It’s that time of year again when all the paint manufacturers announce their predicted color trends for the upcoming calendar year. Recently Benjamin Moore announced their color of the year was Simply White.
White may seem like unlikely color choice for color of the year, but when asked about it their creative director, Ellen O’Neil said one can make a case for just about any color. After seeing white pop up everywhere over last year, O’Neil decided the color of the year could most certainly be a white. She and her team poured over 250 whites within the Benjamin Moore spectrum and opted for Simply White. O’Neil said, “It was the most neutral, level, and constant in the various light sources used in today’s design environments.”
“The color white is transcendent, powerful and polarizing – it is either taken for granted or obsessed over,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Creative Director. “White is not just a design trend, it is a design essential. The popularity of white, the necessity of white, the mystique of white is quantifiable in our industry. Of the top ten best-selling Benjamin Moore colors, variants of white occupy five spots. It was inevitable that we would ultimately recognize white as our Color of the Year.”
It used to be that white was the color homeowners stuck to when they feared using a more prominent color on their walls. Its been viewed as safe rather than trendsetting, but with the move toward minimalist lifestyles, white is now on trend.
White is a great representation of polished minimalism. The current movement to de-clutter our homes and create minimally intrusive spaces is driving the popularity of the color. White is representative of quiet, while other colors are rather loud visually. White makes a space feel serene and comfortable as it fades into the background.
White has many nuances, making it a tricky color to select. White, like other colors, has a myriad of shades, and tints from which to pick. It can have undertones of blue, pink, orange or yellow. It can be cool or warm depending on the undertones. Choosing the right white can be further complicated by the lighting in a space, whether it’s natural light, or artificial. Artificial lighting can make a white look muddied, or too beige and natural lighting can have a similar effect. When you decide you want a white, it’s best to use a 12×12 swatch on the wall and live with it for a bit to make sure it’s the right look you want.
White pairs with everything on the color wheel, from warm neutrals to crisp jewel tones and soft pastels. White can be soft, cool, warm or hygienic. It’s the absence of color that makes that makes it so powerful. It’s everywhere if we just take the time to notice.
Designers and decorators have their favorite whites that they swear by for projects, but it may be too soon to know if Simply White makes their cut. Even if it doesn’t, there are 3 more plays on white in Benjamin Moore’s 2016 Color Trend palette.