Pantone’s color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid. Like 2013’s Emerald, this is a bold, assertive gem tone, but on the other side of the color wheel. Meant to symbolize imagination, innovation, and creativity, this bright fuchsia purple is the vibrant, flowering answer to last year’s intense green, and a fresh, vivid tone that can be incorporated all throughout home design.
Small Decor Items
Last year’s emerald was a color that worked better the more of it you used – a color you could easily use to paint a whole room, or upholster a whole set of furniture. But I like to think of the color orchid in terms of the flower it’s named for: it’s most beautiful as a single blossom on its own. Practically speaking, that means that orchid is a VERY easy color to add to your decor. A little goes a long way, so adding orchid colored throw pillows, a blanket, seat cushions, or even an area rug will really make the whole area pop. In the room above, adding a rug and matching flowers completely changes the mood of the space without any other alterations.
Painting is generally the easiest way to add a fresh new color to your decor, but again orchid is such an intense color that you probably don’t want to paint an entire room with it. Instead, use the color to draw the eye with smaller accents, like a small statement wall (if you’re feeling really bold, the ceiling), or, even better, to paint the very back of a bookshelf or cabinet. This is a project that’s amazingly quick and simple to do, and will make everything you put on the shelves stand out spectacularly. For an especially on-trend look, consider removing the doors from your kitchen cabinets and painting the back panel for a vibrant, open shelf look.
Another great way to incorporate orchid into your decor is with orchid-upholstered furniture. Pantone’s really intense, vibrant fuchsia color is available from many modern manufacturers, and is great for offsetting a stark, gray scale modern decor (the chairs above are paired with a gray sofa and create a nice symmetry with the painted bookshelves). But a single, smaller piece like this ottoman can work just as well with a more traditional decor. Warm, earthy neutrals help mellow out the intensity of the pink while still allowing it to act as a cheerful focal point for the space.
While smaller decor items are the easiest way to quickly add a little splash of orchid to a room, maybe the most popular is to opt for a colorful area rug. These can be solid, patterned, or textured, and use the intensity of the base color to dramatically define a space, like a dining area, bedroom set, or living room set. A good area rug should be big enough for an entire “zone” of furniture to sit comfortably and completely on top of it. Because the color is so vivid, a simple rug will tie together everything on it, and visually separate it from the rest of the space – an especially useful technique for a large greatroom or open loft space.
Layered Pinks And Purples
If you really, really love pinks and purples, it is possible to use radiant orchid as the base for an overarching color scheme. Paired with black and white patterns, this bright fuchsia tone makes for a striking, glamorous modern look – think black and pink zebra print. But for a more typical, contemporary space, layer it with a variety of other pinks and purples. Soft, dusky lavenders help vivid orchid blend in instead of stand out – accents of any size will still be eye-grabbing, but not quite so attention hogging. Don’t go any darker than pale purple or powder pink on the walls, though, and if you can stand it, stick with something closer to white. With enough orchid accessories and furniture in the room, the pink tones will tend to reflect anyway, and doubling up with darker tones on the walls can make the space feel smaller and a little too busy, while lighter tones will help open up the space.
An Actual Orchid
Finally, while “Radiant Orchid” is technically a color on a swatch, you shouldn’t rule out actual orchids as a way to incorporate this color into your home. Available in vibrant pinks and purples (as well as other colors), live orchids not only add a little touch of color to your space, but a little touch of life, too. Many orchids are amazingly fragrant, and though they require some special care, they’re prized around the world for their delicate beauty and uniquely shaped blossoms. Plus, orchids thrive in pots and indirect sunlight, meaning they can thrive indoors while acting as a colorful natural addition to your decor.
What do you think of this year’s Pantone color of the year? Are you in love with Radiant Orchid, and if so, how do you plan to incorporate it in your home? Let me know in the comments!