We just had my daughter’s bedroom walls painted with a calm, ocean blue color that she picked out herself. For JEB Design/Build’s brand-new office and design studio on Pierremont Road, our designer, Kristen Wysong, chose blues with hints of silver and green, along with some subtle sage greens for various rooms.
Both of them are creative, artistic people, and it turns out that their choices are spot-on when it comes to color trends.
Every year, paint manufacturers and color experts forecast which hues will be most popular. And true to the instincts of Kristen and my daughter, blues in various shades and hues are near the top of every list for 2014.
Here’s a roundup of what the folks who create paint colors predict will be the most-selected wall colors—and therefore interior decorating hues—for this year. Keep them in mind when you select your colors for a home addition, a revamped kitchen or a renovated bathroom.
Benjamin Moore calls its color of the year “Breath of Fresh Air.” It’s a barely-there blue that looks cool and clear on a wall and pops just a bit when paired with fresh white or off-white trim. The manufacturer has put together a palette of 23 similar, “lighter-touch” pastels that designers there like to mix and match, including greens, lavenders and pinks.
“We call these the new neutrals,” Benjamin Moore’s creative director, Ellen O’Neill, said when the company introduced the palette. For your home—from paint to furniture to rugs to accessories—she recommends “a strong blue story.”
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, likes soft pastels, too, but she recommends pairing them with vivid brights to create what she calls “a colorful equilibrium.” Pantone’s 2014 color palette, she notes, is a colorful twist on traditional spring shades.
“This season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium,” Eiseman said when the institute released its forecast. “While this need for stability is reflected in the composition of the palette, the inherent versatility of the individual colors allows for experimentation with new looks and color combinations.”
Pantone’s top pastels for 2014: Placid Blue—the color of the sky; Violet Tulip, just as it sounds; and Hemlock, a “summery, ornamental green.”
Still, pops of sandy neutrals, spicy reds and even bright oranges show up on Pantone’s palette, with a recommendation to pair them with pastels, with bold blues or with each other.
At Behr, a cool aqua blue, called Ocean Liner, is among the paint manufacturer’s top picks for wall colors this year. Paired with sky blue accents around window alcoves, and soft peach or off-white for trim pieces, that blue helps create a tranquil room.
Along with a palette called Seaside Harmony—inspired, notes Behr, “by colors of the coastline: sea glass greens, warm white beach sand and the peaches and soft blues of the ocean sky at sunset”—are three other trends that Behr designers are seeing this year: an industrial, contemporary look created with deep spice tones, like burnt orange and dark olive, mixed with chalky browns and off-whites; more opulence, brought to mind by jewel tones like ruby, sapphire and topaz; and a mix of neutrals with bright colors, particularly reds, yellows and vivid greens.
Similarly, Sherwin Williams points to a blending of grays with pearly neutrals; unusual, unexpected bold blues, plums and reds; and brights in deep shades of orange, blue and even pink.
Keep blue colors and this new trend of melding soft colors with high-energy hues in mind as you update your home this year—and not just for your walls.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, is president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport. You can contact him at 318-865-4914 or by visiting www.jebdesignbuild.com.