As the design nerds we most unabashedly are, we get pretty excited for the big day each October when Benjamin Moore reveals their Color of the Year. This year, we admit, we were momentarily thrown by the reveal – it was not at all what we'd expected. But after a hot second of surprise and debate in the office, we've all gotten on board with this trendy non-trend. Do you agree?
The Color of the Year? Simply White OC-177.
Here was our first reaction: White? Is that even a color??
As a bunch of jewel tone-loving design fans, you can't fault us for expecting theatrics. But then we realized: white is the backdrop for the drama. And in some cases, the drama itself.
Maxwell agrees, big time. He says, "White has always been my go-to color, and I've always looked for whites that are not blank canvases – they have to have some color and warmth in them. When you have a really good white on the wall it brings out the colors of the most important things in the room."
Well ok, Maxwell, you've convinced us. White is not only the most common paint color, it also serves as the backdrop for some of the most fabulous rooms we've ever seen, like that insanely beautiful farmhouse loft situation at the top of this post. In the words of Benjamin Moore Creative Director Ellen O'Neill, white is "timeless and transcendent."
More than that, it is ubiquitous: "From weathered wainscoting to crisp canvas shades, porcelain tile to picket fences, white is everywhere in every form – that’s why we chose it as our Color of the Year." Does anyone here not have white paint somewhere in their homes, even if only on trim or ceilings?
White may be everywhere, but it's also a tricky color to get right – picking the perfect white for your home is no joke. There are a million options, from cool blue-toned whites to buttery creams. For the Benjamin Moore creative team, finding the right white meant spending months researching colors, sifting through the 250 white variants in their catalog and testing each one.
The team landed on Simply White OC-177 because of its versatility: it works equally well with cool or warm palettes and retains its neutrality, remaining as constant as possible under different light sources.
When it came time to photograph their 2016 trend report, the team wanted a clean canvas. So, they sought out one of white's natural habitats: artists' homes and studios. The photos (taken in a ceramicist's studio, a painter's townhouse, a designer's cabin and a gallerist's brownstone) reveal how personal white can be, and how many flavors there are beyond vanilla.
Part of the beauty of white is its affinity for other colors. The full 2016 color palette includes 22 shades, five of which are whites. Simply White works well with all of them.
So what do you think, are you bored by white, or is this inspiring you to break out your paint roller?
For a closer look at the artists' spaces that showcase Simply White, check out Benjamin Moore's 2016 color trend report.
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