The selection process for Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year is one that typically takes the brand’s experts on a globe-trotting journey, during which they attend design fairs and markets, delving into the cultures of far-flung nations in search of inspiration. After these travels, the team meets to share which hues made an impression on them, ultimately compiling Benjamin Moore’s annual Color Trends palette and selecting one standout shade to represent the year to come.
For this year’s selection—an ethereal gray-tinged sage called October Mist 1495—all of that inspiration-gathering typically would have begun in the second half of 2020, a time when travel was not possible. “We visited design shows virtually, but it’s just not the same,” says Andrea Magno, director of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore.
Magno knew that her team had to get creative, opting for a more introspective approach to the search. “We went from a macro approach to a micro approach, observing our own hobbies and rituals, examining what’s unique to our own experiences, and then bringing that to the table,” she says. When the team assembled virtually in December 2020, every person brought something in a green shade. “Every shade of the green family was represented in what we’d gathered, from deep hunters to the palest sages,” she says. “It was a clear signal that we were being drawn to colors that were grounded yet whimsical. We knew that the Color of the Year would be in the green category.”
The flexibility of October Mist, which can both ground a room solo or complement another hue, is part of what clinched its selection. “It has a nice dual presence,” says Magno. “There’s something mystical yet nurturing in the idea of mist—something about it evokes the stem of a flower, which is a great metaphor for how you can approach it in the home. It lays a foundation you can build upon.”
Magno and her team also selected 13 additional colors for the brand’s Color Trends palette. The different shades of green that took root in that initial meeting are present in the chosen colors, which include three other verdant hues—Fernwood Green 2145-40, High Park 467 and Gloucester Sage HC-100. The remaining colors range from a dusty navy (Mysterious AF-565) to a barely-there purple (Hint of Violet 2114-60) and a red clay hue (Venetian Portico AF-185). “We wanted to capture a fresh take on primary colors,” says Magno. “These are colors that can invoke both a sense of escape and nostalgia.”
The idea of self-expression in the home was a key concept throughout the team’s curation process. “We feel that the palette is a jumping-off point for people to express themselves in the decoration of their homes, an idea which has become so important over the last 18 months,” says Magno. “We want people to create combinations that are unique to their homes and really play with color in new ways.”
This story is a paid promotion and was created in partnership with Benjamin Moore.
Homepage photo: Benjamin Moore Color of the Year 2022, October Mist, in situ | Courtesy of Benjamin Moore