The Green I Would Have Chosen Instead – Benjamin Moore's 2015 Color of the Year

Benjamin Moore announced their 2015 Color of the Year, Guilford Green HC-116.  It’s a perfectly nice color, and it certainly has it’s place – but not as Color of the Year.  Let me tell you why not.

benjamin moore guilford green

 

When I think about a paint color that’s dubbed “Color of the Year,” I assume it would be:

The “it” color.

The color that’s about to burst onto the scene.

The most on-trend color of 2015.

The hottest color to paint the walls in your house.

 

Am I off-base here?  Is it acceptable for the so-called “Color of the Year” to be a perfectly nice, but not a particularly on-trend, color? Let me explain.  As a Paint Color Specialist who develops interior and exterior paint color palettes for homes every day, I tend to sort any given color family into types.  So let’s talk greens, since that is the color family Guilford Green is in.

HC-116

Benjamin Moore Guilford Green HC-116

 

There are greens that I consider muddy greens.  They are brown-greens and they take on more of an olive or army tone.  I use them on occasions when called for, but they are NOT trending greens.  In fact, we are still worn out with muddy greens that were all over creation in the 1990s (and I’m not going to specific name any of the dated muddy greens that are running through my head right now, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings).  Yes, olive is hot in the fashion world (I just bought a pair of olive skinny jeans), but I don’t see it making a strong showing in the land of decor any time soon.  Because then about half of us could pull own old olive sofa out of the basement rec room and be right on trend, right?  I don’t think so.

muddy green paint color

source

Then there are greens that I consider muted greens (rather than muddy).  They are gray-greens, which are definitely trending and will consider to trend over the next several years.  They include colors like Paris Rain 1501, Heather Gray 2139-40, and Intrigue 1580. They look fabulous with many of the trending blues (light and dark), yellows, and pair with red without resulting in a Christmas color scheme.

benjamin moore gray mirage

gray-green walls by The Decorologist

There are greens that skew towards yellow, like Guilford Green HC-116, Georgian Green HC-115, and Sweet Daphne 529. Georgian Green is a classic, and I used it a few months ago in a living room makeover.  I actually have some Sweet Daphne on both my front and back porches as accent colors on chairs. Yellow-greens have been trending over the last 5-10 years and are nothing new.  While you could certainly paint your living room Georgian Green to great effect, the paler Guilford Green will look a bit like a 5-year-old girl’s bedroom (which is honestly the only room where I’ve used it).

georgian green

 Benjamin Moore Georgian Green HC-115

 

Finally, there are greens that skew towards blue (rather than yellow).  These include the lighter versions that might be described as a bit minty, like Antique Jade 465 or Prescott Green HC-140..  And also the darker versions that are a bit teal and jewel-y, including Mountain Laurel AC-20 and Waterbury Green HC-136. As I’ve been watching the trends, these lighter blue-greens are the kinds of green that are cutting edge:  fresh and clean, and the perfect backdrop for practically any blues and the darker emerald and teals.  They also play well with pinks, coral/oranges, and reds.

benjamin moore antique jade

 Benjamin Moore Antique Jade by The Decorologist

So what exactly am I trying to say?  In terms of color forecasting, I do not see a strong trend of yellow-greens and muddy greens rising on the horizon.  I’m not saying you won’t see them or don’t see them, but I certainly wouldn’t name one of those type of greens as the 2015 Color of the Year.  Instead, I’d look towards a green on the gray side and with a hit of blue.  Something a bit jade-y and a teeny-tiny bit minty.  Like Antique Jade 465 or Prescott Green HC-140.

Prescott Green HC-140

 

Maybe I’m splitting hairs.  But that’s what I do.  Splitting paint color hairs is my job – it’s my passion!  But, of course, Benjamin Moore isn’t asking for my opinion.  Not yet, anyway.

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Kim Winter
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Kim Winter

So agree! I am in a rental house in which the decorator chose a similar Ralph Lauren color 9 years ago!! Good news for my landlord–he doesn’t have to choose a new on-trend color yet!

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

I remember when I first saw Wythe Blue on your blog back in 2012 (?) when we first bought our house. I fell in love with the color and didn’t get to put it on the walls until earlier this year. I was worried about how it would read in my dining room, but with the beadboard and chunky molding, it looks perfect. I love it so much.We were trying to make the room look as it would’ve when the house was built in 1919 and the color is the perfect combination of historical influence while still being on trend.… Read more »

Karin Hensley
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Karin Hensley

There in lies the problem…they didn’t ask their Benjamin Moore color specialist!! 🙂

Janet
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Janet

Since green is not amongst my favorites, it’s not likely that I would have chosen any of them as “the color of the year” (if anyone were asking me to choose 🙂 ), but some of them do go well with purple, which is one of my favorites, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that I might use some shade of green in a room at some point. But, Benjamin Moore didn’t ask my opinion either, so I guess they’ll just have to make their own choices and I’ll make mine :). By the way, your “read the… Read more »

Veronica Tostado-Domurat
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Veronica Tostado-Domurat

I agree with you! I love green any shade of it. But I don’t find Guilford Green to exciting or special.

Sara Backstrom
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Sara Backstrom

Great post. Guilford Green was one of the colors I chose when we painted a couple of years ago. Sometimes I like it and sometimes not so much. Fortunately, it’s only in the upstairs hallway. Thanks for sharing some alternative color selections. I really appreciate your blog.

AppleHillCottage
Guest

I’m a green person myself–most all shades. I like your color better too. They should have asked you. 🙂

Priscilla
Guest
Priscilla

You are SO right on, Kristie! What were they thinking… or not thinking. What a “dud” for such a lofty position of power and excitement in the design world. I certainly hope designers don’t take this color seriously and ruin many otherwise beautiful homes in 2015.

Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos
Guest

I agree with you Kristie! I love green. In fact I had a green dining room for 8 years and incorporate green all throughout my home, however, like you said, I don’t see it green as being the “color of the year”.

Mary
Guest
Mary

I HATE, loathe….. that green color. It’s on my walls in my bedroom when we moved in here and I hate it!!! Getting ready to paint over it, and I can’t wait to get rid of it.

Nope, definitely not color of the year in my book either.

Kate
Guest
Kate

I recently acquired a top grade leather couch in an emerald green color from Craigslist. My intention was to paint it a more subtle brown hue, but am getting used to it and am re-decorating around it. I have put up strong blue single fabric panels at each window edge and am making changes with the accessories etc. and painting some a royal blue. So, an emerald green couch may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is working for me; I hope green will be the color of the year.

Kathi
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Kathi

Good call,Kristie-I painted a bedroom & family room Guilford Green 5 years ago and it was lovely, but I am over it-I think this color will be as popular as that Pantones wild orchid color- Not!-I love that blue Breath of Fresh Air that they had last year as the color of the year-I painted my master bedroom with it and still love it-I wish they would unveil a whole new color that no one has ever seen before as the color of the year to add some excitement-This seems rather lazy, picking a color that they have been using… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

Wow! Thank you so much for the comment! I really appreciate it hugely. Thank you from a major fan. Kate

Nora Mahaney-Turley
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Nora Mahaney-Turley

Very good post, Kristie. Well thought out and explained.

Nora Mahaney-Turley
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Nora Mahaney-Turley

Ok, I did not write the part about “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. I thought this was a very good post that was thought out and explained.

Kelly
Guest

You are SO right. I think a blue color for sure and love your choice!

Beth
Guest

I had the same thought, but couldn’t put it so eloquently. I don’t mind this green on the circle – it looks silvery. But when I saw it in a picture of a room, I said, “Ew…..”

Paula Van Hoogen
Guest
Paula Van Hoogen

Just thinking….when I go to Florida, i never seem to tire of the clean colors there. Maybe “clean” isn’t JUST a trend, but a basic desire appealing to our senses because we “like” to be clean. (Most people do). Therefore, a yellow-y green color, of course would become tiring much sooner that a clean green with or without blue, right? I certainly NEVER tire of our Carolina Blue sky!!!

Mary
Guest
Mary

Am curious Kristie, what would YOU have picked!?!!! I too, am a little surprised they picked Guilford Green, it could always be worse!

Paige Brasche
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Paige Brasche

Kristie,

I agree with you 100%. I really look forward to finding out what the “Color of the Year” is going to be, and I am soooooooo disappointed in this one. I too love greens, but NOT this Guilford Green shade. Possibly it was a typo???? Hehehe

There’s always 2016,
Paige Brasche
Bluffton, SC

@Charlotte_Ferro
Guest
@Charlotte_Ferro

Hi Kristie! First, I read your blog for a while, is wonderful. Interesting post, I like how confident you express your opinion. I also felt a little surprised to see the color of the year 2015, I think it’s a little bit difficult color, but it looks beautiful with white and light-colored accessories. By observing your blog I can see how nicely you combine colors. Very nice. I come from Europe and I must say that the majority of Europeans have some aversion to the color ;-). Or in other words: have a different perspective on these matters. But well… Read more »

Loroy
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Loroy

It’s so funny you posted about this. I’ve been in the process of painting my home and at one point considered green for my LR and DR, but decided against it. I actually bought a sample of Guilford Green and painted a paint board to see how it would look… every time I looked at it (different lights, different walls) I hated it. It looked so muddy and dreary. So I finally chose a blue with a hint of green (I’ll tell you which one when I finish redecorating and have pics). I find it very difficult to find good… Read more »

Linda Knopsnyder
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Linda Knopsnyder

Hi Kristie, May I ask your opinion on the Benjamin Moore color Gray Horse? Do you think it is muddy? Is this the type of gray green color trending now? I do love all your color selections in this post. I have to agree with you on the Guilford Green. Don’t know what it is about it, but it looks upsetting.

Natalie
Guest

I have read 2 of your blogs, and you make me want to write one, because of your unique and confident perspective. Your agreeing to disagree with the color of the year is refreshing:)

Maria Killam
Guest

I’m totally with you, and said the same thing when asked. I’ve been specifying that colour for years! Definitely NOT a new colour! Maria

Pamela
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Pamela

Kristie! How are you? Great I hope! I was checking your Sherwin Williams Coral Reef color of the year post and clicked the link to check the greens you were using. The Georgian Green living room is lovely and soothing. I am wondering about the art used over the sofa? I’d love to know more about it. What can you tell me about it? I’d love a better look at it. Is it an original or a print? Where can I see it better?

Lorene
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Lorene

Dear Kristie, So glad I found your blog on Guilford green. It is a new year and I want to paint the LR. It is painted Mount Vernon Green fromP&L. The foyer has grasscloth in a gold tone which I put up last year…I love it but don’t love the LR anymore. I have alot of white molding and bookcases at one end of the LR so I can do color. I have been leaning toward Palladian Blue, Aganthus green, etc. The issue is I sit in my Kitchen and see past a light blue, like palladian blue / taupe… Read more »

Charmaine
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Charmaine

Hi, I absolutely love your articles & love your tastes as they reflect mine to a T. Now, I have a question that isn’t easy to answer but I’m reprinting my whole home. I’m so done with the very dark colours & now want a zen like feel to a now-adult only home. I’m looking for the perfect beige(tan, etc) which has to have grey undertones in it for the bedrooms & a darker grey-based greenish for hallways. As for one wall, in the living room, I’d love an avocado colour. It’s our downsized home so 3 colours are enough.… Read more »

EvaM
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EvaM

Thank you. I agree with your take on Guilford green. A few years ago I went with Prescott green in my family room and a good friend chose Guiford Green for her living room. At the time I wish I had chosen the same. I still like both colors as well as Palladian blue in my guest room – all from the same BM color strip. But while I found them on trend then I can’t imagine BM calling any of these colors on trend today.

Cheryl
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Cheryl

Redecorating an empty bedroom upstairs. Flooring consists of 5″ dark wood as I’m adding a space for my yoga practice. Purchased a sample of “Antique Jade” and slathered on walls in different areas to see how it looks in light/shadows. The Benjiman Moore rep recommended the Guilford Green (but used a very similar shade in my daughter’s bathroom years ago). Just came across your article, and so glad I did! Antique Jade is a soothing shade. On my way to pick up more.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Thanks for the tip on Paris Rain. Think I’m going with Gray Mirage, very similar but a hair lighter. Your whole take on greens–muted, not muddy; mint, not olive–seems so right that I wonder what Ben Moore can have been thinking.

Whitney Adams
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Whitney Adams

I love antique jade! Unfortunately, it’s coming off as just a tad too blue in my basement. Any suggestions for adjusting the color or another color that’s close to antique jade but won’t veer too blue?

Karen
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Karen

I really enjoyed reading your blog about paint color first. A couple of years ago, I painted my kitchen BM dillweed. I have been thinking about painting my dining room a blue gray, possibly wedgewood gray, harlequin or manor blue. Both rooms open to the family room which is a mushroom color. Will I be making a mistake to go to blues in the dining room? Am I really pushing it going with the same blue color in the sunroom which adjoins the family room?

Susan
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Susan

What do you think about silver sage? I’m trying to choose a color for my kitchen and living room. Small space, totally open concept. My cabinets are close to a pickle wood color.

Lex
Guest
Lex

Thanks for posting this! I just purchased my first home and I’m trying to pick a green for my kitchen. The first one I chose (which I’ll now be painting over) is too neon/pastel looking and reminds me of a color you’d see in a nursery although it looked okay in the sample. I am feeling so discouraged. I want a green that pairs well with the white cabinets and black granite countertops (picture of my kitchen attached). I like that green feels freah and clean – when done right. I want to incorporate fresh plants in the kitchen to… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hi we are in Colorado and looking for a green color exterior with white trim.
we look at so many sage colors. would like something muted and not too dark

Jennifer
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Jennifer

HELP!!!! I need to paint my 1987 kitchen. Much of it has been updated, but not all to my liking. Purchased in the fall, and we don’t have the budget to take out the awful beigy taupey orangey tile and backsplash right now. (We had to do the basement from scratch and a ton of exterior updates.) Anywhooo… I want to do a green in the kitchen. There isn’t a ton of open wall space due to the gargantuan amount of ugly backsplash (which is exactly the same as the floor tile but smaller). The kitchen backs to the woods… Read more »

Nellie
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Nellie

Hi Jennifer: I need some advice on the color to paint my living room, dininroom and kitchen. I would appreciate your help. My living room and dining room are Apple gold and the kitchen is a peach color. I want a fresh light feel. I was thinking of painting the walls in all three rooms Georgian Green. What do you suggest. Thanks

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Kristie, I just found this thread. I wonder what color green you would recommend for an office with a big eastern exposure (7th floor). I was thinking of Georgian Green. Thanks for any ideas.

Bibo
Guest
Bibo

Totally agree! I actually sampled that color and didn’t like it. I painted my fm room waterbury …but now I’m tired of it ..I feel it’s outdated …ant ideas on another color ?? I’m going crazy trying different Colors ….as you can see I just need to chose lol.

Rachel Vann-King
Guest
Rachel Vann-King

I painted my dining room a similar Rslph Lauren color in 2006….it’s the room that everyone is photographed in at parties, and it does a number on people’s skin tones. I’ve been looking for cooler greens, but had trouble finding something in BM I liked….right now my favorite is F&B Teresa’s Green. I will check out your suggestions. Thanks!

Jason
Guest
Jason

Great, insightful post. What would you say about Soft Fern and Grecian Green – would you consider those trendy gray-greens, or yellowish greens?

TTucker
Guest
TTucker

Guilford Green most certainly deserved color of the year for me. I painted my whole condo in 2015 using it. It is the most spectacular & versatile green. When you first walk into my condo the color doesn’t really look green. It is just this amazing neutral color. The more you look you say… oh yeah, that is green. Guilford Green is also a chameleon… it plays well with browns but also with grays. Just 2 weeks ago I got a new office & decided to paint it Guilford Green. I cheated & had them mix it as another brand… Read more »

Michele
Guest

Any ideas on what colors to use with vintage pewter oak Pergo? I’d like to use some cool greens and an accent color.

Anna Murphy
Guest
Anna Murphy

I am using man on the walls which is beautiful IN my dining room I have a turquoise painted stressed credenza want to paint THE arches antique Jade will this look good or what do you suggest

Anna Murphy
Guest
Anna Murphy

Trying to do this today please help

Anna Murphy
Guest
Anna Murphy

The walls are man on the moon