ColorTherapy: Color Forecast 2009

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Benjamin Moore's Peony 2079-30

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It’s color forecasting season again, and I have a report back from up top about the direction of Color for 2009 from a range of sources, including Pantone and Benjamin Moore...

Apparently times are so tough that we’re looking to color for a little emotional leavening in our lives. As I dig around the internet and through these press releases I receive, the theme seems to be a palette of bright colors to temper gray reality, plus a little gray for reality.

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Pantone has chosen Mimosa as its color of the year. It’s a warm yellow meant to be optimistic and reassuring in troubling times. I tend to resist this line of thinking (I still tend to find bruise colors more reassuring) and I’m suddenly tempted to turn this column into a survey. Thumbs up or down to Mimosa? Is it slightly encouraging, or is it putting rose colored glasses on to help ignore the pink elephant in the room? I actually like this color more than the pale wasabi green I see in every single catalog that comes in the mail.

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Benjamin Moore's St. Elmo’s Fire 362
Similarly, Benjamin Moore has chosen basically the same thing as its color of the year — St. Elmo’s Fire 362. This is a zesty citron yellow with a hint of green. It’s not quite as red as Pantone’s Mimosa, but still suggests a flicker of fire that conveys warmth and comfort in a sea of uncertainty.

Ben Moore has also released a set of several companion color recommendations that include deep pink Peony 2079-30, soft Wales Green 2028-50; and the sleek neutrals Dior Gray 2133-40, Stone Brown 2112-30 and Ebony King 2132-20:

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Benjamin Moore's Peony 2079-30
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Benjamin Moore's Wales Green 2028-50
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Benjamin Moore's Dior Gray 2133-40
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Benjamin Moore's Stone Brown 2112-30
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Benjamin Moore's Ebony King 2132-20

Color Association member Barbara Schirmeister would seem to agree. According to her, colorful mid-tones remain a favorite, and since no one wants a whole yellow house, keep in mind that the dominant neutral for her, too, is the gray or taupe that defines urban chic. Also, metal colors are growing in popularity including bronze and the copper family. Reader, let’s hear your thoughts.

Thanks to Eileen McComb at Benjamin Moore for insight and photos.

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter