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Delivering the Essence of Color & Design

Home is Where the Color Is Living (and Eating) in Eco-Luxury Southern Comfort HAUTE COUTURE

Coming Home. With summer travels

behind us and the holidays on the horizon, the comforts of home never looked so good. We’ve packed this issue of Nuance™ with plenty of ideas and inspiration for creating personal spaces that mix cozy living with modern functionality. Welcome!


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Nuance™ Vol. 2 No. 3 Fall 2010 Publisher Andrea Magno, ASID, IIDA Associate Manager of Design Benjamin Moore & Co. 201-949-6372

Editorial, Design and Production Westbound Publications 703-893-0404

Contributing Writer Jennifer Simpson Westbound Publications

Managing Editor Kristin F. Elson Westbound Publications

Art Director Carolanne O’Neil Westbound Publications

© 2010 Benjamin Moore & Co. For questions, comments or to submit an idea for consideration, e-mail us at For subscriptions, visit our website at Affinity, ARBORCOAT, Aura, ben, Benjamin Moore, Color Pulse, GENNEX, Natura and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks, and Color Capture and Nuance are trademarks licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Please note: The on-screen colors in this publication only approximate the color of a coated paint chip. For true color accuracy, use Benjamin Moore® paint chips when making a color selection.

Southern Comfort The redesign of this classic Capitol Hill residence honors the homeowner’s southern roots. Photography by Angie Seckinger

When you’re a busy family living in one of the narrow row houses that constitute much of Washington D.C.’s oldest residential community, making the most of every space – and keeping it cozy and quiet from the buzz of this densely populated historic district – are key. So in a move as strategic as those made by the area’s chief lawmakers, these homeowners chose Sally Steponkus to bring the perfect blend of classic detail and complete functionality to the redesign of their Capitol Hill home.

The entryway to this Capitol Hill rowhouse welcomes guests with an antique settee owned by the homeowner’s grandparents. Neutral walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Windham Cream HC-6 showcase the settee (reupholstered in Schumacher’s “Asheville Stripe” in Chestnut & Crimson) and the Wilton rug, which introduce the homeowner’s love for red.

Like any other project, the owner of D.C.’s Sally Steponkus Interiors embraced her philosophy of really listening to her clients and incorporating their personality into the house. “I’m not in the business of superimposing my beliefs on what a home should be,” she says. This homeowner, for example, wanted to respect her southern roots by integrating many pieces from her family’s antique furniture collection, by creating a functional dining room where the family would eat every night, and by keeping bedrooms traditional with monogrammed bedding.

Elegance in the dining room is achieved via rich red hues, the homeowner’s southern American dining set and floor-to-ceiling draperies crafted from Fabricut’s “Josie” in Rose. “I put quality in the construction of the curtains,” especially to insulate the home from the noise of the city street, Sally Steponkus says.

Historic, Yet Functional Just as classic, however, were the challenges inherent in any city dwelling built in the early 1800s. Primarily, the rooms were small and narrow, with no extra spaces like playrooms and study areas for this busy couple, their two young daughters, a housekeeper and a dog. Steponkus, therefore, ensured the girls’ bedrooms were multifunctional for sleeping, studying and playing, and she selected traditional colors – Benjamin Moore’s Sweet Bluette 813 and Marry Me 1289 – that were “charming and pretty” but would take the girls through high school.

The home also was close to the city street, so Steponkus included white wood blinds and a drapery treatment on every single window, as well as softened the hardwood floors throughout with a bound area rug in every room and a Wilton rug in the entryway and up the stairs. Comfy Color Known for creating comfortable living spaces, Sally Steponkus shares some of her color philosophies on keeping interiors cozy: • Go with light colors for bedrooms. “I’m really partial to aquas and other hues in the seaglass family,” she says. “They’re very calming and pretty.” Steponkus adds that she tends to mix ivories and blues or use tone-ontone ivories in bedrooms. “I would never put red in a bedroom.” • To create a cozy, layered look for the bed, Steponkus likes to use coverlets with a duvet folded at the end of the bed. I also use a lot of white because it’s functional, especially for kids; “you can bleach it.” Plus, she says, you can always appeal to kids’ personalities with fun sheets underneath that are more affordable. • For family rooms, Steponkus favors beiges and browns, “with an accent color of some sort.” • Stay with a neutral palette in the kitchen. In fact, Steponkus admits she’s a fan of all-white cabinetry in both kitchens and bathrooms. “People spend a lot of time in kitchens, so you want something that’s going to work with all the temporary elements,” she says, referring to everything from tableware and rugs to holiday decorations and flowers. “Those things aren’t going to stay there forever, so neutrals work well.”

Traditional and Elegant Even with all the built-in function, Steponkus retained a traditional, elegant style for this professional couple. “Most of my houses are neutral,” says Steponkus, and she stayed true to that by selecting Benjamin Moore’s Windham Cream HC-6 for both the entryway and the living room to maintain flow among the first floor’s small spaces. The neutral selection on the walls highlights many of the homeowner’s antique furniture pieces, which Steponkus had reupholstered. “I think bringing [the homeowner’s] southern American furniture up-to-date really made her feel at home,” she says.

Benjamin Moore® Colors in the Capitol Hill Home Windham Cream HC-6 Putnam Ivory HC-39 Sweet Bluette 813 Marry Me 1289 Palladian Blue HC-144 White Dove INT. RM (for all trim)

Cozy, classic, southern and suited for entertaining … that’s coming home on Capitol Hill at its best. Visit Sally Steponkus Interiors at

For the living room, Sally Steponkus added texture by having the sofa from the homeowner’s family collection reupholstered with a yellow cane fabric by Brunschwig & Fils (“Monterey Woven in Texture Straw). Benjamin Moore’s Windham Cream HC-6 continues as the wall color from the entryway.

Living (and Eating) in Eco-Luxury

“California Modern” Kitchen of the Year mixes in rich woods and cozy color. Photography by Christopher Eckert

It’s the area of the home where smart meets beautiful; modern meets warmth. The chef wants commercial-grade technology; the guests crave old-fashioned hospitality. And both desire style. Exquisitely prepared and embracing both modern functionality and luxurious living, House Beautiful unveiled its 2010 Kitchen of the Year this summer in an open-air exhibition at New York’s Rockefeller Center. Designer Jeff Lewis calls it “California modern,” with clean lines, sleek open shelving, little clutter and lots of glass and natural light. The monolithic look of the pure white Caesarstone® island and the technology of installations such as the Crevasse® prep sink by Kohler® are the icing on the cake.

The cantilevered dining table is a “study of contrast,” says Sonu Mathew. A wood top salvaged from an old polo barn owned by the Vanderbilt family table sits on an x-shaped chrome base. “It’s environmentally mindful and still luxurious at the same time,” she says.

The softer side of this contemporary kitchen comes from the color and the wood elements, says Sonu Mathew, Benjamin Moore & Co.’s senior interior designer. “The wood tones instantly warm up the space,” she adds, referring to everything from the Peppercorn finish on the cherry cabinetry by KraftMaid® to the Antique Elm hardwood floors by Mohawk®. In addition, Lewis’ wall color of choice – Benjamin Moore’s Cape May Cobblestone 1474 – is a “very comforting gray,” says Mathew. The neutral palette, she adds, readily accepts the pops of color that Lewis achieves through flora and other accessories.

Eco-Luxury Ample seating at both the island and the reclaimed wood table – as well as the indoor and outdoor lounge areas – welcome personal interaction. “I really see a lot of historical aspects in this space,” says Mathew, explaining that various elements throughout the installation embrace the naturalism of the Great Camp Era and a youthful modernism of the post-World War II period that was defined by socializing and gathering. Through the years, the luxury of technology has modernized this concept and made the kitchen the heart of the home, but the increased use of renewable resources and environmentally friendly products is keeping it ecologically responsible.

This room divider not only provides architectural interest and distinguishes dining and living spaces, but it also allows for ample wine storage.

Playing a part in the idea of “Eco-Luxury” is the use of Benjamin Moore’s Aura® paints. The low-VOC, low odor paint delivers Benjamin Moore’s Green Promise™ assurance and still retains a premium level of performance. It’s ideal for kitchens – where a matte finish is preferred – because the durability is built into the paint and not into the finish, so touch-up is seamless. “As a designer, you don’t want to compromise on aesthetic, but neither do you want to compromise on durability for your clients,” says Mathew. “With Aura, you get both.” For more information on Benjamin Moore’s Aura® paints, visit Follow Sonu Mathew’s color blog at

The Kitchen of the Year extends outdoors, providing additional gathering spots. The deck is coated in Benjamin Moore’s ARBORCOAT® Waterborne Exterior Stain in Rustic Taupe (semi-transparent). For more information on ARBORCOAT®, visit

Home is Where the Color Is

An all-white home is transformed into one filled with bright, saturated colors that invite fun to come in and stay for a while. Photography by Greg Powers

It’s not every client who gives a designer carte blanche to choose a daring color palette. But as Debbie Wiener of Designing Solutions found, her new client in Bethesda, Md., didn’t have time to debate or visualize colors. “When she first called, she told me she had painters coming in two days and didn’t know what colors to pick, and the interior was all white,” says Wiener. “Talk about pressure!” Shortly after meeting the client, Wiener says they felt like “kindred spirits.” They each had two young sons and one or two dogs, resulting in a very active home. Their top priority was to take advantage of the large space and make it comfortable for the kids and their friends, so Wiener proposed a bold color palette to complement the family’s energy.

Framing the Scene Inside and Out Wiener used green as a jumping-off point because of the abundance of windows and views to the lush, tree-filled backyard. “Nothing brings your eye straight through a room and into the backyard like green does,” says Wiener. She selected Jalepeno Pepper 2147-30, one of her favorite greens from Benjamin Moore & Co. From there, Wiener selected gold, chocolate and red hues – Concord Ivory HC-12, Whitall Brown HC-69 and Terra Cotta Tile 2090-30 – to round out the palette. Because of the open floor plan and many angular walls and recesses, Wiener carefully planned how each room would look in relationship to the next. “I used each doorway as a picture frame for the next room.”

Making it Durable This home was meant to be lived in, as even the formal dining room had been transformed into a play space with an indoor basketball hoop and a rockclimbing wall. With that, Wiener knew the finishes had to be durable enough to withstand this family’s level of energy. “I’m a fan of Benjamin Moore® quality,” Wiener says. “When I’m suggesting something to my client and my reputation is on the line, I don’t want to sacrifice on quality.” She chose Aura® paints for the home for their durability. Its Color Lock® technology ensures that the color pigment does not rub off, even with repeat washing of the Matte finish. “I don’t want a client calling me in two months saying the paint has scrubbed off,” Wiener says, adding that she always uses Aura now because she can choose the Matte finish while still ensuring durability.

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Slobproof! Furniture Simple and sized for city living or sprawling suburbs, Debbie Wiener developed Slobproof! furniture using Crypton® fabrics, specially engineered with a moisture-proof barrier that keeps the furniture looking new even with the dirt and grime of everyday living. Clean, green and made in the United States, Slobproof! comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and seat cushions and a five-year warranty on the fabric. Visit Slobproof! furniture at

Keeping it Slobproof! As another line of defense against wear and tear on the home, Wiener incorporated dining room chairs, chaises, armchairs and ottomans from her own line, Slobproof! furniture (see box). Her personal experience led her to team up with Crypton® fabrics and a father-daughter furniture building team in North Carolina to create a new line of tough yet stylized furniture. Attention to these durable details and livening up a formerly all-white home created a warm environment that finally matched the family’s lifestyle. “You can sense a lot of happiness and a lot of love between these parents and their boys,” says Wiener. “That’s what makes a home, and there was no sacrificing comfort or style.” Visit Designing Solutions at

Benjamin Moore® Colors in the Bethesda, Md., Home Jalepeno Pepper 2147-30 Concord Ivory HC-12 Whitall Brown HC-69 Terra Cotta Tile 2090-30


Couture Hot off the HUEŽ Awards runway, these tailor-made treasures are pushing the limits of interior and fashion design. Inspiring everything from the tone-on-tone detailing of the strapless dress in aqua to the fanciful palm fronds layering the pale green design? Simple swatches of ‌ paint!

Aside from a few finishing embellishments, these no-sew creations are crafted from nothing more than paint chips and full-sheet samples from Benjamin Moore & Co.’s color collections. And, the seamstress behind these fashion plates is the company’s own Rainy Lawrence, who represents Benjamin Moore at its New York Design Center showroom. “My inspiration was to be creative with our colors and display them in an eye-catching way,” says Lawrence, adding that they’re an unexpected variation on the more typical color displays … a room vignette, for example. Lawrence explains that each dress took about two days to assemble, starting with a plain pattern of white paper and continuing through the intricate cutting and hot gluing of the paint swatches. The final dress collection made its debut at Benjamin Moore’s 2010 HUE® Awards program this spring at the Museum of Modern Art & Design in New York City. With a background in fashion design, the Benjamin Moore showroom representative admits that she thinks of fashion as “not just for yourself but for your home” as well. “Oftentimes,” she adds, “the colors you like in your favorite room of the house are the same ones you have in your closet.”

Colors Behind Benjamin Moore’s Couture Creations Strapless Aqua Dress Gossamer Blue 2123-40 Caribbean Teal 2123-20 Mediterranean Teal 2123-10 Green Dress with Feather Boa Pale Sea Mist 2147-50 Dill Pickle 2147-40 Jalapeno Pepper 2147-30 One-Shoulder Red Dress Red 2000-10

product Introducing

Eco Spec WB Silver ®

An antimicrobial additive package in Benjamin Moore’s newest green commercial paint inhibits mold and mildew from forming on the paint’s surface in high-humidity areas.

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Benjamin Moore & Co. has extended its “greenest” line of paints with the antimicrobial power of silver. The new Eco Spec® WB Silver formula contains pure, micro-sized particles of elemental silver to impart some of the paint’s antimicrobial properties, making it a premium choice for spaces where mold or mildew is a concern, such as indoor pool areas, fitness centers, hospitality and healthcare facilities.

Eco Spec® WB Silver is highly durable, even after repeated washings. Available in any Benjamin Moore® color, Eco Spec® WB Silver has zero VOCs even after tinting and carries Benjamin Moore’s Green Promise® designation, assuring the highest performance while meeting stringent environmental standards. For more information on Eco Spec® WB Silver, visit

For centuries, silver has been acknowledged for its antimicrobial properties; from the Ancient Greeks who used silver urns for water purity to early American pioneers who kept silver dollars in milk jugs to prevent spoilage.

Eco Spec® WB Silver Features: • Available in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss finishes • Resists mildew, mold, fungus, and odor- and stain-causing bacteria • Extends the life of the paint by controlling deterioration caused by mold and mildew • Zero VOCs • Easy application • Quick dry with minimal odor • Same-day return to service • LEED eligible


Color Pulse cover will expand and sidebar images will appear so interior pages can scroll out with corresponding text.

Preservation Engaging the past and the future with Color Pulse速 2012

Preserve and protect. In Benjamin Moore & Co.’s latest color forecast – Color Pulse® 2012 – the theme of Preservation engages our lives with a deep-rooted sense of heritage and an awakening to fresh ideas. “We are at a delicate cusp in time where we want to preserve and protect our heritage, our ways of thinking, but we’re also beginning a renaissance toward the future,” says Benjamin Moore’s Director of Color and Design Doty Horn. The theme of Preservation is supported by four main influences: Heritage, Process, Protection, Enlightenment.

Heritage Recognizing where we’ve come from – embracing our roots – activates a new sense of our values. Respecting the legacy of our collective past ensures that we move into a future born of tradition. “The colors of our heritage are deeper, richer,” says Horn. “We’re also noticing a return of tailored, structured textures — homespun, plaids, stripes.”

Process “There is a global rise in handcrafted practices like home canning and urban farming,� says Horn. We are reminded of how a journey flows from start to finish. The idea of mapping out and visualizing our processes leads to blueprint-inspired tones and layered hues that create a spectrum of modern neutrals.

Protection In order to preserve, we must also protect. “This is a balance between the soft, feminine inside and the hard, male exterior that we all share,� Horn explains. Masks and bandages help to cover and heal a deeper truth. Steely colors are juxtaposed against softer hues.

Enlightenment “The right side of the brain is constantly thinking of ways to utilize technology and create something new,� says Horn. There is a sense of excitement and an epiphany as we look at our surroundings from a macroscopic level and collaborate with our peers. The colors of enlightenment are ethereal, balanced with intense and glowing accents, mirroring the contrast of light and shadow of debate.

A Look Inside The Color Pulse® 2012 workbox includes: • An integrated approach combining design inspiration and color forecasts 12 to 18 months in advance of the market, offered exclusively to the trade. • CP12 PanSpectrum™, a complete overview of the 2012 color chips at a single glance in an easy-to-carry standalone format. • CP12 RetroSpectrum®, a look back at the evolution of color forecasts from the previous three years.

Color Pulse® 2012

Live Webinars Join the color experts at Benjamin Moore as they discuss the findings of their latest color forecast. Visit the “Architects & Designers/Color Direction” section at to register for one of the following webinars:

November 10, 2010 How to Order To order this limited-edition package (offered in a trilingual version of English, French and Spanish), call the Benjamin Moore Customer Service Center at 866-708-9181. Learn more at colorpulse2012

December 8, 2010 January 26, 2011 February 16, 2011 March 16, 2011 April 13, 2011 May 11, 2011


2010 Envision Color Student Design Contest Winners Announced A strong supporter of design education, Benjamin Moore & Co. offered design students across North America the opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent. The challenge was to design any room using colors from the 2010 Envision Color palette. Benjamin Moore received more than 140 entries, and – via more than 22,000 online votes – the field narrowed to 10 finalists.

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A strong supporter of design education, Benjamin Moore & Co. offered design students across North America the opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent. The challenge was to design any room using colors from the 2010 Envision Color palette. Benjamin Moore received more than 140 entries, and – via more than 22,000 online votes – the field narrowed to 10 finalists. The top three prize winners are: • Jessie Oliver, Virginia Tech, who won the $10,000 first prize for her airy home office design. • Cassandra Carter, Utah State University, who won the $5,000 second prize for her modern, sophisticated living room. • Fanny Fortier, Collège Maisonneuve in Montreal, who won the $2,500 third prize for her sleek living room.





As the first place winner, Jessie Oliver had the opportunity to build out the home office she created. “I did a lot of research on the Envision Color palette before I decided to focus on the idea of ‘new beginnings,’” says Oliver. “I wanted to create a space where architecture and nature met in harmony.” She incorporated three fresh Benjamin Moore colors — Cedar Green 2034-40, Blueberry 2063-30 and Calm 0C-22 — with wood and metal elements. What does the future hold for this promising design student poised to graduate at the end of 2011? “I’m interested in so many different design disciplines,” she says. “Eventually I’d like to own my own design business, interior or otherwise.”

To view the full gallery of entries, visit


A Colorful World at Kravet Showrooms B10101

Kravet and Benjamin Moore & Co. are partnering once again to offer another tool to inspire fabric and color choices for your next project. At Kravet showrooms across North America, designers will now find a display of Benjamin Moore colors right at their fingertips. Looking to bring new life into a space? In search of the perfect white? Wondering which complementary wall color will maximize the hues in a Kravet fabric selection? The color offerings on display at Kravet are hand-selected by Benjamin Moore’s own color forecasting team, simplifying the process of choosing paint colors to complement Kravet’s evolving selection of textiles, furniture, accessories and rugs. Each display features three palettes: • Style – colors from Benjamin Moore’s annual Style presentation. • Fashion – a fresh palette updated up to four times a year to correlate with new fabric offerings by Kravet. • Whites – the best go-to neutrals as determined by a panel of your peers and the color experts at Benjamin Moore. Need a little extra color and design inspiration? Stop by a Kravet showroom, or visit the continuously updated virtual fan deck at kravet to view the new color palettes that appear in Kravet showrooms.

To locate a Kravet showroom location, visit

kravet showroom display

feb. 5th, 2010

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