Category: Blog

Woman trying green paint color swatches on wall

How to Select the Perfect Paint Color: An Interview with Our Designers

We asked our on-staff design consultants how they help their customers find the perfect paint color. Whether they’re in store or visiting the clients’ home, our designers can get your paint color right every time. We heard from Sue, our senior designer, and she told us all about her favorite Benjamin Moore colors. We also asked Vicki what she does when her customers just can’t make up their mind. And Veronica gave us some questions she asks her customers to get the ball rolling. Continue reading to learn even more from our fantastic design team!

How do you start the color selection process?

Sue: Well, if it’s for myself, I decide on a particular look I am trying to achieve. And depending on the room I am working on, I have to consider furnishings in that room, or a certain style that I want to create. I am going to ask myself the same questions that I would ask the customer, which brings us to question two.

Vicki: I’ll ask the customer which room or rooms they’ll be painting then I’ll ask for inspiration, rooms they like.

Veronica: I always like to learn which room is being painted first, to understand it’s purpose. Then, I like to get to know the customer, their situation, the desired feel of the room or rooms being painted.

Have you seen Benjamin Moore’s new Color Portfolio App and ColorReader? These state-of-the-art tools help you visualize your favorite colors in pictures of your own home! Download for the app for iPhone or Android below.

What questions do you ask your customers?

Sue: After greeting my customer, I will ask them:

  • What project are you working on, what room, etc?
  • Are you doing a complete remodel, such as in a kitchen or bathroom?
  • What colors are in the rooms now? And what would you like to see in place of those?
  • Do you want a completely different look?
  • Are you getting new furnishings, and if not, what things are staying?
  • Do you already have a paint color in mind and want to see shades of that color?
  • Are you getting ready to sell your home?

Vicki: I want to know what is more permanent in the room (flooring, countertops, etc).

Veronica: I like to start by asking if they have any specific paint colors in mind. If not, I’ll ask if there are any colors they don’t like so we can eliminate those. Then I’ll ask how they primarily use the space and how many people use it (read: other opinions that play into the decision). These questions apply to selecting flooring finishes, wallpaper and fabrics, too.

What is your main priority when choosing paint color?

Benjamin moore First Light 2102-70 on walls in Danish style dining room
First Light 2102-70

Sue: The goal is to give the customer the colors they are going to be happy living with.

Vicki: I focus on how light is received in a room. Light has a big affect on how a color will look.

Veronica: For me, the first priority has to be the mood or the feeling the client desires (bright and airy, warm and cozy, lodge style or beachy). The next most important thing is how well this space will flow with the rest of the home. You always want to make sure each room has a natural feel when moving throughout the home.

What do you do when you can’t find that just-right color?

Sue: Sometimes the customer comes in with a definite color in mind. If they have samples they want to match (countertops, cabinets, furnishings, etc), I will pull the colors the customer is thinking they want. If I think the color is not going to work, I will pull other colors that I see will complement what they have and explain to them why they will work. In other words, how that color will enhance the room they are working on. I encourage customers to get samples as lighting makes such a difference. Some colors are totally changed depending on the light in a room.

Vicki: If we can’t find a paint color right off the bat, I’ll ask the customer for a major element like floor tile or bed comforter, something that will be going in the room, and then pick a neutral to go with that. Or I’ll suggest a color consultation.

Veronica: Rarely, we’ll come across a customer who can’t settle on a color. What I like to do is find inspiration pictures of their desired style or mood and see if anything really stands out to them. Usually this helps to give them more direction. If not, I’ll suggest taking several paint color swatches home then trying out samples of their favorites. Or we’ll schedule an in-home color consultation. This gives both of us a better chance to see how certain colors look within their home, with their specific lighting and decor.

What are your go-to Benjamin Moore colors?

Sue: I don’t know if there are any that work everywhere, other than maybe White Dove (OC-17) and Simply White (OC-117)! Standards like Revere Pewter (HC-172), which has been so popular for the last three years anyway. Shaker Beige (HC-4) is still a go-to beige. But the off-whites like Muslin (OC-12) , Clay Beige (OC-11), Ballet White (OC-9), Natural Cream (OC-14), Pale Oak (OC-20), Classic Gray (OC-23), Gray Owl (OC-52), Balboa Mist (OC-27), Collingwood (OC-28), just to name a few, I think are pretty safe colors. Off-whites and pale neutrals are safe bets when other colors don’t work.

Vicki: Revere Pewter (HC-172), if there’s lots of light, Edgecomb Gray (HC-173), Balboa Mist (1549), or most light grays tend to work in every home, especially now.

Veronica: If all else fails, Revere Pewter HC-172 is a great chameleon color. It just works in 99% of homes. I also find that Steam AF-15, Pale Oak OC-20, and Pashmina AF-100 look good in most homes. While I don’t think there is one specific color that “goes” with every home and style, I would say warm gray-beiges are a safe bet because they’re neutral and transitional.

Mannington luxury vinyl flooring ADURA Apex Loft - Sunrise

Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Right For You? (Hint: 100% yes)

You may think of the worn out, peeled seams kitchen floor at your grandmother’s house when you hear “vinyl flooring.” And sure, you’re not wrong, that IS vinyl flooring. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Luxury vinyl flooring is the iPhone 11 of your grandma’s kitchen floor. Advancements in manufacturing, a keen eye for design, and top quality installation techniques turned this builders’ basic floor finish into one that is coveted by designers and DIYers alike. Luxury vinyl flooring is the universal floor covering for every home, office, restaurant, and more!

When we steer our customers (contractors, designers and homeowners) in the direction of this type of flooring, it’s for these three reasons:

  1. Easy installation
  2. Minimal maintenance
  3. Cutting-edge colors and design

So if you’re on the fence about luxury vinyl flooring, read on and uncover why it is the flooring for you.

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Modern Heritage by York Wallcoverings wallpaper collection

Did You Know Vintage Wallpaper Is Making a Comeback?

Modern heritage wallpaper quiz

This year, one of our long-time wallpaper vendors is celebrating its 125th anniversary! York Wallcoverings released a new collection of wallpaper that hints at the century-old design styles that arrived on the scene when the company began in 1895. From trellises to tropical birds, florals to fine stripes, Modern Heritage encompasses the designs of ages past in new and exciting ways.

The Beginning

The Victorian Era was waning as York Wallcoverings started out. But Modern Heritage takes us all the way back with the 1870’s Victorian-inspired Garden Plume and the bold Lady Slipper patterns. The both come in several beautiful color ways, so you’re bound to love these for your home.

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Benjamin Moore Color of the Year First Light, 2102-70

Color Trends 2020 Review| Our Thoughts on This Year’s Choices

In case you missed it, last week Benjamin Moore hosted a launch party to celebrate the Color Trends 2020. In a captivating reveal, guests at the event got an exclusive first look at the Color of the Year, First Light 2102-70. In a palette of 10 hues, this trend is described as “a fresh palette; a revitalized spirit.” And fresh, they are. Over the years, Benjamin Moore has curated these yearly color palettes to inspire and motivate us to try something new in the world of color. We’ve seen it all, from an eclectic rainbow of shades to deep, dramatic and daring collections.

Color Trends 2020, color of the year first light
First Light 2102-70 is “a soft, rosy hue blooming with potential…the backdrop for a bright new decade.”
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Fall Forecast: Turning Over a New Leaf with Colors

If there is one word for design in 2019, it’s moody. I’m all about those rich, moving colors that feel deep and mysterious. But how about playfully moody tones? Ones that evoke excitement and energy. Let’s change the atmosphere. Autumn doesn’t have to be gloomy, dark and traditional. With the upcoming changing of the seasons, I want to turn over a new leaf with fall colors and the inspiration behind them.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Pablo Picasso
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The American Dream (Homes)

We all have our own unique outlook on life, specifically in design and what we consider to be “the American Dream.” The definition of the American Dream has evolved over the years to mean a multitude of lifestyles and career paths. And without getting political, it really is amazing to see the diversity our country allows and encourages as we learn what our individual American Dream is. For some it means buying a modest home with all your favorite features; some, it’s a sprawling farmhouse on the ranch; and others it looks like non-committal apartment living. Design gets DIVERSE based on location, trends, and history. So let’s look at the classic elements of homes in each of the four corners of the U.S. — the colonial New England, the charming farming South, the modernist Pacific Northwest and the cultural Southwest. 

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Window Treatments 101 | Roman Shades & Draperies

Did you know curtains have been around since 3rd-century Egypt? Though they were primarily used to separate rooms, these first generation curtains inspired the use of soft window coverings. Becoming popular in 16th-century England, window coverings were commonly made from linen, flax and cotton… just like today’s roman shades and draperies!

Renaissance styled draperies
Renaissance draperies

Roman shades are just as old and date back to- you guessed it- ancient Roman times. But they were originally designed to function horizontally, like an awning. This was to block the hot sun while spectators enjoyed the spectacles at the Colosseum. Now used vertically on our windows and doors, Roman shades still function as they did back then.

We won’t bore you with a full history lesson, but it’s fun to know where our modern fabric window treatments got their start. This month, we’re expanding our Window Treatments 101 series to the most timeless treatments you can put in your home— roman shades and draperies. 

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Beige: The New (and Old) Gray

Believe it or not, beige is back in town. And we have a feeling it’s going to stay for a while…

Now, don’t get this confused with the beige wall color that took over in the late 90’s and early 00’s– this beige has matured and simplified and shifted. Yes, there are loads of different beiges out there, and each one has it’s place. But remember how easy it was decorating with beige, though?

Come along for the ride as we explore this modern classic color in some new light… and trends!

Note the brass accent piece on the credenza juxtaposed next to the black metal drapery rods.
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Cellular shades with decorative panels in living room

Cellular Shades | Window Treatments 101

We’re getting to know cellular shades as one of the most versatile and popular window coverings in design. Hence this month’s installment of Window Treatments 101. Last time, we learned the ins and outs of venetian blinds, a timeless classic. And honestly, we feel that cell shades will be the new venetian blinds. There are so many advantages to putting cellular shades in your home, most importantly being their incredible energy efficiency. Easy to use, customizable, and attractive are just some other great features of this modern classic.

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Studio McGee Living Room Throw Pillows

How to Style Throw Pillows Like a Pro

Throw pillows are essential to making your home feel inviting and peaceful. Simply adding  throw pillows to a sofa, chaise or even a bed can create a warmer living space.  What we love about throw pillows is their versatility. You can switch up any number of pillows for completely different looks on one piece. And in order to create a visually pleasing AND comfy throw pillow vignette, it’s important to have the basics down pat. Once you know how to mix size, pattern, and material, you’ll be ready to start throwing your pillows together!

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