Depending on what type of businesses you typically work with, you may find that many of your commercial clients are more conservative when it comes to selecting paint colors, and they tend to stick with standard, neutral colors that are functional and restrained rather than bold. But there will be those that want to try something different, more creative and trendier. Clients in the retail space may be more open to a wider range of interesting colors, as will creative industries and some high-tech companies.
It’s important to keep the purpose of the business in mind when selecting potential colors. Some commercial clients choose colors to welcome customers while others want something that will catalyze productivity. Still others need a palette that relaxes and soothes. When advising your commercial clients on color choice in 2014, these are some of the top color trends to consider.
#1 Pantone’s Color of the Year
Pantone is the overarching arbiter of color and every year they select a standout color. While this is not a pronouncement from a paint firm, it will certainly drive trends in design, media, fashion and, ultimately, paint pigments as well. 2014’s color of the year is Radiant Orchid. As you can see above, this is a beautiful, delicate purple. Recommending this color will definitely be something to think long and hard about. It won’t be one for the auto industry, attorneys, restaurants or gyms. But there are a swath of your commercial clients that may be quite interested in this trend. Salons, spas, retail and creative industries may enjoy the imaginative spark of this mellow purple.
#2 Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year
Paint giant Benjamin Moore’s 2014 color of the year is a classic throwback to a light antique blue they’ve dubbed Breath of Fresh Air. This conservative and breezy color can provide a great backdrop hue for modern furniture and art in trendier offices, or with classic woods in a more traditional office or commercial space. It’s a cool color and suggests thoughtful restraint rather than out-of-the-box imagination like Pantone’s purple. Recommend this to attorneys, physicians, executives in banking and business or for trendy lobby spaces. Hold back on recommending this pretty blue for large industrial spaces, sports bars, restaurants, churches or most retail establishments.
#3 Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year
The iconic paint company has said that for 2014, “grey is the new black,” and their color of the year looks to be a marriage of Pantone’s orchid infused heavily with gray to create Exclusive Plum. The name doesn’t convey the power of this shade. This strong grey/violet is dark – too dark for many commercials spaces, but perfect for smaller spaces that reek of power. Attorneys, corner office executives and trendy restaurants can use it as an accent color. High-end salons and spas may like this for private spaces, and hotels can carve out color niches by using this for alcoves, secluded bars and restaurant space. This is definitely not one for oversized spaces or medical practices.
#4 PPG Pittsburgh Paints’ Color of the Year
PPG Pittsburgh’s color of the year goes hand-in-hand with Benjamin Moore’s choice in that it’s a throwback classic. They’ve chosen Turning Oakleaf – a yellow the color of hand-churned butter. This is a great color for a wide array of commercial projects, particularly food-oriented ones. Bakeries, sandwich shops, breakfast-and-lunch-only restaurants, hotel rooms and suites, retail spaces for home goods or doctor’s offices would all work well with this yellow that’s fresh but not distractingly bright. Depending on the function of an industrial space, this color is light enough to lend itself to large walls but shouldn’t conflict with the function of the space. In other words, not great for a machine shop – a better choice for a busy warehouse.
#5 Behr Color Trends of the Year
Rather than limit themselves to one color prediction for the whole of 2014, Behr has recommended a palette of colors (see above). What’s interesting is that all of the other trends above (excepting Pantone’s Radiant Orchid) are reflected on this palette, albeit under different names. Many of Behr’s 2014 choices would resonate well with your commercial clients. The Grand Reign choices would suit restaurants, wine bars and historic spaces. Natural Avocation would be well suited to retail establishments of all ilk. Urban Alternative’s colors would appeal to coffee bars, creative office spaces, theaters and book shops. Seaside Harmony looks like a match for many hotels and leisure space.
No matter what colors you recommend to your clients to create or refresh their work spaces, it’s important to ensure that the color you recommend is what’s reflected on the walls when the paint goes up. Choosing quality products will help ensure that expectation meshes with the reality of the color on their walls. To learn more about selecting paint colors that enhance work and productivity, click here.