The breezy ocean home lifestyle inspires Benjamin Moore’s paint color of the year.

Ocean home owners have long known there are few greater feelings than standing on a beach, coastal path or cliff top and breathing in the fresh and energizing salty sea air that instantly makes you feel good to be alive.

That wonderful life-affirming breeze is now wafting through the color palette of Benjamin Moore, one of America’s leading paint and coatings manufacturers, which has unveiled its 2014 Color of the Year – a spirit-lifting ethereal blue inspired by the natural beauty of the coast and ocean. Appropriately named Breath of Fresh Air, the calm and peaceful blue is one of 23 pastel infused hues in the company’s new color trend for the year, each of which stand alone as expressive colors in their own right but can also be paired to create a harmonious and coordinated look throughout your home.

“This ‘new neutral’ palette is a reaction to all the color cues popping up in contemporary home furnishings, as well as landscape design, the automotive industry, fashion and pop culture,” says Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s newly appointed creative director.

Benjamin Moore’s Creative Director Ellen O’Neill drew inspiration from the coast for color of the year

O’Neill and her team of expert color consultants based in the company’s design innovations studio in Montvale, N.J., traveled to five oceanfront, rural and urban East Coast locations – Nova Scotia, Upstate New York, Brooklyn in New York City, Charleston, S.C., and the Florida Keys – for inspiration for the Color Trends 2014 palette.

“The one color that migrated easily from all these different worlds was Breathe of Fresh Air [806],” she says, “the color of blue sky and sea. We wanted to tell a story of how color derives from where you live, the indigenous colors of nature.”

O’Neill says homeowners are moving away from the neutral grays, whites and creams of previous years and experimenting with more colorful tints of blues, greens, lavenders and pinks. “Pastels that are softened and filtered to lift your spirits but not shout too loud, and colors that can make a room happy and flatter your possessions,” she adds.

“There’s an art to sequencing colors from one room to another. Hallways are the artery of a home, rooms radiate off the hallways, and this new palette helps that transition because the colors flow seamlessly. It’s very versatile, and you can punch it up or dial it down according to your environment.”

Image Credits: John Bessler.