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A sea of blue and green hues could be making its way into home design next year, as Pantone has declared Monaco Blue the top Spring 2013 color and Emerald as the top color of the year. Trending on the runway, in home décor and accessories, Monaco Blue sets a more dependable and subtle tone, while Emerald evokes relaxation and balance, yet both colors provide homeowners with a versatile palette of complementary colors. Similarly, leading quartz manufacturer Silestone, offers comparable tones in its expansive line of surfacing: the vibrant Blue Enjoy and rich Stellar Marine.

Leading Chicago designer and blogger, Julia Buckingham Edelmann, founder of Buckingham Interiors + Design, and contributor to blog Material Girls said Monaco Blue feels very clean, which can translate nicely into the kitchen or bath, two rooms that can add significant value to a home.

“Monaco Blue is serene yet sensual and enigmatic,” she said. “The saturation of the color is soothing, but the name itself recalls the excitement of a place known for its opulence yet one shrouded in mystery.”

“On the other hand, Emerald is rich in color and plentiful in nature, but still precious like the stone it’s well known for. I find it important to incorporate natural elements and hues into my designs, so I feel that Emerald is a fabulous way to achieve this earthen quality while still retaining a chic effect.” says Buckingham Edelmann.

To invigorate the kitchen and bath, Buckingham Edelmann offered some fresh ideas for homeowners wanting to test out the hottest colors of the year.

1.  Add Color to Walls. “I find blue and green shades in particular to be very versatile in the kitchen and bath. Both Monaco Blue and Emerald Green recall natural elements such as water.  What evokes cleanliness in kitchens and baths more than water itself?,” Edelmann said.

Get the look: Because Monaco Blue and Emerald are particularly strong hues, “Complement the blue or emerald walls with a neutral Silestone material such as “Vortium” from the Stonium series for a clean and extra sharp look.  Try “Cygnus” from the Nebula series or “Bianco Maple” from the Stone series for a uniquely contemporary feel when paired with Monaco Blue or Emerald. If you really want to go for an exciting look, “Green Fun” from the Life! Series really packs a punch with Monaco Blue.”

2. Go Bold with Blue Cabinets. “Dark hued cabinetry makes a wonderful statement in the kitchen or bath. Blue, what a fun cabinet color choice! When bringing this level of rich color in, I suggest all other finishes in the space be more subtle.”

Get the Look: “Silestone’s White Zeus Extreme in Volcano fabulously complements dark-hued cabinetry.  The Volcano texture provides an extra kick! Complete the look by painting the walls with a clean, white such as Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, a middle ground between a true, blue white and off-white color.  Such a paint color would work beautifully with both Monaco Blue and Emerald.”

3. Jazz up your space with unexpected design elements. “I gather inspiration in many ways, but particularly through my travels. I have a major case of wanderlust, and traveling to amazing places (some of my favorites are Spain, France, and Japan) opens my eyes to cultures, lifestyles and aesthetics that I love to bring back and share with my clients through interesting accent pieces.”

Get the look: “Whether it be a bright red bunch of vintage alabaster grapes or funky textured pottery, Monaco Blue lends itself well to complementary colors and is a perfect backdrop for interesting pieces. Emerald is a strong, sumptuous shade, but not too vibrant. Therefore, it can be paired with a variety of both subtle and bold hues.

About Buckingham Interiors + Design:

Julia Buckingham Edelmann, the Chicago interior design blogger for Material Girls ( and 1stDibs dealer, runs the full-service interior design firm Buckingham Interiors + Design, specializing in historic restorations and homebuilding. Julia’s exquisite Buckingham I+D Showroom showcases curated collections of local and international fine art, furniture, lighting, unique artifacts and accessories. As a former antiques dealer, Julia designs interior environments, integrating antiques and modern furnishings which highlight her design direction which she refers to as her trademarked her Modernique® aesthetic.



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