Benjamin Moore released their colour for 2016 as OC-117, Simply White.
Their narrative begins with, “Layered whites, diffused light … ambience, surrender to the complexity of white.” It seems they may have chosen their colour correctly, as Sherwin Williams 2016 colour of the year is SW 7008, Alabaster. Yet in contrast, Sherwin Williams doesn’t think their white is complex, but: “Represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness. It provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and ‘less is more’ visual relief. Alabaster is neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring white,” says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams director of colour marketing.
When I first heard that a shade of white was the 2016 colour, I felt a little depressed. White walls for some of us can be flat, institutional, and well, boring. But the more I thought about it and looked at pictures of rooms in white, I accepted the complexity of white. It must be layered with other textures of white in a room along with elements of wood, or metal. Or, white works beautifully as a contrast to gray, black, or sharp cool colours. Of course, it’s a perfect backdrop to colourful artwork or black and white photographs.
White can also be the feature colour of a room. Think of crisp, white painted trim work in a room with ho hum neutral walls. It’s the white that stands out. White can also stand out well in a commercial space, where there might be lots of metallic, glass and wood. I love crisp white on white bathrooms. Simply White or Alabaster might just be a nice relief for 2016.
Benjamin Moore is found at Pacific Paints, Hillside, Millstream Road, or Keating X Road. Sherwin Williams is at 2141 Government St.
Sheri Peterson has been an interior designer for 22 years in Victoria. She designs for commercial, residential and hospitality clients.