Interior Color-Trends-2014
The HIGH-POTENTIAL Palette for 2014

by Doris Pearlman, MIRM

*NOTE: This interior color-trends-2014 article was originally written from a new home sales and marketing perspective, however, all concepts can be directly applied to your own interior colors.

Interior Color-Trends-2014: It’s not only a new year chronologically; it’s a fresh start in terms of home building and marketing. For those seeking cost-conscious ways to attract buyers and assure memorability in today’s environment, few investments offer a greater return than color. Choose right and you give your model greater longevity. Choose wrong and … well, there’s no need to go there especially when the clues are clear on the best home hues for 2014.

Layered shades of taupe in a great room color palette

Interior Color-Trends-2014: Layered shades of taupe create a gathering space of warmth and calm. The Enclave at Longview Great Room, Toll Brothers, Weddington, NC

From where I stand — here, at the corner of interior design and model-home merchandising — the answer has everything to do with evolution. Given recent discussions among color forecasters, they fully agree that the colors on the horizon will add excitement and individuality to 2014’s new models. Instead of striking changes, the shared sentiment goes, expect to see some familiar favorites updated, freshened and energized, creating differences that speak clearly and define a new album of memoires for potential buyers.

Champagne & gray colors in a casually elegant dining room

Interior Color-Trends-2014: Champagne chooses gray for its dinner partner in this casually elegant interior. From Bromley Estates Dining Room, Toll Brothers, Weddington, NC

Twelve Interior Color-Trends-2014 At The Top

Historically, the color palette for interiors and home furnishings has drawn heavily from, and followed a few steps behind, that of apparel fashion and accessories. That trend continues in this year’s distinctive dozen:

50 Shades of Gray:

The newest neutral on the horizon that can be seen everyplace is the “key to the new look”. This is a color that can find expression in a wide array of options. Expect diversity in this new crop of grays, from warm brown based grays to cooler more contemporary blue grays.

Beige at its best: This perennial neutral is back, carrying gray undertones for warmth and richness. Think taupe with a traditional twist, accented with real linens and cottons for a look that I called unexpected, and very “Restoration Hardware.” 

Sipping champagne: Imagine gold with enough transparency to dream about. While decidedly sophisticated, champagne plays well with the darker espresso woods.

The return of white: Do not be surprised to see more white on walls and furniture than you have in the past few years. Far from creating a blank canvas, all white creates a powerful statement. Balance it with metallic and/or basic black and find the model looking like a home for the rich and famous.

Proper use of texture in a living room

Solterra Living Room, talk about texture, it's the topic of conversation in this Colorado model home. Solterra, Toll Brothers, Lakewood, CO

Cobalt connects: Color studies for the past decade have concluded that blue is the global favorite, but until now it’s not been a top-seller in merchandising. We’re willing to go out on that proverbial limb and suggest cobalt is about to change all that. Think vibrant, jewel-toned to jaw-dropping. Expect to see this in family focused and empty nester homes.

Emerald city: Given its presence in both earth-tone and elegant settings, it is no wonder this green was Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year. Paired with 50 Shades of Gray emerald green speaks to both young and mature buyers.

Purple empowers: The color of royalty reigns, again, in 2014. Anticipate seeing it in various incarnations from wisteria, to aubergine to the most vivid violets. Use it sparingly for added glamour and excitement.

Rrrrrraspberry! When purple and red meet at the juice bar, this pick is the order of the day. It’s a vibrant statement solo, and one you’ll see combined with grays and taupes. Let’s shine a spotlight on a new color scheme.

Navy color scheme in a kitchen

Morris Chase Kitchen and Nook, the new navy--bold, daring and defining coastal sophistication. Morris Chase Everett Kitchen and Nook, Toll Brothers, Mount Olive Township, NJ

Smoky paprika: Flip through a current fashion magazine and you’ll find dashes of rich, red-orange paprika in abundance. This tone cuts through visual clutter for exciting interior presence and again is best paired with 50 Shades of Gray for a contemporary look.

The textural edge: Before you say, “But texture isn’t color,” hear me out. If the objective is to create distinction, dimension and drama, this is your ace. It can be played to compliment or accent virtually any architectural feature or furnishing style.

Iridescence: Light-catching, lustrous tones instill interior magic. Iridescence transforms the mundane bath or kitchen into exciting value added spaces.

Mindful metallics: We’ve seen nickel, copper, chrome and gold shine in past seasons. Moving forward, expect to see these in more muted shades such as the popular oiled bronze. On the horizon are enameled surfaces, gaining new followings, as well. For clues there, visit the websites of leading bath fixture firms. (You know the ones!)

Pantone's 2013 Color of the year

Interior Color-Trends-2014: Silverleaf Kitchen, Every facet perfect, Pantone's 2013 Color of the year "Emerald Green", St. Andrews at Silverleaf, Ryland Homes, Fishers, IN.


As 2014 evolves we will witness some old favorites reinvented (green and blue) and other colors repositioned and refreshed. Texture and finishes will become even more important than in prior years. Expect to see more traditional styling making its way back into your models. So let's toast to a colorful creative 2014.

Pops of paprika combined with sparkling mosaics set the tone of this contemporary home

Interior Color-Trends-2014: Legacy Dining & Entry, Pops of paprika combined with sparkling mosaics set the tone of this contemporary home. Legacy Entry and Dining Room, Ryland Homes, Carmel, IN

Doris Pearlman is founder of POSSIBILITIES FOR DESIGN, INC., a nationally recognized, award winning, interior design and merchandising firm based in Denver, Colorado.

The firm specializes in market driven interior space merchandising and trend setting designs. Ms. Pearlman is a member of NAHB Institute of Residential Marketing and a past Board member of IRM and NSMC. She is currently a board member of HomeAid of Colorado.

Ms. Pearlman also lectures and teaches courses nationally on design and merchandising. To date, POSSIBILITIES FOR DESIGN and its clients have been accorded over 150 awards. She is also a recipient of the Trina Ripley Excellence and Education Award. The firm’s philosophy is to deliver quality interior design and merchandising for all types of product throughout the United States and Canada.

*Reprinted with permission from "DESIGNED TO SELL: Color Trends" by Doris Pearlman, MIRM, Jan/Feb 2014, Sales + Marketing Ideas, pages 18-23, Copyright 2014 by National Sales and Marketing Council of The National Association of Home Builders.

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