Is Pantone’s Color of the Year the new mauve? 2014’s ‘it’ hue is Radiant Orchid.

December 5, 2013

If you’re looking to glam up your living room for the holidays, you’re in luck. Pantone has released the name of its 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid.

The color is described by the Pantone color wizards as “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia purple and pink undertones.” They should know. Pantone is a major color authority and provides color forecasts to many industries, including home design, fashion, beauty, graphic design and product packaging.

Most millennials won’t remember this, but in the 1980s, there was a color similar to Radiant Orchid that we called mauve. Mauve was hugely popular and eventually became a bad cliche, a color found in motel rooms, doctor’s offices and really ugly large lamps. Every model home in every development in the country had rooms painted mauve. Thank goodness that a close look at Radiant Orchid reveals a brighter, fresher tone than the lowly, grayish mauve of yore.

Jessica Bantom, a color consultant whose firm Bantom Color Design is based in Bowie, says she checked out Radiant Orchid and found it refreshing. “It’s something a little lighter, because the last few colors of the year have been pretty bold,” she says. Bantom’s referring to Pantone’s 2013 choice, Emerald, and 2012’s Tangerine Tango — indeed, two very out-there colors.

“This Radiant Orchid has a different kind of vibe to it,” Bantom says. “It’s a pastel, but not the old-fashioned, old-lady Miami pastel. It’s exciting, and I have seen it coming out already in cosmetics. It will be interesting to see how it’s applied in interiors.”


Pantone’s Radiant Orchid, selected as its Color of the Year will, in theory, will have a strong presence in fashion, beauty, home design and consumer products. (AP)

Bantom adds that she thinks she’ll use it as an accent for bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms, but that she won’t paint a whole room in the color for now.

Pantone says it chose the color because it produces a rosy glow when worn, looks good as a lipstick and, in interiors, is a nice combination with olive, hunter green and turquoise.

If Radiant Orchid doesn’t do it for you, there are other colors in the news. Sherwin-Williams says Exclusive Plum is its 2014 Color of the Year. Benjamin Moore has selected an airy blue, Breath of Fresh Air.

Take your pick.

The home and design coverage of Jura Koncius has taken her inside hundreds of homes, from tiny studios in Penn Quarter to country castles in Warrenton. Jura also hosts the Home Front live chat, Thursdays at 11 a.m. ET.
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