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New year, new color scheme

As a designer, I know I can count on various companies within the color industry to release their much anticipated “Color of the Year” predictions. The largest among these trend prophets is Pantone, the world renowned authority on color for the past 50 years. Also in the color trend predicting business are of course, paint moguls, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.

Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year- Radiant Orchid
The 2014 Pantone Color of the Year

Yearly, Pantone sells an obscene amount of products and services in not only the home décor industry, but they also monopolize the fashion, graphic arts and plastics market where color is concerned. This year, they have chosen Radiant Orchid to dominate the color scene. So whether you are planning a wedding or accessorizing your home, you can be certain to see this vibrant purple hue in abundance.

The next question will be how to create a winning color scheme using this lovely combination of fuchsia, purple and pink. It’s much easier than you may think, actually. Because Radiant Orchid is a very brilliant color, it may best be used in your accents and accessories, like pillows, artwork and area rugs. It’s a very versatile color in that it will liven up any all neutral palette, whether it’s comprised of beige or grey tones. This perky color would make a traditional black and white scheme really pop.

Radiant Orchid can also be used in a monochromatic scheme, as well, if you are looking for a dramatic installation of this year’s predicted color of choice. I would just include a myriad of reflective surfaces to add light to your space, and keep it from being too dreary.

To a much smaller extent, both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore select their own versions of the year’s top color. This time around, Sherwin Williams’ choice color is ‘Exclusive Plum’. Although still in the purple family, it lacks the pink and fuchsia tones that make Radiant Orchid so energizing. This hue can be described as a balance of cool blue and warm red with a splash of gray. Certainly a more serious tone, this masculine plum looks fabulous with whites, grays and pops of lime green or turquoise.

Benjamin Moore, on the other hand, has chosen ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ as their 2014 Color of the Year. They describe this as a gorgeous, ethereal blue that can be considered a “new neutral”. Much different than its industry partners’ predictions, this pale blue is for the color shy who cringe at a room of highly pigmented walls.

Only time will tell which color prediction truly is the 2014 Color of the Year most favored by the masses. When choosing your own color schemes however, keep in mind this Savvy Rule of Thumb- how your home makes you feel is what is most important, not a color’s popularity status. Live with what you love most, after all, good design is timeless, my friends.

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