in style and you don't even know it.

Debbe Daley, owner of Debbe Daley Designs, is an interior designer with more than 25 years of experience as a professional interior redesigner, stylist, stager, trainer and project manager. Follow her blog at blogs.lowellsun.com/daleydecor. She also blogs at debbedaleydesignsllc.blogspot.com.