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Pantone's Color of the Year - Radiant Orchid

Each December, Pantone, the god of all hues, picks a color for the following year that they designate the “Pantone Color of the Year.” Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014? Radiant Orchid. Pantone chose “Radiant Orchid” as a “captivating, magical, enigmatic purple…An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

While this might not seem like hot news to the majority of us, it is an announcement that designers heed and will it will probably affect us all to some degree.

Radiant Orchid is already making an appearance on 2014 runways; it has even now crept into fabrics, paint, fashion, make-up and accessories. If you live in New York or Los Angeles, you may see this color and variations of it popping up all over, while new color trends tend to creep from the coasts into the Midwest a bit slower and may be running a season or two behind.

But why should you care? If you are fashion minded and/or a follower of trends, it’s good to know what’s on the horizon so you don’t waste money on something that is going to scream “I’m out of style!!!” a year from now. Particularly when you are spending big money on upholstery, paint, tile, stone, and furnishings. Or a new pair of killer heels and a pedicure.

While “Radiant Orchid” might seem like a color that will only appeal to a few, keep it in mind if you are thinking about making some changes to your outdoor living space. A little touch of an on trend color could completely revamp your tired décor. “Radiant Orchid” is the perfect complement to the olive greens and grays that have been popular for the past few years; you can also pair it with black, white, navy blue and golden yellow, coral, pink and silver.

Sunbrella, the famous manufacturer of weather-friendly fabrics, already has a line-up of orchid tones available for 2014. “Traverse Orchid,” “Canvas Iris,” “Almeda Orchid,” “Pastiglia Orchid,” “Mudejar Orchid,” “Kuna Orchid,” and “Boulevard Orchid,” to name a few. Valspar has “Radiant Orchid” paint in its line-up and you can order “Radiant Orchid” spray paint from Walmart.

If you are shopping for new patio furniture or replacement cushions this season, keep your eye out for these lovely purple tones; consider incorporating some “Almeda Orchid” pillows or a “Boulevard Orchid” umbrella to your decorating scheme. If you have some old patio furniture that you aren’t quite ready to part with; maybe some Adirondack chairs that could use a coat of paint or granny’s old wrought iron bench, add some interest and fun to your patio or garden and go for that bright spot of Pantone’s “magical” orchid.

And you can always add some purple tones to your landscape (although keep in mind, Pantone describes Radiant Orchid as “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones…”) Verbena, Royal Purple Summertime Osteospermum, Nicotiana, Petunias, Ornamental Kale are all lovely and easy to grow.

Neutrals are all well and good, but they aren’t “captivating, magical, enigmatic” like Pantone’s Radiant Orchid. I know, it’s just a color. But color influences you more than you can imagine; why not take the edge off of a difficult day, improve a mood, brighten up a rainy afternoon? Why not create an environment that draws you in, soothes your soul, and makes you smile? Yes, color can do that. And a couple of throw pillows are a lot less expensive than therapy.

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