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Repnow: Radiant Orchid brings forth great joy

By Staff | Aug 1, 2014

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a hundred times from my wife, “There should be a law against people painting bedroom walls white.” I could not agree with her more and in our 26 years of marriage, our bedroom has always been pink.

We are about to do some major bedroom painting in our Minot home and Lydia’s bedroom will be first. For several weeks now, we have shuffled around color paint chips as if we are dealing out cards for a game of whist. High on the choice list are shades of pinks, violets, purple and the thrilling and absorbing color of orchid. Lying in the low pile are many shades of off-white, beige and some very eerie shades of gray.

Lydia is now getting to the age where she is rather expressive about color choices, and as I sat back in our coral-colored living room chair, I somehow recall this movie being played much earlier in McLean County at the home of TeRoy and Marian Repnow. I, however, was not as successful in persuading my parents to purchase a fine shade of Viking purple carpet at Schultz’s Furniture Store in Washburn. My bedroom walls were paneled and the burst of color would have to come from the floor covering. They did, however, agree to my second choice, which was red.

It will be the reverse for Lydia as her bedroom has original hardwood and wall canvases that can be painted as vivid as a Czanne or Gauguin painting, or perhaps as soothing as Claude Monet’s water lilies, where shades of violet, lilac and orchid create misty pools that summon you to be a gypsy at heart. Last weekend the verdict was announced and winning top bedroom color choice was Pantone’s color of the year for 2014 – Radiant Orchid. It will be paired with Orchid, a somewhat lighter shade.

Each year Pantone reveals a color of the year, and along with the choice, they present a descriptive release for color fans. Here are a few selected words from the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman: “Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination. it encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

I think we should paint the entire house this color! (I wondered why golfers who pursue a hole in one wear orchid golf shirts. I now realize they understand this may be the only fairway they have a chance at.)

Color does have an impact on how we feel, and often on how we react. Watching Lydia pick out these colors was enjoyable – once we decided that no walls would be painted Viking purple or magenta. Radiant Orchid is praised for its blending with white and off-whites, which made us smile because Lydia’s bedroom will be furnished with her mother’s white French provincial bedroom set from childhood.

The rich rosy undertones of orchid are appealing to many, and the fashion world takes advantage by presenting shoppers a slice of Radiant Orchid in a purse, necktie, clothing and even autos. The color of the year selection does not happen on a whim; but rather involves deliberation. Pantone looks the world over for color influences. The music industry, cooking channels, economic conditions, golfers, and even traveling art collections aid in Pantone color choice.

We do have not have the very latest gadgets, the largest flat screen TV, season tickets to the Twins, or fancy grilling gadgets for barbecuing, but we will have bedrooms with wall colors to inspire us, give us confidence, and emanate great joy, love and health. Who could ask for anything more? Now where is that paint can of Radiant Orchid? I need to introduce this amazing color to a few of our legislators

This cookie recipe comes from Jan’s aunt, Florence. She and her husband, Reuben, operated Borrud’s Bakery in Williston, which was his family business. Florence was of the mindset that once a recipe won her approval, it should be neatly written on a recipe card, placed in a plastic sleeve and positioned in the proper category in her recipe file for continuous use. These light-colored cookies are most attractive and delicious.

Aunt Florence’s Swedish Overnight Cookies


1 cup shortening

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar


3 cups sifted flour

1 cup coconut

1 T. baking powder

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. vanilla

Dash salt

Form into roll and refrigerate overnight. Slice thin and bake at 350 degrees.

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