HomeFront Fall 2019

The Hue for You in the Home

What Trends Are Coloring Your Background?
By MARIA SCANDALE | Sep 13, 2019

Southern Ocean County — A color trend of the year for 2019 is gray, and it’s evoking anything but a neutral response from consumers.

“A stylish gray with cool undertones; effortlessly sophisticated” is what Benjamin Moore is saying about Metropolitan AF-690, its Color of the Year.

“Not arresting nor aggressive, this understated yet glamorous gray creates a soothing, impactful common ground,” said Ellen O'Neill, Benjamin Moore’s director of strategic design intelligence.

It’s on walls of oceanfront homes on Long Beach Island, and it’s one of the mid-to-darker hues hailed by homeowners throughout Ocean and Monmouth counties in 2019.

RWS Painting Enterprises owner Rick Silva said mid-tone gray is being requested because “it has a very subtle, classic look.”

The color and other similar grays go well with the distressed wood finish on furniture that is showcased in stores right now. It also agrees with wrought iron and other metals in decor.

“We’re running to a lot of mid-tones to dark colors,” Silva elaborated. “A lot of grays, and a lot of deep colors – deep grays, deep greens and deep blues – are what we’ve been painting; customers have been asking for that, and they’ve been seeing it in magazines.

“They’re getting braver,” he said of homeowners’ preferences.

Deep is chosen for various rooms in the house, although people tend to go for calmer colors in the bedrooms – calm greens or, again, grays, but calmer grays.

“We just did a really beautiful kitchen all done in a deep blue; it’s amazing,” Silva noted. “On the other side of the coin, we just did a kitchen in white. You’re always going to have houses in white and off-white; that is another style that’s still in.”

Harmonious Hues

Benjamin Moore is among paint companies that choose not only a Color of the Year, but also a “corresponding palette.” Color Trends 2019 is a list of “harmonious hues that further amplify the cultured grace of Metropolitan AF-690,” as the company articulated.

Ranging from ethereal neutrals to frothy pinks to rich blues and greens, the Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2019 palette includes: Putnam Ivory, Balboa Mist, Kendall Charcoal, Smoke, Black Pepper, Soft Fern, Cloud White, Beau Green, Hale Navy, Kona, Decorator’s White, Hunter Green and others.

“Elements include the blending of heathered grays and soft linens to create an enveloping haze in a living room; utilizing reflective metallic accents and easygoing neutrals to add a comforting factor to a sleek kitchen; and creating a dose of modest allure to an elegant entryway by coating the walls, doors and trim in a bold navy blue,” the company’s announcement of the palette states.

Carrying One New Color Through

Matthew Dillon of Dillon Painting is also doing grays, such as dove gray, in agreement with one trend. But he also noted another style: Customers and designers are often continuing gray or another single color throughout the whole interior.

“It’s more streamlined,” he described the effect.

“What has been trending is that they’re simplifying the colors a bit more as opposed to painting every room with different colors. That’s what the major paint companies and the designers have been leaning towards,” said Dillon.

If he had to surmise a reason, he answered, “I think people are thinking more feng shui, more modern.”

When the trim color is chosen, Dillon is starting to get requests to paint the trim a different shade of the same color, as a nice offset.

“Now they could tend towards doing the trim a slightly different color,” he said, “usually a monochromatic setup – a brighter shade of the same color,  or a lighter shade.” Dillon uses a lot of Sherwin Williams colors, among others.

“I just painted a chiropractor’s office where he did a sage green on the walls and a lighter sage on the trim, as opposed to just going white.”

In another house, an upscale builder’s client was getting a striking black trim. Preferences are individual, and of course shades of white will always be a choice for the backdrop in many shore homes.

We’ve been talking about the interiors – exterior color and paint brand choices are a separate matter to talk to your painter about. They can depend upon weather factors.

Overall, Dillon has noticed four recent categories of color schemes on and around LBI.

“The things I’ve noticed on LBI, you get the ones that trend towards the Boston type; others want to trend like they’re in Key West, the Caribbean; the ones who are doing the super-modern with charcoal colors/industrial colors; and then the Colonial conservative.”

To generalize, Dillon said, “the trend is going more conservative as opposed to the really flamboyant colors.”

What Does Pantone Say?

The so-called “elephant in the room” is the well-known Pantone Color of the Year announcement that is anticipated by designers and trend-setters. A reflection of trending interior color wouldn’t be complete without reporting Pantone’s Color of the year 2019: Living Coral.

Now, that doesn’t mean everyone is going all out to paint that vibrant hue on their walls. If they did, they might fall nicely into the category of Caribbean that Dillon notices as one popular scheme.

Actually, reports say this color is picked up by designers of fabrics and accessories and graphic arts as much as it is overall backgrounds for houses.

Yet, as Silva observed, “we do see that the coral ties in with the mid-tones and the darker tones.”

If Living Coral were to inhabit a home, it would be a home at the shore.

“Animating ... life-affirming ... vibrant yet mellow ... to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment” describes the Pantone Color Institute of its choice for the current vibe.

Whatever the shade that homeowners choose to surround themselves with, it will color their mood, or at least provide a neutral background for their own accents.

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