2016 Color of the Year Backstory: Last week we hosted a designer luncheon along with Benjamin Moore to discuss color (of course) and the current trends in the painting industry. While some may think that “Simply White” was not truly a “color”, after hearing the story of how Benjamin Moore’s research team arrived on this choice, we all walked away with a deeper knowledge of how the color trends emerge each year.
After traveling the world observing trends and looking for patterns, the new Louis Vuitton Foundation building in Paris left the biggest impression on the Benjamin Moore team. Being compared to a ship with billowing sails, the light and airy feel of the space led them to consider white for 2016, but with over 250 whites in the Benjamin Moore collection, deciding which white was the “right” white was still a difficult task. Staying in the mindset of the artistic world, and drawing from the Frank Gehry design, they imagined the life of various artists and set out to create the perfect backdrop for a traditional painter as well as a digital designer, and all of those who fall in between.
One of the keys to successfully using white to create a backdrop is to vary the tones and sheens of the paint. Pairing Simply White with Ballet White or Mascarpone creates subtle variations in color while leaving an overall freshness in any space. Using a high gloss finish on trim along with a matte finish on wall can also break up what could otherwise become too monotone when using one white throughout an entire space. Simply White also creates the perfect backdrop for more bold colors such as Black Ink, Patriot Blue, and Ravishing Red. The more we learned about white, the more we all realized that “white is not just white”, and the final conclusion of the Benjamin Moore color team was that white truly is an essential color in all decorating palettes. Whether your goal is to create a completely neutral backdrop or infuse a pop of color into a room in your home, choosing the right white to achieve your goal is just as important as choosing any other color. Here’s to white finally getting the credit it deserves as an integral color in home decorating.