By taking a cue from Benjamin Moore’s top color trend of the year, you too can bring a “Breath of Fresh Air” to your home decor

One of the biggest challenges homeowners have is how to work with color — whether to put color on the walls, in the decor or both. For the next few weeks I’ll be giving you tips on how to work with some of our favorite hues.

Benjamin Moore named Breath of Fresh Air as its color of the year for 2014. It’s a light, airy pastel that’s not at all reminiscent of Easter. And it’s no surprise Benjamin Moore picked a shade of blue.


Blue has always been one of the most popular colors to decorate with. It’s calming and relaxing. It’s the color of the sky with its limitless possibilities. Studies show it helps improve focus and productivity, so it’s great for workspaces as well as kids’ rooms.

There are endless styles you can use this color in: beachy, urban, rustic, glamorous, modern, traditional.

But even though you may want to incorporate blue, you probably already have some furniture pieces that you’ll need to tie in. I’ll show you how.

In Hawaii, most of us already have beautiful wood pieces or abundant opportunity to find them. Pictured here is a beautiful wood console from reStyle Hawaii. For a casual look that’s open and airy, you can bring in blue accessories like ceramic pots along with organic neutral accents like seashells and driftwood. Then add in shades of lighter blue in pillows with rustic patterns like ikat, and in drapery panels.

For more drama and sophistication, consider a wallpaper in a richer shade like sapphire or cobalt. Or paint this shade on an accent wall, and pair it with an elegant mirror above the console.


Can you have color both on the wall and in the accents? Absolutely. The trick is to layer shades of blue, as I mentioned, and to then bring in neutral accents and finishes in whites and creams to soften the room. Metallics will also work wonders and can heighten the effect, like a silvery mirror or some candlesticks.

You’ll need to vary shades because too much dark blue in a room can be depressing, especially if there isn’t a lot of natural light. A lot of light blue can make a room feel open and airy. Too much cool blue can feel cold.

So I’ve shared with you some tips on using Benjamin Moore’s top color trend of the year, but keep in mind that trends come and go. When picking your color, go with something you love. More than anything, your space should make you feel good. Next week I’ll share another color to touch your senses.

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. reStyle Hawaii, her new-concept furniture and home accents store, is open daily at 420 Keawe St. in Kakaako. For more info, visit