BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Hot Paint Colors For Spring 2014

gray walls old leather couch open door wall art

Applying a new coat of paint is one of the most affordable and simple ways to give a space a brand new look. If you’re aiming for a contemporary masterpiece instead of a retro throwback, read on to discover some of the hottest paint trends of 2014.


Gray is the new black in 2014, and the new white. Whether dark or light, this versatile color embodies the “muted, serene, and simplicity” trend that leading paint producers Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams say epitomizes 2014.

Grays are the ideal foil for the busy patterns and bold hues seen in so many modern accessories and accent pieces. We need calming bases to cope with all the personality exuding from contemporary decorating choices.

Modern gray paints also have more depth and warmer undertones than the traditional neutral choices of black and white, so they appear less sterile and make a house feel like a home.

“Breath of fresh air”

Grays might dominate the list of hottest paints, but that doesn’t mean the modern palette is entirely monochromatic. In fact, when Benjamin Moore named its color of the year, it overlooked grays for a pretty pale blue called “Breath of Fresh Air.” It’s every bit as simple, muted, and serene as the grays celebrated this year. But it’s also got a timeless feel that ensures it won’t date.

According to color psychologists, pale blues like “Breath of Fresh Air” can lower your pulse rate, naturally inducing a sense of calm and tranquility. Blue is also proven to stimulate your mind, so you can be sure many home offices will choose Breath of Fresh Air to increase productivity in 2014.

Gray influences other hot paint picks

Even the contemporary colors that aren’t gray seem to have strong gray undertones in 2014. This helps make ordinarily playful colors seem a lot more sophisticated. The gray undertone in Sherwin-Williams’ color of the year “Exclusive Plum” tames this purple. The gray undercurrent in Valspar’s “Salmon Run” reduces the pink’s sugary sweetness. So in 2014, even when you’re thinking of adding a bright burst of color, you should look for gray undertones.

Soft yellows inspire emotion

Pale, luminous yellows are becoming hot colors across a range of industries, from automotive to design. These contemporary, mustard-tinged hues are far less garish than the canary or fluorescent yellows of the past. They’ve got a softness that makes them versatile, but they retain their optimism and energy. Color psychologistssay yellow inspires emotion, so it’s an ideal choice for family rooms and other spaces where people come together.

Pittsburgh Paints says pale “Turning Oakleaf” will be its color of the season. Fine Paints of Europe’s “Rain Slicker” and Pratt & Lambert’s “Sunspot” are bolder interpretations of the trend.

Your thoughts?

What do you think of this interest in grays, blues, and subtle yellow? Too subtle?

Do you currently utilize these color spectrums in your spaces? Which rooms do you use them in?

What about the emotional effects of these colors? Do you agree with the emotional effects talked about above in relation to these colors?

Tell us about it in the comments section of this post!


Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.


  1. What is the name of the color
    on the living room wall shown here?

  2. There is no way gray is ever going to find its way into my home. I find it a depressing color and in no way do I want to live with it. I don’t think the living room shown is calm amd serene – it just looks bland, colorless and depressing to me. I think people should pick a color they like and can live with – no matter what some idiot designer says is trendy.

    • Hi Kate,

      You know what you want and what you don’t want – an excellent basis for creating the space that is made for *you*. There are no rules, other than the ones you decide upon for yourself.

      To be fair, I don’t think designers are trying to dictate the trends. I think most of the time, they are just reporting common threads that, in their professional capacity, they are seeing “out there”. But, again, the rest is up to the one who has to live in the space. Thanks for comments!

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