Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Kate Smith

A childhood love of color turned into a college-age fascination with the interaction of colors, then into a career of color trend forecasting and product development. Today, Kate Smith, CMG, CfYH, is president and chief color maven at Sensational Color, a company that provides color knowledge and know-how to corporations primarily in the home industry. Kate is an inspirational keynote speaker and seminar leader, blending color theory and psychology into entertaining and informative talks that bring color to life.

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Top Picks
  • colors of 2014
    Photo: Sensational Color
  • One of my favorite times of the year has arrived. Anticipated by color-lovers and designers everywhere, the leaders of the color palette pack have been selected for 2014. Though Pantone's radiant orchid is being talked about everywhere, there are four other hues paint producers think will be big next year. Here's my take on five of these winning colors—from a Caribbean-water blue to a springy yellow—along with a few ways to incorporate these hot colors into your decor.
  • Photo: Sensational Color
  • Pantone announced radiant orchid as its top color pick for 2014. "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®.
     
    This is an eye-catching hue that works well for accent pieces and accessories. Radiant orchid can liven up gray, beige, and taupe without overpowering a room. My favorite use of this color is to mix it up with yellow-green, turquoise, teal, and even yellow-orange. This keeps the hue vibrant and youthful.
  • Photo: Sensational Color
  • Another top pick from the purple family is Sherwin-Williams's exclusive plum. It's a sophisticated violet that balances cool blue and feisty red with a splash of gray. "This dusky, filtered violet is refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential," says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing.
     
    I like the versatility of this color. It can become masculine when paired with copper, tan, and well-worn leather. Sophisticated when layered with gold, gray, and white. Even contemporary against white subway tile or with chrome fixtures. Again, like with radiant orchid, my favorite way to use exclusive plum is with pops of magenta, chartreuse, or teal.
  • Photo: Sensational Color
  • 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, deep appreciation for the surrounding natural elements and a thorough understanding of enlightened philosophies," said Dee Schlotter, brand manager, The Voice of Color program.
     
    As a complement to purple, turning oakleaf will infuse a room with optimistic energy. It is equally lovely paired with calming and natural greens, warm grays, or sandy brown. Rejuvenate bright blue, red-orange, or even black and white with the fresh look of turning oakleaf.
  • Photo: Sensational Color
  • The top trend color for 2014 selected by Dulux, private lagoon, combines the natural balance of green with the tranquility of blue. The toned down teal has a gentle character, which is deeper and more sophisticated than turquoise. There is a subdued richness to teal that works best when combined with neutral shades and wood tones.
     
    Partner with contrasting hues such as coral, ochre yellow, or warm pinkish tones. Create a tone-on-tone scheme by layering teal with indigo, denim, mint, duck egg, or emerald. For a neutral combination choose any muted shade that looks as if it could have come straight out of nature.
  • Photo: Sensational Color
  • Benjamin Moore's 'it color' of 2014 is called breath of fresh air. A gentle, whispery blue that's being touted as a new neutral. Gentle and soft, this color encourages comfort and simplicity.

    Couple this blue with warm brown tones for contrast or highlight it against silver or white for a light, airy feel. With the power to instantly brighten a space, this hue makes a room feel as if the lights have just been turned on.

    However you style it, 2014 will be chock full of fun color and softer choices. These five on-trend colors will give a fresh, modern edge to your decor. I'm excited to incorporate them into my home in the year to come!

    Take a peek at my Pinterest boards for each color of the year for even more inspiration: radiant orchid, exclusive plum, turning oakleaf, breath of fresh air, and private lagoon.
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