Color Trends 2012 – Firey Sunset Color Stories

Benjamin Moore’s Fiery Sunet Palette – image from Benjamin Moore’s website

Back to Color Stories!

Benjamin Moor’s Firey Sunset Color Palette addresses all the potential and limitations with red as a color tool for interiors. I have rotated the palette vertically left to make the points more plain, and to provide you with each paint’s signature sku at a glance. In case you are wondering why I don’t list color names, it’s because it’s allot like lipstick names – they are superfluous to the color identity, and I want you to speak the language of color plainly in the standard best understood at the paint store.

If you glance at the palette you don’t see anything that could be considered less than neutral before the ninth or tenth shade – this is intentional.

If you watch color for long enough, you’ll learn that “Trends” are less directional than diagnostic. This is to say that rather than blazing bold new paths, trends tend to be socioeconomic water marks of the current economy and the way that people feel about it. Currently, people are feeling quite neutral as whole – wanting to be hopeful, but not emboldened to be lulled yet again into over-confident optimism. I think this palette says it plainly – a warm and eager willingness to put a toe in the water of experimentation, but plenty of safe ground to retreat to, if the temperature proves too extreme.

We’ve talked allot about neutrals, so lets explore reds instead.

A red modern and ’70’s retro mix with no holds barred! image from Decor Pad

Click to get this look!

Reds (a band wagon reference to crimsons, fuschias, and persimmons) evoke many individual feelings and connotations. Red’s association with danger, a universal signal to stop, and associations with passions make it for whatever else the opposite of neutral, and the object of intimidating appeal. But whether it reminds you of war or Christmas, one design truth is inevitable – Red is the best director since Steven Spielberg. More than any other color, the presence of reds in a space command attention and dictate the direction of the path your eye will travel. No one knew this better than Matisse.

Three oil paintings by Henri Matisse that demonstrate a profound treatment off the color red – images from

The red stairs lead the eye and the feet up the stairs! image from



Matisse used red like a laser pointer to draw the viewer’s eye into his compositions, and to triangulate each composition in a manner that is at once both subconscious and overt. It works the same way in a room.



A home office with irresistible pops of red – image from House To Home UK

Red’s irresistible affect can be achieved conversely as well – by saturating a room in red, and adding a color such as white, red pulls you in and white shows your eye the path to follow…

A diining room decked out in red and white – image from house to home, UK

This effect makes reds the poster colors for less is more for some…

Red commands even in small pops – like this bedroom from House Beautiful

and a license to throw caution to the wind and drive the design vehicle at 90 mph and above…

A living room soaked in Persimmon – Yum! image from House to Home UK

Don’t for get Fuchsia! Another Fiery Sunset color, in this sexy living space from House to Home.

But don’t feel obligated to stay within this palette to find your muse. If you are comfortable dabbling in reds, look to some cooler colors to expand your vision and define your design!

Reds and Violets signal day’s end – image from house to home UK

Reds with Violet are sunset colors, too! Red, lavender and Purple are more than friends in this gorgeous and reflective vignette.

Accents bring color home, in a way that lets you establish a comfort zone, before jumping in with both feet – it’s always advisable to date before walking down the isle! Lighting is a great place to start, especially if your design plan will look to the neutral range for wall color.

Ro Sham Beaux Pendant

Comes in a sconce, too!

Ro Sham Beaux Sconce

Persimmon lined black chandelier

Pendants from Seascapes Lamps.