The much anticipated Benjamin Moore 2019 Color of the Year was announced today and it is….drumroll…Metropolitan AF-690
Who decides this?
Apparently, the answer is Ellen O’Neil, the director of strategic design intelligence (yes, that really is a job) at Benjamin Moore and her team. According to this interview in AD they spend a year globetrotting and selecting a color that reflects the current temperament, not just the current fad. And, although grays have been ubiquitous in nearly EVERY staged house or HGTV episode for the last several years whether it is the best choice for the space or not, the rationale for THIS choice was the discovery of a sort of societal search for peace and calm, for pause and reflection amid these rather turbulent times. This makes some sense, I guess.
So, why this particular gray? I mean there are hundreds of options in the Benjamin Moore color offerings.
Well, all that said, this is a nice shade of gray that, despite the unfortunate name, has a lot of complexity of color. It is medium light-ish color that will work well with many shades of white and numerous accent colors as it is a more neutral gray than some others, which, I suppose, was exactly the point. It is calm and un-contentious. “Plays well with others” might be the best description. Does it add drama? No. Is it right for every space? No. But where a neutral gray is called for, for whatever reason, this could be a viable option.
Below are images from the Benjamin Moore website for the 2019 Color of the Year
On a completely unwarranted tangent, Metropolitan AF-690 is almost an exact match to the gray bathroom fixtures I put in when we remodeled 25 years ago. Don’t judge. Yes, I would do white if I was doing it now, but as colors go, this one has been pleasantly easy to work around.
But please, please, please, look at your color samples in the space that is going to be painted and in the correct way, not just in the store, or laid out on the kitchen table, and certainly don’t choose them because they are “the color of the year”! This post has more information on the right way to select your paint color.
What’s in a name?
Well, the name Metropolitan to me evokes a bit of an industrial vibe…of hard surfaces and angular lines, of subway trains and glass skyscrapers. And metropolitan is, by definition, a city region. While I adore cities and have always considered myself a “city girl”, they are hardly what I think of for calm, pause, and reflection which was the idea behind the choice, so it seems like a bit of a disconnect. This is a short video from the Benjamin Moore website on the 2019 color of the year. It doesn’t really make it all that much clearer.
Speaking of color names…who comes up with those? Sometimes color names are really just horrible – one of Farrow and Balls colors is Dead Salmon. REALLY? That’s kind of like naming your child Frankenstein and wondering why he never gets picked for the team.
I just can’t quite imagine the lady of the manor sashaying through the house tour and saying “yes, we used dead salmon in the parlour…isn’t it divine?” It’s not a bad color…more like a ballet pink…here are a couple of images from the Farrow and Ball website (the first seems to be a customer entry, which, honestly, is not doing the color any favors…)
Anyway, I can’t imagine that they’ll be selling a lot of a color with that sort of name no matter how lovely it is!
After all the fuss over the rest of the 2019 Color of the Year picks,
Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay (a medium terra cotta that reminds me of some blush I once had that was a horrid mistake),
and Behr’s Blueprint (a medium blue with hints of green),
and PPG’s Night Watch (a deep saturated teal green),
Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan is about as non-controversial as you can get, so I guess that IS a pause.
Update: Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year was announced as well, and it is Living Coral - about as far away from neutral territory as you can get! For more on that, check out THIS post!