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Real LeadAfter crowning emerald Colour of the Year in 2013, Pantone recently surprised the design industry by reaching across the colour wheel to ‘radiant orchid’, as the colour of 2014.

This captivating hue is a harmonious composition of fuchsia, purple and pink, and while it lends itself well to fashion and décor, its feminine undertones make it a challenging colour to incorporate within the architecture of a house.

Emanating love, joy and health, radiant orchid is aggressive with a soft edge and must be used wisely. As a paint colour, it can brighten up a dull foyer or corridor when used with restraint as an accent colour on a focal wall. Its subtle perky quality works well in lifting neutrals, such as whites and creams, and adds a touch of sophistication. Similarly, it can work well in livening up a living room as the colour of a floor to ceiling TV unit surrounded by neutral walls and flooring.

One of the best uses of radiant orchid would be in a girl’s bedroom. Painting the wall behind the bed in this colour will produce a bold backdrop and add instant personality. For added drama, continue the paint on the ceiling to give a more enveloping, canopy-like effect.

A powder room is a great place to use this colour. Patterned or textured wallpaper, with a radiant orchid base, can make a powder room chic and glamorous. Adding a large gold or silver framed mirror on top of the vanity table will complete the look.

The growing popularity of recreation rooms gives radiant orchid another opportunity to shine. These rooms are creative spaces and can usually take larger doses of colour compared to others.  Radiant orchid in darker shades can work brilliantly as carpet flooring or the fabric panelling necessary to aid in the acoustics of the room.

The important thing to remember is to use radiant orchid thoughtfully and creatively, and to explore it in various media – from paint to wallpaper to fabric and carpeting – for full effect.

– Shehzad Dossa
The writer is an interior designer.

First Published on January 5, 2014 in the Real Estate Section of the Dawn National Weekend Advertiser.