Color Explorer: The Endless Summer Palette

A man standing on a hill with a view of a lake and the sun setting.

I spent six weeks this summer soaking up as much color inspiration as I could across North America as BEHR’s Color Explorer. Now, it was time to fulfill the second part of that role—translating the inspiration into an original paint palette. But turning raw experience into paint colors is no simple feat. In order to make this palette relatable, rather than merely a memento of my personal journey, it had to speak to a universal feeling.

Throughout my travels to Newfoundland, New York City, Alberta, and Wyoming, certain colors kept reappearing. The trips blurred together into one perpetual pastel mosaic. Even after I came home from Yellowstone, the final stop on my journey, the colors didn’t fade, nor did the memories of the places and experiences that inspired them. They were the colors of alpine lakes and summer skies. They were the sweet hues of fuzzy peaches and the muted tones of dusk settling over warm days. They were the colors of unspoiled moments and carefree hours–the kind you wished you could bottle up and enjoy later. And so the Endless Summer palette was born: a four-pack of impossible tints that collectively evoke the beauty of the most vibrant season.

Paint Swatches - Open paint can with paint brush that was dipped showing paint colors for Alpenglow (pink hue), Mermaid Tears (blue hue), Unfading Dusk (purple hue), Peach of Mind (yellow hue).

I call these colors impossible because they represent pleasantly paradoxical aspects of the cities and landscapes I pulled them from. The rainbow row-houses of St. John’s, Newfoundland are (I’m told) not typically as vivid as they were on the flawless sunny days on which I had the pleasure of visiting. The smoggy sunsets in New York City seemed to contain fragments of tropical oases. The lakes of Banff were neither green nor blue yet all of both at once. And the hot springs of Yellowstone reminded me of ripe stone fruit. Mountain tones in cities, sky tones in water, and flowers in concrete.

Like the sanguine sensation of summer itself, these colors are difficult to define. Orange or yellow? Lilac or lavender? Turquoise or aquamarine? Rosy red or reddish pink? They defy categorization, and it makes sense that they do; together, they are an ephemeral feeling made permanent. 
These colors are light and uplifting, designed to make you feel at ease. They shine alone or as a quartet, but any two or three of them complement each other perfectly. Although each of these four colors made its presence felt most strongly in one particular destination, all four of them overlapped in all four destinations, weaving their way through my mind. 

If I could paint my living room with the kindness of Newfoundland’s jolly citizens, without hesitation I would. Instead I’ll settle for a couple gallons of Alpenglow, and feel the warmth emanating from my walls. 

A living room painted in Alpenglow.
Wall: Alpenglow CE-01

If I could paint my with the actual waters of Lake Louise, I would. But that would be impossible. Mermaid Tears, on the other hand, will now be sold by the gallon!

A bedroom painted in Mermaid Tears.
Bedroom Wall: Mermaid Tears CE-02

If I could bottle up that achingly beautiful moment just before the sun drops below the horizon and paint my hallway with it, I certainly would. Luckily, Unfading Dusk is now also an unfading paint.

A hallway with an opening into a bathroom. The hallway is painted in Unfading Dusk.
Hallway: Unfading Dusk CE-03

If I could roam freely with bison on a Great American prairie, and paint my reading room with its golden glow, you bet I would. Great news: Peach of Mind is just as lovely–and much safer. 

A living room with a lit fireplace. Fireplace is painted in Peach of Mind.
Reading room fireplace: Peach of Mind CE-04

I hope you love the Endless Summer palette as much as I loved creating it. When you paint your walls with these new hues, remember, the seasons may change with the calendar, but the freedom to bask in your chosen environment year-round is yours for the claiming. 

Colorfully yours,

David Axelrod


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