Friday, January 3, 2014

Chinoiserie Chic Color of the Year 2014

In September of 2013, I predicted that purple would be named as the color of the year for 2014. Indeed, Pantone's Color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid -

And Sherwin Williams has chosen Exclusive Plum.

I personally do not like these mid range purples. I like my purples either very pale and soft like lavender or very deep and dark like aubergine. I don't think either of their picks will catch on.

So now on to my choice.

Tony Duquette often said that coral pink was his neutral. I too love pink and especially coral pink. Lately, I have fallen for gray paint colors. Shades of gray have become my neutral as I tend to dislike white and beige walls. I also love soft lavenders and lilacs. So for my color of the year, I have combined -

*My love for the coral pink of flamingos
*My love for gray as my go-to neutral
*My love for soft purples like lavenders and lilacs
*My prediction of purple as the 2014 color of the year
*My discovery that newborn flamingos are born the most exquisite pale lavender gray color

My Chinoiserie Chic Color of 2014 is a Lavender Gray I have named Baby Flamingo. It is a soft pale heathered gray with lovely lavender undertones. It is a complex shade that changes colors depending on the time of day and the light. Lest you think the name is too weird, here are some of my favorite Farrow & Ball paint color names -

Cat's Paw
Smoked Trout
Mole's Breath
Elephant's Breath
Dead Salmon
Hound Yellow
Pale Hound

Here is the lovely color of baby flamingos -

These are inspiration boards I created using pale lavender gray walls. As you can see, this color works beautifully in an entryway, living room, dining room, or master bedroom. It would be a great gender neutral choice for a nursery. And it is an amazing backdrop for Chinoiserie - stunning with blue and white Chinese porcelain and black and gold Chinoiserie furniture. It is gorgeous with silver and gold. Leopard and zebra are other great pairings. Of course it is perfect with coral pink, the color of Baby Flamingo's parents.

And now some wonderful rooms using lavender grays - 

Verandah House

Susan Dowhower

Charlotte Moss

Thomas Jayne

Velvet settee and silk taffeta curtains with hand painted Chinoiserie wallpaper

Amanda Nisbet

Phoebe Howard

Kimberly McCluskey

Aerin Lauder

Kendall Wilkinson

I think Baby Flamingo is a wonderfully versatile color. Gray is a fantastic neutral - much more modern than whites or beiges. With lavender undertones, Baby Flamingo pairs the neutrality and versatility of gray with the very hot color trend of purple. The purple undertones are also a very fresh update on the pure grays, blue grays, and green grays that have been popular in recent years. And you will see how great it looks with virtually any colors you choose to pair with it.

I have found some paint colors that come closest to my idea of Baby Flamingo. I am also thinking of repainting my living room this color this year, so I will be testing out many lavender grays and if I can't find my vision of Baby Flamingo, I'll have it custom made for me.

I have created a Pinterest board here on my color of the year where you will find rooms and paint colors in lavender gray.


  1. Gorgeous post, Beth! These babies are too precious!!

  2. Oh, I love this Baby Flamingo, Beth!!! And what a wonderful discovery, I had no idea flamingos were this lovely shade when they were born... Such a beautiful color! Great post!

    The Glam Pad

  3. LOVE coral pink! Will definitely be using this colour in my home very soon.

  4. What a lovely color you've discovered! I don't use much lavender gray, I've never been a purple girl, but that first photo, examining it with the coral and the natural background of stone and watery greens fading into blacks, which are my go to colors, I might have to be a little more open minded about that. Love your photos of it with the blue and white porcelains, too. You've sold me, everyone needs a little chinoiserie in their lives.

  5. Yay for color of the year! Lavender has always been one of my favorites. Lavender and navy is my favorite combination! Thanks for sharing!


  6. I love it! And oh those baby flamingos. Beautiful color and cute as a bug.