A soft yellow is the color for 2014

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PPG Paints has chosen Turning Oakleaf its color of the year for 2014. The buttery yellow is a definitive turning point from years past and points to a new direction in color trends, according to Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager.

"People are being bombarded. This shade is part of a larger palette that speaks to a definite pause and refresh mindset. It is softer and more neutral."

The color is only part of the story, though. How designers have inserted this shade in the New Spirit palette is something to see. Designer pages show the yellow with feature walls in deep copper, exposed brick and timber mantels. There is something so basic about it that it is cutting edge and neutral all at once. In a stunning kitchen, grayish green cabinets set against a marble backsplash provide the perfect setting for the sunny infusion. The effect is loft clean welcomes farmhouse fresh.

Ms. Schlotter talked about the process of determining a trend color and how PPG Industries carries it through its automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics coatings.

"We have experts in eight countries that work in color marketing and styling. We get together in January and present all of the research and geographics of what we are seeing in every kind of market. We present our findings and start sorting through the color chips, and from those we determine where the trend is moving."

The trends each have different life cycles, which means these meetings could also determine the color of your next smartphone, car and appliances.

"Automotive is four-five years from architectural," Ms. Schlotter said. "Yellow is coming for interior or exterior. ... Electronics are four-six months and they move very fast, while home trends stick around for 18 months."

Television, movies and current events have a big impact on color, she said.

"All of these zombie shows like 'Walking Dead' and the recent obsession with the apocalypse, the bad economy, the wars, gave birth to the New Spirit palette. It is the calm after the storm."

In this palette, the orange is a very grounding color, the red has an orange hue, and the copper indicates a resurgence in textiles and metals.

This soft yellow is leaps and bounds away from the soft mossy green that was so hot a few years back. Ms. Schlotter points out that Rattan (313-5), a gray-beige, pairs well with Turning Oakleaf (ATC-38) because it has the same level of creamy mutedness.

To see how the New Spirit colors would look in your house, go to www.voiceofcolor.com. Take a picture of your room, upload it to the room painter and pick a color for the walls. In an instant, you'll see what these new colors will look like with your own "stuff."

Rosa Colucci: 412-263-1661 or rcolucci@post-gazette.com.

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