My Colors of the Year

published Jan 22, 2014
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(Image credit: Mark Chamberlain)

Instead of commenting on everyone else’s colors of the year, I’m going to do something I’ve been threatening for years — pick my own.

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Each year paint companies put out a set of color recommendations for you, dear consumer, that indicate trends and suggest options for you and your home that will make you feel comfortably in style. There are usually four or five new color palettes to choose from, and they invariably fall along these lines: Neutral, Contemporary, Eclectic, One World, plus a zinger. After a few years of following these, it all starts to blend together.

I hate to sound snide, but how much more information about micro trends do we really need? In ancient Rome, walls were Pompeian Red, Aegean Blue, ochre and black: that was good enough for a thousand years. But one does like to have one’s finger on the pulse, so let’s do some crowd sourcing and see what’s afloat.

Generally, I think we’re still in a grey decade, with bright overlays. I feel like we’re also subtly experiencing retro 80s influences across the board (bold patterns, primary colors, strong silhouettes, and yes, neon). And I can’t help but mention this: I was at a trade show in Paris five years ago and it seemed like the main colors put forward as accents were purple, pumpkin and teal, all of a warm hue. That hasn’t seemed to have gone away.

As such, here’s what I notice from the field:

  • I’ve had a lot of calls the last few months for faux concrete, and I love it. Let’s call it grey plus texture.

  • I’ve also had a lot of calls recently about color washing, meaning more texture. No, not that dreadful thing with the sponge from times past; think more along the lines of really old buildings in Europe or India, though I try to clean it up and make it more contemporary.

  • And I’ve inquiries recently for dynamic colors including magenta, acid yellow, Tiffany blue, and Tandoori. I’m especially interested lately in how super-saturated colors thin out nicely in a wash.

But that’s just me. I’ll type out a list of fun things for you to flip through if you’re feeling fashion forward, and as always, let’s hear what your current favorites are.

Fine Paints of Europe:

  • Pantone 19-2630 Wild Aster

Benjamin Moore:

  • Lilac Pink 2074-40
  • Paradise Peach 011
  • Bright Lime 2025-10
  • Tandoori CSP-1105
  • Gold Mine 2155-20
  • Mayo Teal CW-570
  • Polo Blue 2062-10
  • Green Coral 2045-50
  • Bone Black CW-715
  • Geddy Gray CW-720
  • Sparrow AF-720