When was the first time you were able to choose the color of a room? Were you a kid, picking the color for your bedroom? Or maybe it wasn’t until after you moved into your first apartment? We haven’t found a statistic on it, but a shocking number of people don’t pick a room color until they buy a home. They don’t repaint their apartments, they didn’t break dorm rules with temporary stick-up wallpaper, and they weren’t allowed to choose the color of their room when they were a kid.
All of this seems to lead to an unhealthy relationship with color. The default for apartments is white, so white must be the best, right?
White can be amazing, but there’s so much more out there waiting to be explored — an entire color wheel, in fact.
Luckily, color is not something lacking from the 2022 Kingston Design Showhouse (opening October 7th). It seems everyone got the moody memo, because there are saturated blues and greens and purples all up and down the 1901 Victorian. It was not, to be clear, coordinated.
It’s likely that designing 60 Maiden Lane was the first time Elizabeth, Anna, and Alice, the three spinsters, were able to pick colors for themselves. The original plaster in the home shows evidence of bold greens and muddy neutrals, with detailed painting in the stairways. The house was never, to be sure, a white box.
We landed on our primary color, Audubon Russet, early in the room planning process. It’s not quite red, not quite brown — a brick-ish terra cotta-y tone that was abused in the 90’s but earned it’s place in Benjamin Moore’s “Historic Collection” long before the ‘accent wall’ came into (and then left) designers’ toolbox of tricks. Kate Wood, our partner on the showhouse and Principle at Worth Preserving, had used Audubon Russet to great effect in a room recently, which offered confirmation that it would work excellently with the brass and porcelain lighting Ben has designed custom for the showhouse.
Wall color decided, the question was — what’s next?
As a team, we tapped into our historical roots and designed a duel-color banding of Lafayette Green and Covington Blue, leading to a Putnam Ivory ceiling, that feels especially fitting given what we know of the homes earliest occupants.
The decorative painting was executed by Katherine Moore.
Upon final reveal, we hope these four colors transport visitors to the showhouse, and viewers online, into a space that is designed to feel apart. Not otherworldly. Not from the past nor the present nor the future, but grounded in itself. Confident in where it stands. And begging you to sit down, put up your feet, and read a while.
The Benjamin Moore Colors:
The 2022 Kingston Design Showhouse will be open October 7-9, 15-16, and 22-23, 2022.