Purple? Pink? Mauve? Fuchsia? Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid

The news is out: Pantone’s color of the year for 2014 is 18-3224, Radiant Orchid.


Pantone's color of the year 2014 Radiant Orchid

Now, you may be thinking, “Hold it right there, missy! Mere weeks ago you were telling us about your new-found acceptance of purple. Are you backpedaling? Are you now against it after being for it, or whatever?”

Radiant Orchid honeymoon suite (really?!)

NO, Gentle Readers. NO. I am not backpedaling. Many shades of purple – including aubergine and lavender – have found their way into my portfolio, and subsequently my heart.

But Radiant Orchid? What IS it? Is it purple? Fuchsia? I think The Wall Street Journal might have it right in calling Radiant Orchid PINK. Their headline is, “Love It, Hate It, a New Pink Is Coming.”

Revolting Radiant Fuchsia room

Radiant Orchid is just so…so IN YOUR FACE. (This from bossy color.) The more saturated it gets, the less I like it. There will be broad interpretations of this color in 2014 — there always are — but in it’s purest form, on Pantone’s swatch, I intensely dislike it.

I think Pantone often gets the Color of the Year right. Let’s do a quick bossy color blog review, shall we? I’ve been blogging since 2009 (holy cow), so in reverse date order:

2013: Pantone’s 17-5641 Emerald Green. Fabulous.

Emerald Green bedroom

2012: Pantone’s 17-1463 Tangerine Tango. I thought this was stating the obvious – orange had been big for a year – but the color was great.

Jeffrey Bilhuber Pantone color of the year Tangerine Tango

2011: Pantone’s 18-2120 Honeysuckle Pink. Festive! (This, btw, is NOT Radiant Orchid; it is pink with a dash of magenta in it. There’s a difference.)

Pantone's color of the year 2011 Honeysuckle Pink

Pantone's color of the year 2014 Radiant Orchid


2010: Pantone’s 15-5519, Turquoise. I struggled with this one initially. But add a lot of white and call it “Robin’s Egg Blue,” and I grew fond of this color. After all, my office at that time was Benjamin Moore‘s 2052-70, Ice Blue, which, as many of you argued, was actually a super duper light turquoise.

Pantone's 2010 color of the year Turquoise

And finally, 2009: Pantone’s 14-0848, Mimosa: A delightful shade of yellow! Very close to the color of my living room!

Pantone's color of the year 2009 Mimosa yellow

I’ll be honest: the Bossettes are laughing at me right now. Katherine is reminding me that Emerald Green took some getting used to, and New Nola thinks it’s silly to get all worked up about a color. (She’ll learn :) )

You know what? OK.

Pantone: you’re on: I ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE. I am going to find a way to work with this color, even if it kills me (and it might). I am going to search high and low and CREATE A PINTEREST BOARD with purplish pinkish fuchsia-ish images that don’t make me sick to my stomach. Maybe it will help the thousands – nay, millions? – of you who are similarly struggling.

Together, we’ll get through this. Onward!

Pantone's colors of the year

Quoted most recently in The Wall Street Journal and on Washingtonian.comAnnie Elliott is an expert in curated interiors, brilliant color palettes, and telling busy professionals what to do in the nicest way possible. For picture attributions, please click through to the links, and you’ll see them. Thanks.


  1. says

    Ugh. No. Not more pink. Pink has no place in my heart, my home or my wardrobe and not just because my husband hates it with a fiery passion.

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll go unfollow Pantone on Pinterest for a year or so.

  2. says

    I hate this color so much! I am not a fan of purple and adding a little pink to it still reminds me of tacky, shiny clothing marketed to women of a certain age. I am not speaking to Pantone this year.

  3. Amy Q says

    But didn’t you just love the Radiant Orchid converse sneakers for girls that were in that WSJ article? They made me want to be 8 again.

  4. says

    I love basically everything I’ve seen posted on this blog so far, I’m so glad I found it, this is definitely on my bookmarks/favorite list; beautiful colors, designs and people with great taste.. what’s not to love.


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