Unless you’ve been living under Pantone®  14-0002 Pumice Stone, you probably know by now that the color authority’s official 2014 Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid  (Pantone 18-3224), which the organization describes as an “enigmatic purple.” That’s certainly better branding than comparing it to the mauve that was so ubiquitous in the 1980s, but as a frame of reference, it might help those of a certain age to think of it as a brighter and far more modern take on that pale purple.
Pantone’s spring 2014 color report for the apparel industry hinted at Radiant Orchid’s promise, placing it right above the top pick for spring, Dazzling Blue (Pantone 18-3949). No doubt the popularity of blue hues of all sorts at the fall High Point Market will help to welcome Radiant Orchid on the home front.
Pantone predicts a variety of prospects and pairings for Radiant Orchid in interiors. It seems a natural for a daring paint choice or for decorative accessories, including lamp bases (or statement-making shades). It’s more versatile than you might imagine; Pantone suggests using Radiant Orchid to complement olive or hunter green, or combining it with on-trend turquoise, teal or even light yellows. It’s also a pick-me-up (in the same vein as still-hot Tangerine Tango, Pantone 17-1463) for neutrals like gray, beige and taupe. As Pantone states in its press release announcing 2014’s Color of the Year: “Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces.”
Since I’m certain we will be seeing Radiant Orchid and sister variations of purples and pinks in displays as a result of this announcement, I encourage a more courageous approach that showcases this fresh fuchsia’s flexibility. A concentration of items in the same color is about as original as matching your own Garanimals . Just as Tangerine Tango taught us to dance orange with new partners, a lighting display planting Orchid in an unexpected arrangement would be truly Radiant.