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Pastels and neutrals are out. Benjamin Moore has announced its 2018 Color of the Year, and it is anything but subdued. The color is called Caliente, and it is a warm, inviting shade of red with a hint of orange. Powerful without being bright and intense without being overwhelming, it is the perfect color to spice up your home’s interior all year long.

Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s Director of Strategic Design, explains, “Strong, radiant and full of energy, Caliente AF-290 is total confidence. It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like red carpet treatment.” As for where to put it in your home? She continues, “Whether used as one note or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads and signals surprise and adventure…The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes.”

Red is excellent color for the pure lines and crisp geometry of modern spaces. People from homeowners to professional interior designers have complained that these sharp lines are too harsh for a comfortable home, but vibrant colors like this red breathe new life into these spaces, increasing their personality and sense of fun.

But red also enlivens older homes. It is the ideal match for natural colors and textures, from the weathered browns of hardwood to the grays of slate and granite or a clear, bright whitewash.  Deeper reds are particularly vibrant in older or more rustic homes, since they have an intimate character and feel grounding and enveloping. A dark red space balances seduction and stability. It is a place to retreat to, but also one that promises liveliness and vigor.

If you love Caliente, but aren’t convinced it’s right for your home, not to worry. A color is bold isn’t for everyone. Fortunately Benjamin Moore has built a whole palette around this red [1] that extends from soft beige to steely gray and pale pink. The palette combines warmth and strength in a range of colors that evoke late summer beaches, elegant modern buildings, and rich forest floors.

But don’t write off Caliente and the other vibrant colors entirely. Regardless of the shade, O’Neill explains, there is “something amusing about a gesture of red.”[2] It fills the spectrum from cheerful to serene, making it appropriate for a range of domestic spaces. It is an energetic color with a traditional classicism—think red barns and covered bridges. It is a color with voice.


[1] Insert link on words “color palette”