Color Trends 2012 – Taming Benjamin Moore’s Fluid Blues

Benjamin Moore’s Fluid Blues – image from Benjamin Moore’s website

We have talked about neutral color allot this past week. The fact is that by virtue of the addition of white and grey, ANYBODY can create a neutral back drop using any color – and its compliment – it’s just that simple. Two colors of the same hue combine to create thousands of shades of grey, whose zen RGB (Red, Green, Blue) balances make each a solid candidate for a neutral platform to support any design.

Image from the UK’s House To Home’s website

But the “Fluid Blues” palette at the left may leave you with a sense of foreboding in considering the commitment to strong saturated color that this palette seems to demand – but don’t shy away before taking a closer look. I really love Benjamin Moore’s Color Stories, because each and every color palette offers choices and flexibility – there is a real balance between monochromes shades (which are neutral by definition) and confections colors of blue both crisp and sultry blues that simply sparkle.

Confections of blue is a great inspirational jumping off point. Consider the potential for a new point of view…

Blue confections indeed, from cakeeventsblog

Great design is about options, flexibility – and a willingness to open your mind to potential of unexpected possibilities!

HGTV’s Candice Olson like all good designers, tends to repeat successful formulas by varying the equation to demonstrate the variety of possible¬† color solutions given one limited palette.

A living room by Candice Olson’s Divine Design (image from HGTV) beside inflencial fluid blue tones

The room above is truly a confection! This mix of dramatic tones is spot on identical to some of the shades of Benjamin Moore’s fluid blues. The use of dramatic color and pattern illustrates the design phrase coined by Joseph Eichler, “a little goes a long way”. Note the aggregate of this space is quite neutral – this solution for blues involves discipline, applying limited areas of saturated blues, red-violet and greens within strict constraints.

Here is another solution, inverting the same color palette above and using neutrals tones as accents, saturating the room with teal blues, and red-violet.

So where shold you use flamboyant blues and in what proportion? Anywhere you like! Proportion in design is really a 3 bears story, ending with a “just right” solution that is as personal as the individual and their home – in short, right is what’s right for you.

Most designers suggest using rich blues in bedrooms, but why not save some strong color for the focal area of your dwelling that endures the most traffic, and receives the least emphasis…the foyer!

Warm and cool blues collide in this inviting entry – This Old House website

Foyers matter! This is my latest rant – they are the entrance of your home. They welcome you home, provide a first impression to all that are received in your home, and are the last visual memory of home you take with you to work, school, or travel. They are the lingering impression of what you will see first when you return. Foyers take on new meaning during the holidays, and are a great place to convey color that is dramatic and seasonal.

Fun and funky foyer from House to Home featuring a cobalt blue chandelier

Don’t be afraid of first impressions! Have fun – blue has great presence, and a little really does go a long way!

Grey/blue wallpaper sets the stage for holiday decor – image from House to Home, UK

Blues have impact in limited areas in nay shade. Expensive wall paper in small dimensions won’t break the budget and gets even more bang for the buck with the addition of holiday decor.

small areas of strong color speaks volumes in limited applications and on any budget – image from House To Home, UK

Strong Blues, or any strong colors for that matter, look fabulous in combination with analogous color companions – that is colors in close proximity on the color wheel. Limited use on a white background make the result even more striking, coming through your door!

Apartment foyer decked out in yule tidings – image from House and home UK

So if you really can’t get comfortable loosening those neutrals, try something very traditional, like the defining addition of CSP-660 for doorways, or on an ailing wood floor you cant yet replace.

Accents provide rich color that you can move around the house, for endless color solutions.