For Architectural Digest, by Hadley Keller.
Any designer knows that the color wheel, far from being a circle of ROYGBIV, is infinite. And each year, paint companies across the country debut, with much fanfare, a new, celebrated "color of the year." So, how to stand out from the crowd? Last year, Benjamin Moore shocked color enthusiasts when it named what is technically a lack of color as its 2016 color of the year: Simply White. For 2018, one company is swinging in the opposite direction, making the case for black paint. PPG announced the colors of the year for its three brands this week, and all of them are various shades of black.
PPG's own color of the year is Black Flame, a chalky, bluish take on the color; Olympic paint's is Black Magic, a more saturated black; and Glidden's Deep Onyx is a gray-skewing tone. "In past years, consumers have gravitated toward open, airy spaces that are thought to leave room for exposure,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG's senior color marketing manager for Olympic paint. “However, in the current day, consumers often feel uneasy, restless, or like their privacy is being invaded, so they crave deep, comforting colors that offer a welcomed escape from the chaos of daily life."
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of swathing an entire room in black, PPG’s color marketing manager for Glidden, Misty Yeomans, suggests dipping a toe in first. “Using a black paint color like Deep Onyx on your walls or in your decor may feel intimidating at first, but it’s actually one of the easiest colors to use to create the low-key, easy-going style that’s trending for 2018,” she says. “Black can be overlooked as a neutral color, but it works well on an accent wall or as an alternative to white paint on doors, trim, and cabinets.”
Either way, the color is a bold one for PPG to select. But don’t paint the decision with too broad a brush: As Benjamin Moore aimed to do with Simply White, this year’s hues from PPG, far from coming across as simplistic, illustrate the different gradients and variations of what we may consider to be one color. Not everything, as they say, is black-and-white.
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