New Neutrals

White trim, white kitchen…
When it comes to design white is a classic, make no mistake about it, but let us not discount the power of a good neutral.  Benjamin Moore has deemed Metropolitan AF-690 its color of the year. 

There is something really dynamic about substituting a soft tone for white when it comes to trim and cabinetry.  The appeal of the change is dramatic and can add layers of depth to a project whether contemporary or new traditional.  In the Visbeens’ personal kitchen we used a very soft grey for the cabinetry and then punched the tone a few shades deeper for contrast on the ceiling and shutters.  Accents in un-lacquered bronze and a rich walnut tie the space in a warm and inviting way, bridging the gap between sleek and warm. 


 Using the same soft neutral for walls and trim is another way to add instant design drama.  The key is to use a flat or eggshell on the walls and a satin or even semi- gloss on the woodwork.  The effect is subtle but spectacular.  Then, punch up the look with layers of more of the same – try using a range of colors in the same family for a sophisticated final reveal.  By contrast, try this same concept with deeper colors as well – this will really turn up the drama!  The master bedroom, also a feature in the Visbeen residence has been turned into an instant favorite with the layers of deep browns and warm neutrals.  Grass cloth-lined walls accompanied by luscious, glossy trim and shutters in mocha make this deep and even moody room surprisingly inviting.

 Pro-tip: Pick a few shades of paint and trim and use them throughout your home.  It instantly gives the overall space a cohesive and designer-y feel.  Try a perfect neutral and use the same color for the trim – make it the entire first floor. . . and then have fun!  Add art, accessories, pillows, and throws that can be transitioned out over time.  The classic and timeless underpinnings you give your home will never go out of style!

Color Trends 2019


Color is one of the last selections when designing a home but the one that will bring all the other elements together. It reflects what we love, who we are, and it has a great affect over how we feel in a space. In a departure from the rich, dark hue of Ultra Violet, 2018’s color of the year, the current experts on color at Pantone have chosen the bold and lively Living Coral as the 2019 color of the year. “The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.” – Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. Living Coral brings a sense of optimism to 2019 and is a universal color. While it may seem daring, coral is a color that looks good on everyone and therefore can look good in any design and space. It is a fun color to be challenged with in design. You can go bold and use it for a wall color, or add it in as a pop of color to pillows or accessories that can always be refreshed should you be ready for a different shade or a more neutral tone. Coral is a versatile color; it can be toned down by using it with navy and other strong, dark neutrals. It can also be heightened by adding it to pinks and oranges. Don’t be afraid to add a touch of this bright tone to any room for a bit of playfulness.

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Another color trend for 2019 will be the continuing use of pale colors and soft pastels, which are easy to fit into multiple styles. They can offer a soothing look for a bedroom or living space and can be kept quiet with a tone-on-tone, monochromatic look. They are easily modernized with the addition of golds and silvers. They can be made loud and bold by combining with black lacquered accents. Soft pastels will help to maintain a neutral, airy look but will give just a hint of color. They also serve as an excellent backdrop to add bolder color in accessories or furniture.

A continuing trend from 2018 will be dark, painted woodwork in tones of green and brown, which lends itself to a sophisticated transitional feel. It serves as a softer, warmer alternative to black while maintaining the richness and depth of the darker tone. Light, dark and bold colors can be incorporated into any room. Consider how you want to live and use the space before determining if a bright color is right for you. If you want a space to feel calming, choose a neutral shade. If you want to be energized by your space, go bold. If you are hesitant to go bold on the walls, consider a colorful cabinet or vanity, adding a wallpaper with a pop of color, a patterned pillow or fabric, or even colorful vases.

As we see trends in color shift from year to year, the best choice for your home will always be the colors that create a space where you want to spend time. If you choose a neutral palette for walls and furniture, accent colors can be altered to reflect a change in trends or a change in personal style. Your home should always be the space where you feel the most comfortable. Trends come and go but timeless design is forever!