Top Paint Colors

December 29, 2016

Our favorite swatches from a year’s worth of hue-happy rooms.

Paint is the most powerful way to instantly transform an entire room without having to spend big. But no one said that picking the perfect color comes easily. When it comes to our photo shoots, we’ll sometimes spend hours deliberating over the freshest blue for a bathroom or most welcoming gray for an entryway. So as we wrap up a year’s worth of images, we’re sharing the hues just too good to keep to ourselves. We’ve pulled one from each month’s catalog that stands out as a strong favorite. They’re all by Benjamin Moore (the brand is a decorator’s favorite for a reason), but they vary from warm to cool and bold to subtle. For a bit of insight on our top paint colors for 2016, we asked art director Jennifer Moore to share just what makes each one so great. And as far as selecting the right finish, Jennifer reminds us that every room is different so it’s best to test out swatches and consult your local paint store before you begin*.


January: Owl Gray
Classic and sophisticated but never boring, this warm gray blends yellow and blue undertones to create a truly versatile color that works just about anywhere.

February: Arctic Blue
Muted pastels are all the rage right now, and this crisp blue feels particularly modern and edgy in a space with industrial furniture and black accents (see black base trim).

March: Beacon Gray
Although its name would have you think otherwise, this “gray” is more of a cool, silvery blue that instantly brightens a space and adds just enough color.

April: Pigeon Gray
This warm medium grey contrasts white and wood so well and complements grey veining often found within bathroom tile and marble.

May: Cedar Ridge
This pink is pretty without being overly feminine, and works as more of a neutral in tandem with warm wood and fresh black accents.

June: Bold Blue
As its name suggests, this blue makes a statement without being too bright. It’s dramatic and deep in all the right ways, and looks extra rich against wood tones.

July: Marine Blue

This deep blue instantly transports us to the Mediterranean Sea. The tiled wall provides added texture, and the room’s wood, marble, and silver accents bring out the best in the blue.

August: Rose Bisque
Pink is one of the hottest hues around, and this version is cheerful and bright. Because it’s so naturally feminine, pair it with neutrals and glam accents like gold.

September: Dove White

This is our go-to white for good reason: it’s super versatile and neither too bright nor full of undertones. Here it looks particularly crisp in contrast with a black ceiling and denim blue textiles.

October: Dragonfly

This rich green feels modern in the best way. It plays off the evergreen trees just outside the window and naturally contrasts the room’s light wood floors and ceiling beams.

November: Baby Seal Black
This dark graphite color that doesn’t feel as heavy as pure black. Here we treated it as a neutral against a light floor with metallic and white accents.


December: Salamander

This lush evergreen is so deep that it doesn’t feel overly green. Lighter colors—white, pink, wood—pop against it, and the color is extra lovely to look at when the sun hits it just so (like in this shot).


*For best results:

Due to lighting effects on set, color corrections during catalog print-runs, and variations between computer display screens, we highly recommend taking the color swatch you love to your local paint store for the very best match.

CATEGORIES: design lab

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