And The 2016 Color Of The Year Is…

Color of the year. It’s become a lot like the Oscars.

And the Oscar goes to…

And then the Golden Globe goes to…

The Screen Actor’s Guild Award…

The People’s Choice Award…

On and on… one fashion show after another and a chance for advertisers to cash in.

Well… the same holds true in the home furnishings and decorating industry when it comes to the almighty “color of the year.” Or I should say, colorS of the year!

Someone mentioned to me the other day that they don’t remember this being such a big deal a few years ago.

It wasn’t.

So, what changed?

Social media, I guess…

And, so what we end up with is much buzz about not really anything that important, but that’s okay. I love color and I like paint.

So far, the top two paint companies in the US have announced their “color of the year.”

Benjamin Moore and its courageous choice of “Simply White”

And close on the heels of that, Sherwin Williams choice of Alabaster.

Another White Paint Color!

As a designer, I’m absolutely thrilled that both paint companies had the courage to choose two beautiful shades of white paint. For other great shades of white paint, click here.

In a few weeks time, we are going to hear from our Academy Award equivalent…


Remember last year’s disastrous (well, IMO) choice of the barftastic Marsala?  Yes, the color of dried blood. A color so not in-tune with what is going on in the design industry, it’s as if they went about their business and ignored everyone else. Is that a good idea?

One of the hottest tickets in the industry and a stop on the Design Blogger’s Tour is Taylor Burke Home. Julianne Taylor, founder and owner treated us to a fresh, Neo-traditional collection at Wesley Hall of her home accents.


Above is a vignette at Wesley Hall featuring Taylor-Burke’s fabulous fretwork chandelier, aptly named “Don’t Fret.”      It is just cooler than cool in person.

There’s another version which includes a piece called “You’re Riveting.” So clever. For you designers out there, both Taylor Burke Home and Wesley Hall are designer friendly.



Another shot of this cool Chinoiserie inspired vignette.


Imperial Dragon Fabric by another Highpoint darling–Thibaut.

Pantone Folks? Paying attention? I think that your color needs to reflect this combination inherent in these hot home furnishings; that is designs that couple tradition–with FUN.

Not desiccated liver.

Oh, dear… someone’s going to call me a bitch. (forgive me, but if you call someone a bitch doesn’t that also make you a bitch?)

Oh well… I’m sure I’ve been called worse. lol


Laurel, would you stop krechitzing already and just tell us what your prediction is for Pantone’s Color of the Year?


Oh, sorry… Was I talking too much?

What do you think it should be? Please just hold that thought in your head and don’t scroll any further until you’ve formed an opinion if you have one. :]

Then, tell me if we’re on the same wave-length in the comments. I’ll put in a pretty pic here (love this vignette!) which won’t give it away while you’re thinking.


Megan Rice Yager

I’m thinking that the most logical choice is a rich deep………..




I mean, with all of that white, isn’t blue an obvious choice?

Oh please, please… pretty please? I promise that I’ll only say nice things unless they do a 180 and decide to render us blind.





In recent years, I’ve come to adore blue…  But it wasn’t always so.

In fact, if you had asked me 30 years ago, I’m sure that I would’ve said that I pretty much disdained blue.

And I think I know the reason why…



I don’t know what year they stopped making people wear these abominations, but all I remember is by the time I got to high school, the most exercise I got in “gym” as we called it, was getting into and out of one of these hideous things.

Fortunately, I got past it.

Now, I’m in love with blue.

And @Pantone, you’ve never chosen a deep rich blue, so I hope that you’re listening!

In the meantime, Please enjoy some beautiful interiors by some of the hottest designers and design teams as well as some of my favorite shades of deep rich Blue

The first three images are from the shop of one of the hottest design teams, Lance Jackson and David Ecton, who founded only four years ago the wonderful lifestyle brand, Parker Kennedy Living



Here’s an idea for your Thanksgiving blue and white table. Or else, you can just use an orange Hallmark Tablecloth like I did last year.


Their Hollywood Regency inspired designs always look amazingly fresh. They always incorporate white and often blue in their work. Is that sectional sick or what!

tartan-terrace-navy-dining-roomWonderful dining room featuring navy walls by Tartan Terrace

Benjamin Moore HALE NAVY HC- 154 is a good one.


I posted this image from Serena and Lily before in another blue post which combined blues with oranges and white. Great combo. Love the wall and especially because of the gorgeous mouldings!


There was a collective OMG! when this astonishingly gorge butler’s pantry was revealed earlier this year. It belongs to that beautiful blogger Sue de Chiara aka: The Zhush

Designed by Muse Interiors

Another fabulous deep rich blue is Benjamin Moore BAINBRIDGE BLUE 749

But dark shiny blues often photograph much lighter so this could be the wonderful rich HAGUE BLUE by Farrow and Ball. I also love their new color, STIFFKEY BLUE.

For the closest Benjamin Moore equivalents please click here.


Sold. Sorry, but these fabulous faux bamboo chairs were offered by the Parker Kennedy Boys.


A Home in Newport, Rhode Island. It’s a fun place to visit if you’ve never been there.

This reminds me of Benjamin Moore BUCKLAND BLUE HC-146

marklewisinteriordesignMark Lewis

Mantels don’t always have to be white. I absolutely adore the antique blue finish on this one. My friend Lisa Mende did a fabulous round-up post the other day about peacock-blue colors.

Another wonderful designer-friend, Robin Seigerman of Renovation Bootcamp recommended Benjamin Moore TWILIGHT 2058-10. She said that it’s not as dark as it looks on the chip and is very beautiful.

j-k-place-capri-24There can be no post about blue which doesn’t include my favorite hotel in the entire world– The JK Place Capri designed by Michel Bonan


Here’s Michele looking tres dapper in his blues and standing in front of that astonishing fireplace mantel. This is a new hotel he designed in Paris.

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 10.19.52 AM

J.K. Place Capri3808_201504171700116655

And here’s the view outside my room at the JK Place. lol

What do you think of my choice for color of the year? Do you have a different idea?

Oh my… Can you believe, it’s going to be Thanksgiving next week?! I won’t be posting until a week from today. I have a special treat for you, so please stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s wishing everyone in the US a healthy, happy Thanksgiving.



41 Responses

  1. Hello Laurel,

    I am agonizing over paint colors right now and crazily painting samples on swatches. Painters are coming next week and I haven’t found the color I want yet. Your blog is giving me a TON of great tips though.

    Question: Would you happen to know if there’s a BM equivalent to the color in the Michele Bonan photo? That’s exactly the color I want for our living -dining -family room (it’s an open concept) and we have low light. On my list for paint samples to pick up is Chelsea grey and Iron mountain.

    After painting our bedroom VanDeusen blue last Christmas, I am no longer scared of painting dark colors in low light rooms.

    Again a big THANK YOU!

    1. Hi Graes,

      I wish I could help you out but it’s impossible. I’m not there and I can’t see what you’re seeing on the computer and I can’t see your room, of course, either. I’d be working blind. This is no different than a doctor operating on your brain, blindfolded.

      Fortunately, it’s not brain surgery. :] In the words of a college professor speaking to ME 26 years ago!

      Chelsea and Iron are both terrific colors, however.

      Best of luck to you!

  2. Hi Laurel,

    Who doesn’t love blue and white together? It can be just about anything you want it to be; fresh, dramatic, serene, modern, traditional, casual or formal…but always beautiful and always a classic. Ralph Lauren comes to mind as someone who has been doing blue and white beautifully for years.

    By the way, who are the Pantone people anyway, and how do they decide what the color of the year will be?


    1. Hi Lisa,
      That is a very good question. They have a website which can probably explain it better than I can. Pantone is a color system used by many manufacturers to maintain consistency. This made it doubly ironic when the color of the year, especially last year was all over the lot!

      How they decide is also a mystery. Of course, Pantone is not just for the home furnishings industry. it encompasses anything having to do with color including fashion and cosmetics, etc.

  3. Laura. Enjoy your blog very much. What do you think of BM Beau Green for a corridor to feature six sail boat painting of various blues and aqua so? BM2054-20 thanks for your comments

    1. Hi Lil,

      Thank you so much. My recommendation is to get a sample and make your sample board. tape it to the wall and hold up the art and see how you like it together.

  4. Hey Laurel…

    I agree! I hope that Pantone won’t wimp out and choose something deep and rich like navy blue, indigo or cobalt. These are really the only blues that I love. (The lighter blue colors – in the wrong hands – can verge on baby blues!)

    I attended a talk by one of the Benjamin Moore designer reps and she explained part of the reason they chose Simply White was because it goes so well with their past colors of the year. OK – nice, but I feel they could have chosen something more exciting!

    I did a blogpost a little while back on my favorite ways to use these beautiful deep blue hues.

    Thanks for your great posts – I enjoy them so much!!


    PS – my gym outfit was a sickly muddy green blue. I hated it so much, I tried out for Leaders’ Club. They helped the gym teachers out during class. The outfit was a short dress with matching undies. The color – Simply White!!

  5. Hi Laurel! As a blue lover and collector of blue & white china I LOVE this post. During the build up for Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year I thought Hale Navy would be the perfect choice – great minds think alike! We are building a new house in the hopefully near future and the blue painted mantels are definitely interesting me. I’m also loving the fresh look of orange accents with blue and white. Thanks again for your research and wit – I always chuckle at your posts – loved the bitch comment.

    1. Hi Jo,

      Yeah…Someone told me off last week. Don’t know if you saw that. Oh well… I always say that they don’t have to read it if they don’t like it! But anywho… Let’s hope for the best with our Pantone buddy. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Good choice Laurel, the blues you have chosen are always in good taste. I loved the name, dried blood for Marsala. Here in Houston, apparently everyone loves the color Swine or Hog, It’s everywhere, even in new high end model homes, and on orange peel textured walls to boot. The problem is, the colors and pictures you have shown are all in good taste, which is sadly lacking in the haste to be trendy. I believe good taste and style is very difficult to achieve. Thankfully, there are blogs like yours and Lisa M to help guide us.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Lol. Well… What can I say? Re: Texas. lol It’s a different world. Ironically, I had an uncle there but never went to visit because his wife and my father didn’t get along or something like that. However, she had amazing taste and style. It was her husband, (my mom’s bro) who was the blood relative.

  7. I am new subscriber to your blog. Absolutely love all the eye candy. I am a blue lover and totally agree. I also want to thank you for your posts on best grays and best whites to paint trim – you saved me hours of deliberation!

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Welcome to the blog and thanks so much for your lovely comment! I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with paint colors. That was me, 20 years ago. Over the years, I learned lots that helped me overcome that.

  8. I thought I was the only weird one who disliked blue and wondered why so many chose it when asked their favorite color. Then about a year and a half ago I started to like some of the darker blues. I thought maybe I had just mellowed out with age. But the fact is, I am planning a project now where I plan to paint the trim, including the mantel, a very dark blue. I think my disdain may have come from those pale blue walls of the doctor’s examination rooms where it goes with NOTHING else in the room. I’m with you on a rich blue to go with the whites chosen by the paint companies.

    1. Hi Tricia,
      It’s so funny the associations we have with some things. I’ve had people tell me that a soft gold looked like “mustard.” Or a sage green looked like “hospital green.” Fine, if that’s what they see it tells me it’s not right for them. It’s just interesting.

      I think I said this in a different post, but I had a color teacher who actually told a student. “You just THINK that you like blue. You really don’t.” OUTRAGEOUS!

  9. So happy that BLUE is being recognized for all if its properties…. People also wear this color very well and my theory is if it is not a becoming color on me than why would I decorate with it! White us always the best be it an accent color or the focus… Happy dipping and stroking with your brush/roller!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      It’s taken a while. I think it’s always been there in some circles but just not as mainstream. It’s a little like the word “vanilla” which is synonymous for blah, boring and banal. But is it? I happen to love vanilla in all of its forms!

  10. Of course blue is the bomb, didn’t I purchase a wonderful blue & white sangria pitcher from Toledo (Spain) on Ebay yesterday despite in not in anyway “going with” my white/black/gold/fern lr colors … But my nominee for color of the year is Marigold.

  11. With Marsala last year….and the color Cognac that I saw on Facebook somewhere (don’t remember who’s pick that was )I’m wondering if these are the first shots over the bow of a return to ‘muddy’ colors.

    While I like the ‘clean’ colors that are now so popular, soon it will be time to go in a different direction–because as soon as EVERYONE does something the creative people start looking for something different.

    I see some of that already with the return of dark colors (and now white) for the walls. We are moving away from the mid-tones grays that have been so super popular the last few years.

    1. Hi Maggie,

      We are definitely moving away from the grays! The heavy hitters at High Point and in the blogging/interior design world (ie: Parker-Kennedy) are all into lots and lots of color. Very often with white walls! And it all looks very fresh, IMO.

  12. I’ve used Simply White along with Cosmopolitan (a gorgeous warm gray) throughout my great room… I’ve gotten so many compliments. I’ve also used Bainbridge Blue to refresh bathroom vanity, and it looks wonderful.

  13. Cobalt blues, jewelled purples, hot pinks. Oh! & bring it on…Lacquer.

    I have used a lot of stiffkey blue (F&B) last year my world became a little flat so I need some richness. ( but all done in the best possible taste, daarling.}

    Enormous fun to wake to on an misty english sunday morning. You are irrepressible.Thanks laurel.

    1. Hi Joanna,

      Believe it or not— everything goes through a filter! Alright, it’s a very loose filter. lol

      Love the English names like “stiffkey”

      Ironically, seldom get to do anything like that because most of my clients aren’t that daring. The English are so much better with putting it out there!

  14. Funny, I’ve been wondering when Pantone would catch up to the blue/navy trend that’s several years old or gray for that matter. Since 2000 the only green ever chosen by Pantone was emerald which is so dark and yet bright it never really sold very well in the mid market. They totally missed the fresh warmer greens like Fernwood Green/ Brookside Moss popular in 2008-11 and the green grays like Gray Cashmere or Revere Pewter….so on trend now. Aqua, and turquoise have made the list 3 times during last 15 years as they should. Aquas continue to be popular ( love them when combined w grass green/Apple greens. Perfect examples are Palladian Blue or Quiet Moments, etc….Your description of Marsala was hilariious! Such an ugly colors! Anyway my two picks would be gray or dark blues….third choice: pink….cuz it goes so well with gray. When do they announce this ” coveted” award??? Best regards, Betsy O

    1. Hi Betsy,

      Great comment! I believe they make the announcement in January. Of course, it’s already been decided because I’m sure it takes them months to get all of their media stuff together.

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so with you on the mighty “blue”! Coincidentally, just this past Thursday, I bought two gallons of a dusky BM blue called Van Duesen to paint my bedroom and adjoining den. Certainly not as “clean” or “lit” as some of the deep blues in this post but I have had a love affair with shades of this dark blue forever. Wish I’d seen your post first, as I had been waffling between the Van Duesen and more nuanced blues. However, your orange coffee table has inspired me to paint two old Mitchell Gold night tables that will bring that brightness factor in.

    You are incredibly insightful and you can count my vote for colour of the year. Bianca

    P.S. I wore those dreadful blue gym jumpers with the elastic bands on the legs that resulted in giving each girl a pumpkin-shaped bottom. Ha!

      1. My husband and I picked Van Deusen Blue for our living room as well, and I LOVE it. We have high, peaked ceilings and big windows at one end, french doors on the other (plus skylights to boot!) I love how the color works in bright daylight or in the dead of night. We’re still working on decorating the room, but the wall color at least is perfect. And, the fact that it’s Laurel-approved makes me THRILLED (and a little more confident in my paint choices!)

    1. Bianca- You will love Van Deusen blue!! My living room is painted in that wonderful color and has elicited nothing but ‘ohhs and ‘ahhhs’ when people saw it for the first time.
      It is not too dark, but wonderfully soft and warm and turns every piece of wood or painted furniture into a star. I have it paired with the my old( you can’t kill them!) Karastan Heriz patterned rug that Laurel showed in a vignette above, and the whole room is now a jewel box..
      I think Laurel hit the color choice on the head!!
      I too adore all blues, and I am thinking of painting my kitchen in a dark blue to work with all the English blue & white pieces I have collected, and the soapstone counters. My daughter and husband bought a big old house this spring and their living room was painted in dark BM “Newbury blue”. Not a single room in this huge house is painted white! Imagine that 🙂

      1. Hello Delores! And thank you for your kind message. I’m so happy to hear how beautiful the Van Deusen Blue will look. You’ve made me feel better. Can’t wait to have the colour go up and see it in my space. Too bad it’s not possible to add a photo here in comments. I would have loved to have seen your living room. Take care and thanks again. Bianca

  16. Your right about social media’s massive influence. It has surpassed any movement the world has seen up to now …in only the past 5 years. Soon, everyone that has the spare change, and it doesn’t have to be a fortune, can transform their home living spaces into a magazine perfect room of choice.. The millions of DIY tutorials, designer blogs, Instagram pics and Pinterest are making all of us see things with more detail and refinement. We are creating and learning, imagining new things and recreating again at an astonishing rate. Designer items, antiques, eclectic, modern or MCM or transitional, can be searched for and found all overall the place. Apps to help you design your room. Overstock, Wayfair, RH, PB, Kings Lane, Etsy, etc are so brimming with gorgeous affordable stuff that will be delivered into your room of choice and set up for you. One no longer has to settle for hand-me down sofas, or the Sears sofa sold on Main St. anymore. It seems we are are all becoming kinda good at everything…how fun! And blue is a good guess!

    1. Hi Chris, I suppose like lots of things SM has it’s good side and bad. The only thing here is… Despite all of that, it is still phenomenally easy to muck up a room. One size never fits all and there is just too, too much that can go wrong! And sometimes playing it safe can backfire too!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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