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Benjamin Moore 2017 Color of the Year

Benjamin Moore 2017 Color of the Year

I let out a little yelp when Benjamin Moore, North America's favorite paint, color and coatings brand, announced its highly anticipated 2017 Color of the Year a few weeks ago. Drumroll please.... it is Shadow 2117-30, a rich, royal amethyst, and the very shade I painted our original master bedroom more than 15 years ago. My two teenagers have since inherited this larger room, while my husband and I decamped to the smaller bedroom, but the color remains and it still looks as good as the day I first laid eyes on the sample chip. Shadow is the perfect marriage of a (dark) color and a neutral. After the 2016 pick Simply White – another inspired choice, and a bit of a palate cleanser if you ask me – it made perfect sense they went for such a bold, moody dark. Says Ellen O'Neil, Benjamin Moore Creative Director: “Allusive and enigmatic, Shadow is a master of ambiance. It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past’, yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement. Shadow is sophisticated, provocative and poetic, it can bring energy to a space or harmony and a moment of respite.”

Dark paint colors are surprisingly easy to use in interiors and it is a common misconception that they make a room look smaller or less welcoming. On the contrary: this color makes the other elements in the room - furniture, accessories, art and architectural details - “pop” in the most visually stunning way. In fact, dark walls can help tie together pieces from different eras, giving the whole room a look that's cohesive and up-to-date.

Strong greens are Shadow's perfect companion and they certainly bring out all its mystery and drama. If this is just a tad much for you, bring in green via a touch of nature: maidenhair ferns or a large bowl of granny smith apples will work wonders, and are easily replaceable.

An even bolder route would be to pair Shadow with shades of teal. This works best when you select furnishings with simple clean lines; let the colors do most of the talking in the room. A most helpful decorating element will be an multi-colored Oriental or kilim rug with shades of dark red and plum as it will tie in with the wall color for a more cohesive look.

My personal favorite? Shadow with pale pink and salmon hues. A highly unusual color combo that takes its cues from current fashion trends, and benefits from a touch – really, just a smidgen – of warm yellow, ochre or camel. Color combos such as this one take all the “retro” out of mid-century modern furniture, give it a try!

Last but not least, Shadow with red or fuchsia. I know, I know.... this goes against the “rules” in a big way, but that is exactly the point. Decorating is all about turning your house into home and expressing your personality through your environment. And don't forget, purple is a mix of red and blue, so this pairing is not as crazy as it sounds. Bottom line? Let's break free from all the color do's and don'ts and add some oomph to our surroundings.

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