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Benjamin Moore Sees a Purple Reign in 2011 Color Forecast

October 21, 2010

From deep smoky wine to wildly pumped up fuchsia, purple promises to be a predominant color in home décor in 2011. So say the color experts at Benjamin Moore, who annually pronounce their predictions for the coming year in a booklet that's free and available through the paint company's extensive network of North American retailers. Envision Color 2011 is due in stores mid-October, and it is loaded with inspiring decorating ideas, photo illustrations, plus the forecasted palette of 18 hues.

"One purple to watch for in 2011 is Benjamin Moore's Vintage Wine 2116-20," said Sonu Mathew, ASID, the company's senior interior designer, who also blogs about color and design at It is an anchoring and rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet. Vintage Wine is the perfect foil for the latest wood finishes, leathers, linens and other textiles."

But, for anyone who wants purple with a little more punch, Mathew says, Royal Flush 2076-20 is a sure bet for 2011. This berry-kissed Benjamin Moore color can be grounded when combined with neutrals or fashionable grays, yet swings to the exotic when teamed with other brights.

Mathew also noted there's a range of pale yet power-statement colors headed our way in 2011. A standout among this group is Benjamin Moore's Smoke 2122-40. "It is a subtle blue gray that is best described as an update of spa blue with an injection of sophisticated and seasoned gray."

According to Mathew, a quest for balance is what's driving our choices in life, and, thus, is the overarching trend that is influencing the 2011 palette.

Cues and Clues for 2011 Colors

In arriving at its 2011 color palette forecast, the Benjamin Moore color team first tracked recent cultural, social, and even political conditions and how they are impacting fashion and design trends. Emerging from this analysis were the central Balance theme plus three distinct offshoot style movements-Soulful, Spirited and Dreamy. These were then defined by the following Benjamin Moore colors.


A global balance is being achieved as communications technology shrinks the oceans and miles between us, and as what once was foreign blurs into familiar. On the style front, this is visible in "ethnic glam" designs, pattern-on-pattern, map motifs and hand-worked decoration such as beading and embroidery. Colors being called out to interpret this not only include Benjamin Moore's Vintage Wine, but also Wasabi AF-430, Amulet AF-365, Casco Bay 2051-30, Hush AF-95, and Etruscan AF-355.


The antidote to stress is anything that makes you feel happy, joyful, playful. Striking that emotional balance can be a challenge. In fashion and furnishings it's reflected in spirited designs featuring geometrics, stripes and cubes, dots and curlicues, studded or stitched outlines of shapes and silhouettes. Riotous colors are juxtaposed with lots of gray, black and white. Colors comprising this palette are the aforementioned Royal Flush, as well as Grape Green 2027-40, Wrought Iron 2124-10, Paper Mache AF-25, Storm AF-700, and Lucerne AF-530.


Reality can be harsh and is best countered by a dreamy odyssey where wishes are nurtured. Translated into a design perspective, that means transparent and sheer materials, blurred decorative details and softened textures. As for the color palette, imagine Benjamin Moore hues that are pale, frosted and opalescent, such as Gray Mirage 2142-50, Genesis White 2134-70, Porcelain 2113-60, Etiquette AF-50, Kendall Charcoal HC-166 and the previously cited Smoke.

The Start of a Beautiful Relationship

Envision Color 2011 is but one of several color selection tools available from Benjamin Moore and recommended as a starting point for any decorating project. Visit to explore the company's Virtual Fan Deck, a free download that you can keep on your desktop and use endlessly as needed without having to constantly log on to the Internet. Another tremendous helpmate is the Personal Color Viewer®.The latest iteration of this program, which lets you import photos of the room you want to makeover and then "try out" the colors your are considering on the image, also is downloadable from the Benjamin Moore Web site to your desktop. A $10 fee is your ticket to accessing this popular system.

"Seek out the expert advice of your local retailer, as well," added Mathew. "Benjamin Moore retailers have the experience and knowledge that make them the ultimate specialists in their business and a resource you can rely on."

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