Announcing the 2014 colors of the year

Shoshanah Siegel

Every year, a color is designated as the “in” selection or the color trend. Where do these colors come from? Color trends are a reflection of events and ideas from around the world. Influences can include the entertainment industry, upcoming films, artists, travel destinations and lifestyles. Color trends are born out of global, political and economic influences, among others. What’s happening in the world at-large translates into what will happen in our homes and environments.
Why determine trends? Sonu Mathew, Benjamin Moore’s senior interior designer, summed it up when she said, “The end goal in providing an annual color forecast is to help inspire and fuel the imagination of individuals as they take on home-decorating and painting projects.”
Who determines these trends? There are many “color experts” from around the world. For the sake of this article I am going to focus only on four. As you will learn, there’s not just one group of experts and no clear consensus. Even though all of their forecasts were positive, they came up with varying and surprising conclusions.

Captivating, magical and enchanting
This is a description of a 2014 color of the year. According to the Pantone Color Institute, one of the trend forecasters and a world-renowned authority on color, recently announced their color of the year selection, Radiant Orchid (18-3224).
“An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society,” stated Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Imbued with a harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence, and its rosy undertones emanate great joy, love and health. ”
If you are not up to painting an entire room this color, this eye-catching hue works well for accent pieces and accessories. Radiant Orchid can liven up gray, beige, and taupe without overpowering a room. In order to keep the hue vibrant and youthful, mix it up with yellow-green, turquoise, teal and yellow-orange.

Sherwin-Williams’s color of the year for 2014 is Exclusive Plum (SW 6263). It is a hue that is a balance of cool blue and feisty red with a splash of gray. It is very muted and provides a great background for other accent colors.
Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’s director of color marketing states, “This dusky, filtered violet is refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential.”
Their press release has some decorating ideas for their color of the year, and they are as follows. For a cozy, masculine den, they recommend pairing their color with accents of copper and leather. For a softer feel, Exclusive Plum can also be layered with cold, gray, and white. For a modern and energetic space, include splashes of magenta or chartreuse.

A breath of fresh air

Benjamin Moore’s selection of the year is a calming blue shade— Breath of Fresh Air (806). Newly appointed Benjamin Moore Creative Director Ellen O’Neill states, “We chose Breath of Fresh Air because we were seeing it across several different environments. It is a direct result of the fresh color cues and pastel trends we’ve seen throughout the home-furnishing, fashion and even pop-culture landscape.” Their literature also describes the ethereal blue as the “new neutral” that is livable and functional.
Benjamin Moore also lists 23 additional hues that would be great to pair with this blue. They include a variety of neutrals, soft pastels and pops of more rich, saturated color. Included are: Distant Gray, White Dove, Peach Parfait, Fruit Shake, Coral Essence, Clay Beige, Sparrow, Castleton, Elemental, Van Alen Green, Palladian Blue, Caribbean Teal, Wickham Gray, Normandy, Van Deusen Blue, Mt. Rainier Gray, Flint, Lavender Mist, Iced Mauve, Super Nova, Nightingale and Black Satin.

Soft and energetic
The PPG Pittsburgh Paints® brand named Turning Oakleaf, a soft, but energetic, buttercream yellow, as its 2014 Color of the Year. “Homeowners have moved away from the muted hues influenced by economic factors in recent years. Turning Oakleaf, which is soft enough to be a neutral, but bright enough to generate a sunshine-like energy, represents a trend toward warmth in harmonious living, a deep appreciation for the surrounding natural elements and a thorough understanding of enlightened philosophies,” said Dee Schlotter, brand manager, The Voice of Color program.
I think that this color would be a great complement to purple. It is a very optimistic color. For a calming feel, you could pair it with natural greens, warm grays or sandy brown. For a more intense statement, mix it with accents of bright blue, red-orange, or even black and white.

For fun, notice where these colors are prevalent and prominent in your decorating and design selections.
Explore! Experiment! Ultimately, the colors you choose should make you feel comfortable and happy.
Have a colorful new year!

Shoshanah Siegel provides color consulting as well as space planning, remodeling, upgrading and staging through her firm Your Color Diva. She can be contacted at (562) 427-0440 or at [email protected] . Samples of her work can be found at .