Riding the Metro

According to Architectural Digest (and many other news sources that don’t come directly to my e-mail inbox) Benjamin Moore has named a greenish-beigeish Metropolitan as its 2019 color of the year.

To me, Metro (we’re on a nickname basis) looks like I wanted Celadon but went way too conservative, the light in my place fooling me into thinking the color was darker than it really would be.  Colors are on my mind because not only am I contemplating painting one wall in my condo but the colors that the trendmakers tout show up eventually in our built environments.

When trendy colors are more earthy and less primary, public buildings jump on the trend more quickly. Libraries, especially in the Midwest, seem to love greens, browns, and blues that have a good amount of beige mixed in. In the West, however, I have noticed more striking shades of these colors — rust, hunter green, goldenrod — on community places. Back in the Midwest, the brighter colors are used when the target demo is teen or younger (going more primary as you get younger).

One library I think did a particularly spectacular job with a recent renovation is Indian Trails Library District in Wheeling. Their color choices for most of the building evoke a sense of welcome but with just enough of a twist to tell you “We are open to taking services to a new level.”

My phone did not accurately represent how pretty the blue chairs are in the reading room.
Colors push boundaries — but not too much — in the teen area. This is just what public spaces want teens to do.

Because I have worked with graphic designers, my other go-to authority on color is Pantone, the maker of that ringed strip of numbered colors that you use to tell the printer exactly what shade of blue the newsletter should be. Pantone has not defined One Color for 2019, but does have a kind of a shortlist of trends.  I am enamored of the dark teal, which would be a huge switch from my white apartment walls. Knowing me, however, I will likely go too light and it will end up more of a mint green. Everything I choose ends up mint green.

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