Benjamin Moore: Colour of the Year 2016

The Benjamin Moore Colour Studio has just announced their Colour of the Year for 2016.  Simply White OC-117 is the chosen shade, after the team carefully reviewed more than 250 white selections. According to the Color Studio, it was the most neutral, level and constant in the various light sources used in today’s design environments.
We spoke with Sharon Grech, Toronto Based Colour & Décor Expert for Benjamin Moore to hear more about their trend forecasting process.

FRONT WALLTRIM & DOOR Ballet White OC-9,  Natura, Flat (wall)

Tell us about the choice of Simply White for the colour the year
Benjamin Moore’s Creative Director has the job of reigning in our team’s discoveries and pulling out that elusive thread that makes the unique colour story every year. Supporting her conviction for 2016, the white story was something that each member of our team brought to the table in different ways with evidence from across the industries from automotive to tableware. We often come across white in our journeys, which is no surprise, but unlike other years we couldn’t simply dismiss it as “only white” ….this year white really wanted to be noticed!WALLS Simply White OC-117, Aura, Matte (3)

Was this a controversial choice?
Well some may argue that white is not technically a colour, however in the home fashion industry white is an absolute essential! Just look at Benjamin Moore’s Colour Gallery, we have over 250 whites! That’s a lot of space for a non-colour.BM1When it comes to white paint, there are so many different shades of white. Why did the team choose, Simply White?
Once the decision was made that white would be our hero colour for 2016, the search was on for the “right white.” We wanted a clean white that wouldn’t feel sterile, and a versatile white, that could coordinate well with both warm and cool palettes, traditional and modern décor. After much deliberation and review, Simply White OC-117 was the winner.

M_TrendsWhiteOnWhite_Kitchen5606.3htWhy do you think white has become such a popular shade in home decor?
For a few years now, within our group’s trend research, we have been discussing the overall desire for a “clean slate”. Sure enough we have witnessed colour choices lighten up as pastels and fresh pales have risen in popularity, driven by that desire to create spaces that feel fresh and uncluttered.

Today we are inundated with so much visual stimulation, especially on screen, from the moment we open our eyes till we close them. It’s so incredibly inspiring but at the same time so tiring. We need ways to “turn it all off”, and white can have that calming effect.ENTRYWAY Royal Flush 2076-20,  Natura, EggshellWhat are some of the other key shades for 2016?
Similar to white, colours that have a calming, cleansing note like pale blues and aquas remain key colours for 2016. White Satin 2067-70 and Morning Sky Blue 2053-70 are both lovely fresh pales from Benjamin Moore’s 2016 palette.

On the other side of the spectrum, high-contrast colour schemes also feel fresh today, so hits of black, blue and yellow are popular. Our picks for punctuation are Black Ink 2127-20, Patriot Blue 2064-20 and Banana Yellow 2022-40.

BM2Tell us about your research process
As a part of the Colour Innovation Team at Benjamin Moore, research is an ongoing process. Although as a full team we only formally meet 2 or 3 times a year to rein in our discoveries, we avidly share our observations throughout the year with images and reports.

Society, Politics, the Environment, Technology… these all serve as the backdrop to our research and our discussions. Each of us travels domestically and abroad to observe and record our impressions of the use of colour in various industries, including Automotive, Art, Fashion, Textiles, Retail and even Cosmetics. 


Where is your favourite place to travel for inspiration?
Travel is a huge part of my life, and I’m thrilled that my kids have caught the travel bug too.

I especially find inspiration when I visit a place for the first time, so my favourite place is usually the last place I visited. Those initial experiences and observations really stay with me and become etched in my mind. Natural elements tend to inspire me the most, from a colour and design perspective, whether it’s a desert landscape, lush forest or seaside. I am still drawing on the experience of seeing all these landscapes during our trip to Australia early 2015.WALLS Simply White OC-117, Aura, Matte (2)

What colour trends are you starting to see emerge for next season?
I am seeing white continue to be “white-hot” for the next few seasons. Whites layered with tans, camels and sandy tones is a welcome combination helping to transition from the whites with grey story. I am also seeing blue continue to evolve with higher-chroma.
WALLS Simply White OC-117, REGAL Select, Ulti-Matte (2)

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