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Just Peachy

With the right palette, Pantone's Peach Fuzz may just be a hue for you

…and the Color of the Year for 2024 is:

PANTONE 13-1023!
a.k.a. “Peach Fuzz”
I say, “Really, Pantone?”

For those of you whose world does not revolve around color, Pantone is the company that is best known for its Pantone Matching System, a tool dating back to 1963, which is used to provide consistent and accurate color anywhere in the world by using a numbering system and chip format. Pantone’s color charts affect everything from brand logos to lipstick to yoga pants to architecture. Part fun, part marketing, part trend forecasting, since 1999, Pantone has declared a Color of the Year. If you ask me, 2024’s is a questionable choice.
The shade itself is a pale, faded pinky orange reminiscent of bad 80s décor (shout out to my fellow GenXers), and Pantone didn’t do the color any favors by naming it “Peach Fuzz.”  
To some of my Instagram followers, Peach Fuzz conjured up cheeks of adolescent boys (or menopausal women?!), and, although I’m as Southern as they come, surely we can agree that fuzz is the least appetizing part of the peach? Alas, I cannot shun a color completely.  

Here’s what I wrote to my followers on IG:
I honestly didn’t know I didn’t like this color until I pulled up the announcement and yelled “Noooooo” out loud. I wanted something rich, something deep (or sparkly).

Alas, challenge accepted, Pantone.

An obsession of mine this past year has been how colors change when put with other colors. So, I'll be playing with palettes over here in my intent to “make peace with peach.”

In the comments, the more optimistic followers came to my rescue and wrote:
“Peach daiquiris and a beach” 
“Soft feminine color”
“Some rose wines”  
“Creamsicle mix”
“Cousin to Millennial Pink, warmer”

Yet others were more empathetic, feeling my pain:
“First Clinique base before we called it foundation”
“Equivalent to Soviet architecture”
“Marshmallow peanuts my great aunt kept in her candy dish”

Why do I care so much about the Color of the Year, you ask?  
A little background: I grew up painting. My high school friends view me as an artist, and in my youth, I had freelance gigs, painting murals and the like. As far back as elementary school, I obsessed over the color wheel, joyfully mixing watercolors and later acrylics to get that precisely right shade. Color felt like alchemy to me. Today, my love of color is mainly channeled into my work as a Feng Shui consultant, interior designer, and part-time filmmaker. Feng Shui practitioners deal with the “psychology of space,” understanding that our environments affect us tremendously. In our world, color is a language constantly whispering (or shouting). I love to say “paint is a magic wand” because of how intensely a new hue can change a room. And I’ve had clients gasp at how a throw pillow can bring a room together simply because of that perfect spot of red or hint of green.

When working with a client or in pre-production for a film, I break out my big box of 100 Pantone postcards, a gift from my sister. For home décor, I ask my clients to choose their favorite and least favorite colors, without thinking too hard, I say. Not only do the answers influence design, but they also help me get to know someone more deeply. Colors have meaning. Even a three-year-old could tell you that red “feels hot,” that yellow “feels happy,” and blue “feels calm.” Of course, those are just the most basic psychological assessments. I’ve boiled it down to color having three central “meanings” for a person simultaneously: Universal, Cultural, and Personal.

To test myself around my aversion to Peach Fuzz, I played with palettes and looked for it everywhere I went. I began to notice Peach Fuzz in the sneakiest places: a quiet flower arrangement at my yoga studio, a striking rug, antique glassware, and the packaging for my teen daughter’s recent obsession, Olive & June nail polish sets.  
But my favorite iteration was a soft sunset over Mobile Bay, where I’m originally from.  

My conclusion: I do like Peach Fuzz, but only in specific contexts.  
There is a point where we shouldn’t force a color. Sometimes, a color just isn’t for us. And while I’m glad I stayed open-minded, I probably won’t be painting anyone’s kitchen Peach Fuzz anytime soon.  

I began to notice Peach Fuzz in the sneakiest places: a quiet flower arrangement at my yoga studio, a striking rug, antique glassware