Every year the paint pros at Benjamin Moore conduct a sort of zeitgeist analysis. Their mission: to select one paint chip out of more than 3,500 that somehow captures the mood of the moment—the Color of the Year. With Andrea Magno, director of color marketing and development, at the helm, usually, that investigation involves seeing exhibitions, canvassing trade shows, and doing quite a bit of international travel. This year, not so much.
“We had to be more nimble,” explains Magno, who, like so many of us, found ways to collaborate with her team virtually amid the work-from-home days of the pandemic. Physical pin boards were traded for virtual ones; team members spent more time in solitary contemplation and brought their findings back to the group. “It actually became a nice exercise, more of an inward-looking process than other years, where we’ve really focused on outside influences.”
When they reconvened, one idea floated to the top: “People are looking for a means of self-expression. There’s this craving for individuality.” What hue best reflected, even encouraged, that newfound need? October Mist 1495, a soft, likable sage green that could act as a bridge to a rainbow of colors.
“One of the team members did a floral study,” Magno recalls. “That green stem of the flower becomes this connector—this enabler, almost. It’s able to bring together all these other colors.”
And that’s exactly how October Mist behaves alongside the 13 other colors in the Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2022 palette, which includes High Park 467, an herbaceous green; Wild Flower 2090-40, a sunbaked pink red; and frothy, ethereal shades like Steam AF-15, Morning Dew OC-140, and Natural Linen 966/CC-90. Just like that flower stem, October Mist plays well with nearly every color on the wheel.
Magno envisions a wide range of uses for October Mist. It could slather the kitchen cabinets to create a cool, slightly retro look, or coat more tucked-away spaces like a bedroom or office nook to make for a cozy, enveloping surround. The color’s connective qualities are fitting for intermediary spaces like hallways or staircases, where it can act as a gateway to whatever lies in the next room. And it can even work to create or accentuate the architecture of a space: “If you don’t have millwork or wainscoting, you can create it with this grounded color at the base of the room,” she explains. “Or, if the room does have built-in millwork, you can play it up with sheen in an all-over effect.”
Ultimately, this versatile color, which Magno says “doesn’t scream green” (in fact, in some settings it behaves more like a gray) sets a sturdy foundation for even more creative paint choices. “This [is a] transitional period,” Magno explains. “We’re at this point in time where we’re looking for stability and a feeling of being rooted. But at the same time we want an escape; we’re ready to express ourselves.”