Hadlock Paints: Rochester's #1 Paint Store

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Thoughts on Ben Moore's 2016 Color Trends

Each year, Benjamin Moore designs a palette of colors that they believe will lead the way in design and decor. Within this group of colors, they designate one of them as their "Color of the Year." Past colors that have been awarded this title include Lemon Sorbet, Breath of Fresh Air and most recently in 2015, Guilford Green. Their marketing and research definitely does seem to work as I have seen each of those colors grow in popularity after it was named with the honor. Through the first four months of 2016, the trend has continued and I have seen an increase in selection of a color that was already hugely popular.

This year's color is OC-117 Simply White, a surprising choice for me at first, but after attending a color design seminar and doing more reading it definitely has its merits. Benjamin Moore's creative director Ellen O'Neill says that "white is transcendent, timeless, its versatility is unrivaled" and that it can be found "everywhere in every form." The main purpose for its selection was to create a clean and quiet palette that is highlighted with bold accents. Every color has its good and bad points so I will expand on my feelings on each of the color selections for this year and maybe even suggest some alternatives that.. who knows.. maybe will appear in 2017!

OC-117 Simply White: Do not adjust your screens, there is a color blob to the left. We have always described Simply White as one of our cleanest whites and that why it has been hugely popular as a trim and ceiling color. I have a hard time choosing it for customers as a wall color because it lacks.. well color.. but it will help to achieve that clean, crisp look without being too cold or stark like many whites that we have. It has a touch of golden yellow to it that warms it up just enough. Our Pinterest board has some great example of Simply White in action. I do like how it makes a kitchen look really clean and fresh, but just remember that you'll have to was the walls often because you can see everything on white!

AF-20 Mascarpone: A slightly warmer and more creamy version of Simply White, this color has also been hugely popular before its inclusion to this year's color trends. I like its warmth and have been suggesting it for years, but it's funny now that the trends have shifted to super clean I'm almost afraid at times that it has too much yellow. It's a great second option though for customers who want just a little more than Simply White has to offer but who are still scared of color. There are a lot of customers like that!

OC-52: Gray Owl: Before the Color Trends of 2016 were announced, this was actually my guess for what the Color of the Year was going to be. It is a slightly lighter and grayer version of the ever-popular Revere Pewter so I figured Benjamin Moore would go with something like this to fall into the gray trend that I discussed last week. It's an interesting color that I like to describe as a chameleon because it can take on so many appearances. Sometimes it's gray, sometimes cool brown. I have had customers use it and see blue, red, green, or even purple undertones in their homes. This can sometimes make it a difficult choice when the customer desires consistency in their home's appearance.

OC-9 Ballet White: This is actually the only color in this year's trends that I would group into the "neutral" or "beige" family which is a nice, but marked departure from a decade ago when everything was neutral and earthy. It does have a slight gray undertone, but still warm enough to work with other colors. I would describe it as the color of froth on cappuccino if I had to pick something. It's pretty nondescript and I suppose could work in many applications, but I would have liked to see something a little more interesting if it has to bee the only neutral in the palette, perhaps adding one of the newer Color Stories colors like Cake Batter or Lace Handkerchief.

2008-10 Ravishing Red, 2022-40 Banana Yellow, HC-119 Kittery Point Green, 2064-20 Patriot Blue, 2071-20 Gentle Violet: I don't expect many customers to use these colors to paint their entire house (the green is a slight exception) but the purpose of their addition to the 2016 Color Trends was for a pop of color and also to bring the full spectrum of the rainbow to balance out the starkness and neutrality of the included whites. These colors can work great as an accent wall or even better use them in fabrics, pillows, rugs and decor for a bold look on a smaller scale

2174-70 Cream Puff, 2024-60 Lemonade, 2053-70 Morning Sky Blue, AF-505 Blue Echo, 2070-50 Enchanted: These colors are the secondary level of the primary colors. They still add some bright pops of color but have a lighter and airier feel to them. With the exception of Blue Echo, these colors are all on a pastel level and I'm not the biggest fan of these tones, I would actually prefer the bolder colors to these. I usually refer to them as "Easter Egg" colors. They're nice for kid's rooms and can possibly work in other situations but I rarely choose them.

OC-55 Paper White, AF-580 Luxe, 2127-20 Black Ink, AF-155 Weimaraner, AF-170 French Press: These are the blacks and browns of this year's trend colors and they add yet another layer to juxtapose with the clean whites and pure colors. Both of the browns have been popular and also work well as an exterior color. I used the Paper White for my parent's home because they wanted a very light gray but was slightly underwhelmed since it was so light. I think the next deeper color Sterling would have been a smarter choice for this palette.

Also included in the palette are 2076-20 Royal Flush, 2068-70 White Heaven and 2067-70 White Satin. Probably won't be doing too much mixing of those but who knows, maybe there is a perfect use for them somewhere.

So maybe there's a color here for you. Or maybe not. Color trends usually trickle down from the fashion and design industry a year later, so what you see on the runways and in magazines now will probably serve as a good forecast for what to expect from Benjamin Moore in 2017. This year's colors are based on "striking contrasts, bold lines and definitions," the contrast between white and color, between simple and complex, between starkness and saturation. My prediction for 2017's Color of the Year is a Color Stories color maybe? Possibly Subway Tile or Gotham to evoke that urban sophistication that everyone is after. Or maybe we'll see a nod to the deep grays with something classic like Kendall Charcoal or Graystone. We'll find out in a few months.. until then lets make the most of 2016 and really do something special with your space!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why Gray is Here to Stay

For the past two or so years, it seems like all all we've been mixing is gray paint! Now don't get me wrong, I actually like the color (or technically, the non-color) gray. It's one of my favorites along with blue. My entire wardrobe is gray. It goes with everything. And there are some great gray paint colors we have here at the store. Chelsea Gray and Kendall Charcoal are hugely popular for exteriors and they look great on a house. Cape May Cobblestone.. it's that perfect warm gray that everyone is after! Anyway, back to the point. All we mix is gray lately. Benjamin Moore offers at least 500 unique colors which I would consider to fall into the gray family, so really there's a gray available that can work anywhere. But what has made it so popular over the past few years? And why does that trend seem to be here to stay for a long time to come?

Trends are a big factor. It's 2016 and modern and contemporary is all the rage. And with these styles comes that cold industrial feel. Black appliances and stainless steel appliances have become the favorites, replaces the standard whites and almonds and bisques that dominated the market for so long. Exposed beams and pipes are popular so why not pick a gray to go with those metal tones right? Warm wood tones are not as popular as they were in the past and we are seeing a huge influx in people choosing darker or gray toned wood floors. Onyx and grayed whitewashed floors are increasing in popularity and therefore gray wall colors will follow suit. Modernity is cold and clean. It is efficient and emotionless. And what represents modern, cold and clean better than gray.

Another huge reason for us mixing gray nonstop?? ONE SINGLE COLOR. It is a color that has been around awhile. Years, decades it's been around. Just sitting in the Benjamin Moore fandeck patiently waiting for its fifteen minutes of fame. Waiting for its moment in the spotlight to become America's new addiction. A few years ago I'm guessing, someone randomly picked this color on a whim and painted their home with it.  And this person must have really enjoyed the look of their color and said "hey I'm going to post a picture of my new room color to Pinterest (or Facebook, or Instagram, or some social media outlet)," and from there it's all history. A friend shared it. And their friends shared it. And everyone shared it! And it exploded.. it's everywhere now, like an invasive weed that you can't get out of your garden. People come to the store in droves asking for it, sometimes one after another. There have been days we've mixed the color for five or six different customers. Customers stand at the counter talking to each other about how amazing this color is! What is this color? I'm sure by now many of you may have guessed. Maybe you've seen it plastered all over Pinterest. Maybe you even have it in your home (you're not alone!). It's Benjamin Moore's HC-172 Revere Pewter. This color that is somewhere in between gray and beige, yes it's really the definition of "greige" pretty much singlehandedly started that gray revolution, at least from what I've seen here at the store. It's a nice color, it really is. And it goes with many other colors. But I just have this idea in my head that every house you go into in Rochester (and who know, maybe the WORLD!) is Revere Pewter. When I can, I try to introduce other colors to people. After all we have around 4,500 color available just in Benjamin Moore.

I'm not against gray paint. I LOVE a lot of our gray colors and and more than happy to recommend them to a customer or client when they're the best option. But just remember that there are a lot of gray days in the year here in Upstate New York and having a gray home can get a little dreary. Another great quality of gray however is that you can accent it with pops of color. A bright pink or yellow pillow or throw. A cobalt blue vase. Deep burgundy rugs. Feel free to play around with color! Don't be afraid of it! Take a look below at a few of my favorite grays, including grays that have undertones of color to add just a touch of variation to your home.

Favorite Grays: AF-685 Thunder- a slightly deeper and grayer version of Revere Pewter. 2122-40 Smoke- that perfect gray blue. 2137-50 Sea Haze- can be gray, can be green, can be brown. 1473 Gray Husky- my favorite gray, just warm enough but still simple and gray. 1570 Gray Wisp- technically more of a green but with soft gray undertones. 1593 Adagio- for that cool steel gray. 859 Collingwood- a light warm gray, almost an off-white.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter