Also known as Pantone's Colour of the Year announcement. As designers we are immersed in trends but those of us who are at the forefront of setting trends are always amused by what others announce as being trend-worthy.
Simply put, they are often a wee bit behind the times.
How do trends emerge? Who maintains them? Better yet - WHY?
Well the why is simple to answer and not as simple to answer all at the same time. On the one hand, trends have become a trend of their own because they fuel consumption. If it is trendy, there is the hope that you will buy more stuff in order to be 'en vogue' - marketers and brands alike want you to buy more stuff so they prey upon the need to be popular, current and fashionably fabulous. This of course extends to home decor. You will be besieged with segments on how to update your look to include these new trends. I can practically set my watch around it. I especially love when they have people who aren't what I'd call trendsetters on to talk about it. Same goes for all of the "What's Hot Now" segments. (yes I totally rolled my eyes when I typed that).
How and Where do these trends all come about? Well I think on one hand trends emerge as a backlash to their predecessors. If I see another Monroe Tan or Straw Hat sickly yellow coloured room I will puke for example... The 90's had the plague of Autumnal Paint Colours that morphed into Taupe-ville which then transformed into Chocolate with bold red or acid green accents which evaporated into grey, grey, grey where we are. Now some are championing a return to beigeville I'm not onboard. I still like grey as a neutral and much prefer it to anything beige or I like white. I've championed dark blues as my preferred neutral for coming up on five years. I think that's caught on.
Last week Radiant Orchid was announced by Pantone as the IT colour for 2014. As you know, I've been using shades of Amethyst, Violet & Magenta for a few years now and I don't think they've missed the mark on this COTY but I DO think they've had a bit of a marketing blunder happen. There are two very distinct shades of Orchid being shared on the internet. When you look at the actual pantone colour it is very different than some of the images shared. One is sort of Easter Bunny purple - NOT attractive. The pantone itself has more magenta in it much like an orchid itself does. Not quite sure why any of this is happening but it's not like I follow trends now is it?
The interesting thing to me about this yearly announcement is obviously how it gets interpreted and the fierce debates about why THAT colour was chosen when X, Y and Z are so much the better choices. A few people commented why they didn't see blue as the choice - well hell it's not awarded AFTER the fact as a trend. Truth be told, the blue should have been it many years ago if it was to be on trend.
Pantone though, is not beholden to the interior design industry. It includes graphics, packaging and the like and mostly should NEVER EVER EVER be considered as a wall colour choice. How ridiculous. People also forget to look beyond the specific hue itself - there's a range of tones/tints/shades that need to be factored in.
"I Refuse to Follow Trends...." okay I can support not jumping on a bandwagon for the sake of joining the herd (I like to mix metaphors it's my thing...) but I also think that some are good to jump on. If you have greyed your home to join that trend from way back (a client recently reminded me that I had them paint their first home in shades of grey to prep it for sale and that that was nearly a decade ago - we chose the fabrics for their new house spring last year and you BETCHA there's a lot of orchid already planned for it) Radiant Orchid is a great way to liven things up. I like to mix in shades of sapphire and even a burst of kelly green or citrine to really make it dazzle and be lively vs analagous. I also think you could add in an upcoming trend - here I am predicting again - of a deep cherry red with the orchid and then a sapphire. I think that would be divine.
So screw the COTY if you want to change things up in your space - well of course I think you should hire a designer (me even!) to give it a refresh. If you can't afford a designer (many can't that's okay) you could still have a friend over and ask them for an appraisal. What's working what isn't working to them? Whenever I'm asked for ideas on how to freshen a space up I always suggest that if you can strip a room bare of all it's accessories so that you can see the bones - what do you have. What are the room's strengths? Is there a bossy pants in the room (ie; carpet or a sofa) that you can't get rid of so you have to work around it? Do you have too many small items that make the space feel cluttered? What's your lighting like? What big gestures can you make for instant impact?
I'm now going to tantilize you with images of what Radiant Orchid is and how it can be interpeted. Or you can say NO NO NO and stick with your Tan coloured or Beige. ::welp::