How Green Became the “It” Color for 2010
Green is looking to be the “it” color of 2010, reflecting a new decade and, perhaps, new beginnings. According to Benjamin Moore, its Cedar Green 2034-40 paint color may be the one to turn to as we turn the calendar pages on a year that’s been exceedingly challenging.
“Green has such meaning and symbolism,” said Sonu Mathew, ASID, a Benjamin Moore Paints senior interior designer. “It represents renewal, and is eternally the color of spring and new growth. In recent years, it has become the emblem of the environment, shorthand for the global movement that’s dedicated to preserving and conserving our planet.”
“Green also is the easiest color for the eye to see, and the most restful and comforting of all. Cedar Green…is on the yellow end of the spectrum. It’s a color that, on its own, can contribute a vibrant pop to a room, or creates a softer look when paired with neutrals. It also is a perfect foil for bright contrasts, such as deep blues and orangey reds.”
Benjamin Moore asked Mark Chamberlain, a fine arts painter and muralist, to demonstrate the versatility of Cedar Green. He applied it in a bold flame stitch pattern that includes Midnight Navy 2067-10, Meditation AF-395 and Opaline OC-33, adding a dramatic “punch” wall to a media room with a decidedly modern aesthetic.
I’ve always wondered, ‘how exactly does a team decide on the “it” color?‘ I asked Mathew how she and the Benjamin Moore team come up with color trends for the coming year and what goes into the decision making process.
“It’s definitely a lot of confident paying attention to what’s going on in the world,” said Mathew. We have a fantastic team of colorists, and all approach the project with a different perspective about color. I look at socio-economic trends….Color is a great indicator of what is happening in society.”
I started to understand as Mathew explained more. “It’s about a society’s embrace of cultural attributes of color,” she said. For example, after 2001 everyone had to have a red dining room. It’s the color of passion and patriotism and a reflection of what was happening in the U.S.”
I learned that Benjamin Moore and others try to be responsible with their color forecasts, so we all don’t go insane trying to keep up. Like being sure that this year’s “it” color blends and coordinates well with last year’s and with next year’s.
“Colors are evolutionary not revolutionary,” said Mathew. “Red went to orange, orange went to yellow. As we move forward, green is the next color family.”
Mathew, who also reports on all things color and design at her blog, Living in Color with Sonu, is fascinated by the color selection process.
“All the colorists come to the table and fight for the color and prove why a certain color will be important, current and fashion-forward,” said Mathew.
Armed with inspiration from society, fashion, automobiles, TV, you name it; the colorists deliberate and begin to see repetitive themes emerge. Then they know they are close to choosing the “it” color and color trends.
“You need to be more of an organic thinker,” said Mathew. “You fight and debate, you have the right group of people for a collective consciousness and then you have this Aha! moment and see a common thread.”
Mathew’s team strives to predict colors that will coordinate with other home decor products. “If you know that greens are important, you know that other home products are going to be available in many of these greens.”
So what do we do with this information? I know that some of us Design Junkies will dive in, grab the roller and repaint the family room. But others are more timid.
“It depends on your color personality,” said Mathew. “People who are just starting should start small and experiment with accents of colors—throw pillows accessories—or with wall trim and molding. People believe that trim has to be white, I firmly do not believe that.”
Benjamin Moore’s official declaration of the 2010 trend colors will be available for consumers soon after the first of the year, featured in a free booklet, Envision Color 2010, offered by the company’s network of paint and decorating retailers throughout North America. Although Cedar Green leads the parade of what’s hot in the coming year, the publication will include 18 colors organized into three palettes.