As the New Year rises, paint companies across the board are releasing their 2014 Color of the Year. This week, we report on Benjamin Moore’s color, a pale blue called “Breath of Fresh Air” and Sherwin Williams’ color, a muted purple named “Exclusive Plum.”
The pale, calming blue evokes a sense of peace and gives one room to breathe, so to speak. It seems to have a similar soothing, yet still crisp and energetic feel as PPG’s Color of the Year, Turning Oakleaf. In much the same way, BM’s blue can stand on its own or act as a tinted neutral with other colors. Benjamin Moore stands soundly with their move toward colored neutrals and away from the boring, tired beige and white. Like many other companies, they are commenting on the shift away from “safe” colors in a home and recognizing the move toward more color and the use of color as a neutral base. In line with this idea, Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends for 2014 offer a “New” Neutral Palette, a group of lively pastels and bold, muted tones that pair excellently together. BM’s Color Trends are certainly a comfortable palette for matching earthy, muted tones and light pastels.
Being more muted than any of the other Color of the Year proclamations, Exclusive Plum offers a refined atmosphere “without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential,” as described by Jackie Jordan, SW’s Director of Color Marketing. Sherwin William’s color is a sophisticated, dusty, violent with warm gray undertones that can be adapted for an entire room, or as a primary accent. As with many of the Color of the Year choices, Exclusive Plum can be used as a tinted neutral, a cozy alternative to the wildly popular grays we’ve seen in 2013, especially when paired with bright pops of color such as oranges, reds, greens, or even accents of Pantone’s Radiant Orchid.
No matter what the differences in the 2014 Color of the Year choices, the Color reports for each company have several overlapping themes. In SW’s Color Trends, we see echoes of the previous reports heralding the shift away from your ordinary neutrals and toward using color as the new and improved neutral. In this movement, pastels and light, airy colors are matched against warm, earthy hues; bold, bright jewel tones; and rich, muted colors. In 2014, we can surely expect to see less beige and more lively, creative shades. As PPG Paints said in their color report, we’re seeing a distinct trend toward innovation, energy, and creativity. We’re pushing the boundaries of what’s considered neutral and adding life and personality to our spaces. I, for one, am excited to see what colors our friends and clients will bring into 2014.