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Trendiest Color for 2014: Radiant Orchid

Local designers offer tips on using this exotic hue tastefully and share their own color predictions.

It has been called exotic, vibrant and even magical. Now it has been named the 2014 color of the year: orchid, or radiant orchid to be exact.

Pantone, color authority and provider of professional color standards for design industries, says this shade of purple will be everywhere in 2014. Local design experts agree that this lively hue can add bursts of energy to almost any interior when used tastefully. But before you lay radiant orchid marble in your powder room, remember that Pantone will crown a new shade in less than 12 months.

"I would use this color in ‘easily changed’ items such as linens and accessories to add a pop of color to a space," said Bill Millholland, executive vice president at Case Design/Remodeling, with offices in Bethesda and Falls Church. "I think of the Pantone selection as primarily fashion focused. As a result, it has a limited lifespan and is not appropriate for tile [and] cabinetry … that you want to look great for a long time."

Jim Nicolson, of Tech Painting Company in Alexandria, said, "We might get a request for an accent wall in a deep purple or violet, but it would be fashion-forward type people who uses those colors, at least in the Washington area."

Instead, designers say to look for radiant orchid in textiles. "A great complementary color is navy blue," said interior designer Sallie Kjos of GreyHunt Interiors in Chantilly. "You can inject these colors into your home by using throw pillows and throws. Replace rugs with navy blue and white indoor-outdoor rugs, [using] the pops of orchid on the pillows and artwork. … Look … for orchid pillows in solids and mix [them] with a geometric pattern in navy blue."

Victoria Sanchez, of Victoria at Home in Alexandria, said, "Orchid is going to be the new blue for the bedroom. It will take the place of blue and can be paired with similar neutrals."

Sanchez predicts that soft colors will also be popular in 2014. "Neutrals are here to stay," she said. "We'll still be enjoying grays, taupes and shades of ivory with their soothing palettes."

Lisa Magee, project designer at Case Design/Remodeling anticipates seeing shades of gray this year. "Grays are where it’s at. We’re moving away from the earth tones and into the cooler colors like grays and blues."

Nicolson said that "Grays were big last year, a lot of shades of gray, and that doesn’t seem to be changing, but that could very well be unique to Washington."

As a neutral, gray would work with radiant orchid as well. But if such a bright color still makes you a little gun shy, Kjos offers a simple solution: "For your coffee table, purchase a live orchid to bring in the color."