The next time you're shopping for a new accent for your home or wardrobe, chances are your eyes will be drawn to pieces the color of a bright tropical bloom.
That's what the experts at the Pantone Color Institute are betting.
Every year, Pantone surveys the globe and crowns its color of the year, the hue predicted to make a big splash in palettes during the months ahead. For 2014, everything is coming up Radiant Orchid, a vibrant shade somewhere between fuchsia and violet.
"It doesn't surprise me at all," said Kathy Basil, manager-buyer for Hirshfield's Design Resource. She has noticed pink ascending in popularity, especially among trend-savvy customers.
"People in the know, they're asking for pink in wall coverings," she said. Not just orchid shades but pinks of all description, from brights to pales. "Whenever you start to see the range in a color, you can tell it's coming."
Nancy Woodhouse, senior designer for Gabbert's Design Studio, noticed a lot of orchid in fashion windows while in London last spring. "It's beautiful — such a vibrant, romantic color," she said. "It's so complementary to most people's skin tones. I'm sure we'll see a lot of that color during the Academy Awards."
You don't have to be female to like orchid or wear it, according to Jim Noble of Noble Interior Design. "It's a fun color, and fun to wear in small amounts," he said. "Speaking as a bow-tie wearer, it'll be great with a gray or dark blue suit."
For interiors, he expects it to be used to add a pop of color. "It could be great in a house in a plaid or paisley," he said.
Basil, the buyer, also expects orchid to take a limited supporting role in home decor. "I don't really see it as a wall color," she said. "It can't be matte or flat. It has to have depth, like a fabric or a leather. It won't take center stage like emerald," last year's Pantone pick for color of the year, she predicted.
Woodhouse would use orchid on pillows, vases, a piece of artwork or a floral arrangement, she said. "I think it's going to be seasonal, for outdoor areas and porches, maybe in a bathroom."
Orchid is a good complement to other currently popular colors in interior design, including the grays that have become the preferred neutral, as well as last year's emerald, she said. "It's gorgeous with green. Think of an orchid on a stem. It's a beautiful combination in nature."