Goodbye Tangerine Tango. Farewell Emerald Green. Say hello to Pantone’s new Colour of the Year – a pinky purple hue rather elegantly named, Radiant Orchid.

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’’s society… An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

I have to admit, my feelings about this colour are mixed and I’m certainly not alone. The general consensus among interior design enthusiasts online has been one of curious fascination at best and immediate dismissal at worst. I can’t help (being a woman of a ‘certain age’ ahem) that it reminds me of the sherbert rainbow of My Little Pony when I was a child in the 80’s. Possibly as a result, I’ve never been a big fan of purple interiors.

The fashion and cosmetic retailers, however, are welcoming the new colour with open arms and it certainly does add a certain playfulness to an outfit. But can it be used in your “grown up” interiors? And if so, what is the best way to utilise this colour in your living space? Well, that’s what we’re going to look at today.

The wallpaper below from Eskayel is probably one of my favourite inspirational images for this colour. The inkblot pattern blurs the lines between subtlety and glamour when paired with black, white and gold. Perhaps I’d dismissed Radiant Orchid too soon?

Pantone Colour of the Year Radiant Orchid

I admit, I couldn’t help notice how elegantly the chair in the below image pulls through the colours of the artwork and accessories. Here, Radiant Orchid doesn’t scream, it merely whispers. And if wallpaper is too much of a commitment to embracing a trend, then recovering a chair is a relatively small commitment. It’s a fairly simple upholstery job and normally doesn’t cost much for a whole new look as there is so little material used.


Speaking of upholstery, these twin beds in Radiant Orchid add a lovely pop of colour and provide contrast alongside the curtains and light fitting. This is not in-your-face-all-encompassing colour. We’re seeing neutral whites and creams grounding the space and softening the look and the result is a sophisticated but playful scheme.

Radiant Orchid bedroom

I also found myself drawn to rooms with soft purples in the artwork. Again, it’s a simple way to bring in a trendy colour without having to redecorate an entire space. The large piece commands the space and provides a moody mix with the navy blue.

Radiant Orchid artwork

Of course, if the more subtle applications of Radiant Orchid don’t whet your appetite, then going the whole hog is certainly an option for those lovers of purple out there. This feminine bedroom in tonal hues mixed with bright white give it a fresh, clean look.

Radiant orchid in the bedroom

The same formula is applied to this living room, but raspberry reds in the sofa cushions keep the palette visually interesting.

Radiant Orchid wallpaper

Radiant Orchid certainly doesn’t have to be restricted to the living or bedrooms and it doesn’t need to always be combined with white. I love the pop of colour in this nearly black kitchen, giving it an edgy, feminine vibe. Consider giving existing cabinetry a face lift with primer and spray paint to adopt this look in your home.

Radiant Orchid kitchen cupboards

Of course, you don’t need to redecorate a whole room around a single trendy colour. A simple potted orchid brings us back to the original source of the beautiful colours in our world – nature.

Radiant Orchid

What do you think of Pantone’s choice? Are you one for adopting trends into your home? Will you be using Radiant Orchid in your interiors this year? I’d love to know what you think!


Image credits:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8


By Kimberly Duran on 15.01.14

Guest Contributor

Leave a Reply