Plum isn’t just another shade of purple. It’s a trending color that pops up in everything from nail polish to wall paint to T-shirts. Pantone’s color of 2014, Radiant Orchid (Pantone #18-3224) is a rosier shade of purple that inspired many variations from fashion to decor. Sherwin-Williams names its take “Exclusive Plum” (SW 6263), which is described as a hue “with a balance of cool blue and feisty red with a splash of gray.”
Plum can be made warmer with an increase of red and brown undertones, making it lively and positive. Colors that fall to the cooler side take on more gray, blue or black, creating shades of plum that appear sophisticated. Add a little white and plum becomes a pale tint perfect for a background.
“Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”
Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, recommends pairing its Exclusive Plum with accents of copper and the patina of well-worn leather for a more masculine appeal. Pops of magenta and chartreuse imbue plum with a lively, energetic vibe. Softer versions tinted with white or paired with a neutral become more feminine.