By Patti Carpenter, AmericasMart Global Trend Ambassador
I’ve found myself entering industrial, cavernous lower west side loading docks in New York and riding in freight elevators with several other creative types for decades. Heading up to an event, sharing the anticipation of discovering something new and exciting, just ahead of the rest of the world. We chat with each other and comment on the choice of shoe colors, glasses, etc. is also par for the course. Being the “color lady,” I’m bound to share with you that my shoes were Pepto-pink and my glasses a marbleized red for this particular evening, but I digress. It was, after all, a very special Benjamin Moore event.
The huge elevator doors are forced apart, ushering us into the lofty space. We were greeted with a designer’s tool of a perfect-for-your-hand size color brochure announcing the arrival of Century, the new Benjamin Moore color experience, and an offering of one of two signature drinks. I selected the “Curator,” of course, and it was simply delicious. Armed with my drink, I proceeded into the massive space alive with a palpable energy and bustling with more than 175 designers and creative cognoscenti.
Looming over me are large-scale panels showcasing the new Century paint collection. Fifteen color palettes with stunning imagery and ranges so yummy they made my mouth water — the “Curator” wasn’t the only delicious item in the room. A selection of seventy-five curated, small-batch interior paint colors in all were showcased in a hand-painted swatch and in my personal color brochure. Bonnie, the woman in charge of this incredible feat for Benjamin Moore, shared with me that there will be 42,000 of the brochures produced in all when her task is completed. Each color was more scrumptious than the one before.
Century is the “world’s first Soft Touch Matte paint with a never-before-seen depth of color and a soft touch finish,” shared Carl Minchew, vice president of color innovation and design for Benjamin Moore, who was sporting a very dapper and multicolored striped tie for the evening. We had a great chat, and I learned this process took Benjamin Moore five years to develop. “The result is a depth and richness of color unseen in the industry and a paint that has the ability to transform.”
Harriette Martins, senior brand manager at Benjamin Moore, told me “Century was created for the finest of designs that require flawless execution and impeccable quality, which transcends many different types of homes. By investing in Century, you are not only transforming a room, but you are transforming the entire color experience. The exclusive palette of 75 uniquely formulated colors offer an unrivaled depth and richness of color that are brought to life with the industry’s first Soft Touch Matte finish.
“The Soft Touch Matte finish offers a tactile experience and creates a new dimension on the wall that feels luxurious. In addition, the small batch technology and pre-mixed nature of Century ensures the truest color and experience in every can.”
All the shades are inspired by natural elements — gems, plants, herbs and spices. With this new tactile finish, it actually feels a bit like leather, color really becomes an experience. I was particularly drawn to the complexity of Blue Muscari, Cobalt and Thistle on the cool side of the palette and to the rich ripeness of Red Mahogany, Sumac and the mellow and moody Acai.
The formulas are so intricately balanced, and such a precise science, that they can only be made in small batches under the supervision of Benjamin Moore’s master craftspeople. For now, Century will only be available in pre-mixed gallons and 4-ounce samples at select retailers within the Benjamin Moore network of independently owned stores in the New York market; it will be introduced in markets across North America in the coming months. As one of those craftsmen, Ken Marino, vice president of manufacturing has his signature on every gallon. He informs me that “each brush stroke is a testament to over a 100-year history of Benjamin Moore innovation and color perfection.” Century is truly a new dimension in paint and design.