5 Tips for Using Pantone’s Color of The Year

December 26, 2013

Let’s talk color of the year, shall we? Every year color giant Pantone selects one magical color as the ‘it’ color.  Then suddenly this color seems to permeate every ounce of your visual experience in the market place. This year Radiant Orchid has been knighted by Pantone as the color of 2014.

Moment of truth? Purple can be quite polarizing. This is a love it or leave color. I don’t think anyone has an indifferent attitude when it comes to purple. I happen to be generally in the “leave it” camp. However, this is where the fun comes in. Although I am a strong believer that announcements like this are to be taken as suggestions and not  mandates (which is my feeling on trends in general, but that is a discussion for another day), it is an opportunity to explore new fresh ideas about color palettes. After all, color is meant to be fun! Let’s play with some ways you can incorporate purple of all shades into your new Chicago home.




1. Ease In

Experiment with a new color in your space just as you would on your person – in small doses.  Just as you might test the waters of a new color with a shoe, belt or scarf, the same goes for your space.  Put your toe in with a throw pillow, table runner or vase. Think about things that are easily interchangeable (and returnable) so your feel free to experiment with purples.


2. Frame It Up



Give purple a test drive in your space with art.  You can find some really great, inexpensive art prints on Etsy, and sites like Joss and Main and One King’s Lane. Replace one or two pieces in a gallery wall for a little purple pop or frame up pieces of pretty wallpaper or decorative paper.


3. New Neutral


Radiant orchid is quite bold (which is never a problem in my book).  I think what is actually going to play out in the market will be softer, like the purples that were all over the runways for Spring.  I am drawn to using this color as inspiration to expand our perception of what is neutral.  This variation of a sophisticated hint of purple is an excellent foundation for a wonderfully layered neutral space. This is a great option, as it works with either tan or gray – or better yet, with both! Bonus: The calming effect purple typically creates in a space.


4. Fits Right In


If we stay on the track of this calmer, more sophisticated version of purple, this will fit right into all those current looks we are loving right now.  Mix soft purple accents right in with all the gold and soft pinks I know you love.  Purple agate coasters will fit right in on your bar cart!

5. Modern Pairings


Playing with a color outside of your comfort zone can be challenging.  Think outside the expected and pull the color into your personal color sensibility.  You don’t have to keep it purple and green or purple and pink to create a look that works.  This palette works in purple, while staying modern.


Visit Khristian’s website or connect with her on Pinterest for more tips on choosing and using color.

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