Take a Breath

Benjamin Moore tells how the color of the year (and subsequent palette) was chosen
By Chelsie Butler
October 22, 2013

“Breath of Fresh Air,” a neutral shade of pale blue, has been announced as Benjamin Moore’s 2014 Color of the Year and as part of the company’s Color Trends 2014 palette. 

According to Benjamin Moore color and design expert Andrea Magno, the company is considering colors as being neutral beyond the traditional definition of neutrals as variations on beige and gray. 

“Rather, we are looking out the window and thinking about the neutrals in nature, such as the blue of the sky and water,” she added. “In this context, blue is the backdrop for myriad colors, so it can be considered a neutral. Breath of Fresh Air 806 specifically acts as a neutral because it is a pale blue with a value that will complement many other colors whether they are bold or soft. Using this color on the walls will create what we call the ‘envelope’ for a room, setting the stage for other colors and textures that come together to bring a room to life.”

Magno said when the shade is used in kitchens, it is welcoming, reacts well with natural light and works well with a variety of kitchen materials. 

We have seen pale blue being used as a kitchen cabinet color in a high-gloss or satin finish, which is really beautiful and slightly unexpected,” she said. “Or as a wall color, a pale blue can complement several cabinet finishes whether stained or painted wood – in addition to countertop materials. For a kitchen that is light and clean, pale blue is an excellent choice.”

When the shade is used in bathrooms, according to Magno, it evokes a tranquil, spa-like look that relates to the colors and water and a sense of calm. 

When developing the new palette, the Benjamin Moore team placed a lot of consideration into how people live with color and how paint can complement a lifestyle. 

Since color does not exist in isolation, we looked at the palette as a ‘whole-house palette,’ bringing harmony and great flow into the color conversation,” added Magno. “Our selections reflect the idea that rooms radiate off a central point in many floor plans, and color can create connections that allow a design to flow seamlessly in an interesting way. Just looking at the palette, you can see many color combinations emerge, which adds to the overall versatility of the palette.”

As far as being suitable for kitchen and bath design, Magno suggests Fruit Shake for a soft and feminine bathroom or Sparrow, a green shade ideal for a farmhouse kitchen.

The Benjamin Moore Color Trends for 2014 palette includes 23 paint hues that harmonize with one another, including:

• Breath Of Fresh Air 806

• Distant Gray 2124-70

• White Dove OC-17

• Peach Parfait 2175-70

• Fruit Shake 2088-60

• Coral Essence 2007-40

• Clay Beige OC-11

• Sparrow AF-720

• Castleton Mist HC-1

• Elemental AF-400

• Van Alen Green HC-120

• Palladian Blue HC-144

• Caribbean Teal 2123-20

• Wickham Gray HC-171

• Normandy 2129-40

• Van Deusen Blue HC-156

• Mt. Rainier Gray 2129-60

• Flint AF-560

• Lavender Mist 2070-60

• Iced Mauve 2115-50

• Super Nova 1414

• Nightingale AF-670

• Black Satin 2131-10 

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