New Year, New Palette

From deep smoky wine to wildly pumped up fuchsia, purple promises to be a predominant colour in home décor in 2011. So say the colour experts at Benjamin Moore, who annually pronounce their predictions for the coming year. Envision Colour 2011 is loaded with inspiring decorating ideas, photo illustrations, plus the forecasted palette of 18 hues.
“One purple to watch for in 2011 is Benjamin Moore Vintage Wine (2116-20),” says Sonu Mathew, ASID, the company's senior interior designer who also blogs about colour and design at “It is an anchoring and rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet. Vintage Wine is the perfect foil for the latest wood finishes, leathers, linens and other textiles.”
But, for anyone who wants purple with a little more punch, Mathew says Royal Flush (2076-20) is a sure bet for 2011. This berry-kissed Benjamin Moore colour can be grounded when combined with neutrals or fashionable greys, yet swings to the exotic when teamed with other brights.
Mathew also notes there's a range of pale yet power-statement colours headed our way in 2011. A standout among this group is Benjamin Moore's Smoke (2122-40). “It is a subtle blue grey that is best described as an update of spa blue with an injection of sophisticated and seasoned grey.”
According to Mathew, a quest for balance is what's driving our choices in life, and, thus, is the overarching trend that is influencing the 2011 palette.

Cues and Clues for 2011 Colours
In arriving at its 2011 colour palette forecast, the Benjamin Moore colour team first tracked recent cultural, social, and even political conditions and how they are impacting fashion and design trends. Emerging from this analysis were the central Balance theme plus three distinct offshoot style movements ““ Soulful, Spirited and Dreamy. These were then defined by the following Benjamin Moore colours.

A global balance is being achieved as communications technology shrinks the oceans and miles between us, and as what once was foreign blurs into familiar. On the style front, this is visible in “ethnic glam” designs, pattern-on-pattern, map motifs and hand-worked decoration such as beading and embroidery. Colours being called out to interpret this not only include Benjamin Moore Vintage Wine, but also Wasabi (AF-430), Amulet (AF-365), Casco Bay (2051-30), Hush (AF-95), and Etruscan (AF-355).

The antidote to stress is anything that makes you feel happy, joyful, playful. Striking that emotional balance can be a challenge. In fashion and furnishings it's reflected in spirited designs featuring geometrics, stripes and cubes, dots and curlicues, studded or stitched outlines of shapes and silhouettes. Riotous colours are juxtaposed with lots of grey, black and white. Colours comprising this palette are the aforementioned Royal Flush, Grape Green (2027-40), Wrought Iron (2124-10), Paper Mache (AF-25), Storm (AF-700), and Lucerne (AF-530).

Reality can be harsh and is best countered by a dreamy odyssey where wishes are nurtured. Translated into a design perspective, that means transparent and sheer materials, blurred decorative details and softened textures. As for the colour palette, imagine Benjamin Moore hues that are pale, frosted and opalescent, such as Grey Mirage (2142-50), Genesis White (2134-70), Porcelain (2113-60), Etiquette (AF-50), Kendall Charcoal (HC-166) and the previously cited Smoke.

The Start of A Beautiful Relationship”¦
Envision Colour 2011 is but one of several colour selection tools available from Benjamin Moore and recommended as a starting point for any decorating project. Visit to explore the company's Virtual Fan Deck, a free download that you can keep on your desktop and use endlessly as needed without having to constantly log on the Internet. Another tremendous helpmate is the Personal Colour Viewer. The latest iteration of this program, which lets you import photos of the room you want to makeover and then “try out” the colours your are considering on the image, also is downloadable from the Benjamin Moore Web site to your desktop. A $10 fee is your ticket to accessing this popular system.
“Seek out the expert advice of your local retailer, as well,” adds Mathew. “Benjamin Moore retailers have the experience and knowledge that make them the ultimate specialists in their business and a resource you can rely on.”