Recently, Benjamin Moore announced its Color of the Year 2019: Metropolitan AF-690, a stylish gray with cool undertones; we get some perspective on using the hue from people with taste worth trusting.
Colors are moods, visual representations of feelings or emotions. What’s in vogue often reflects current events, social values, even political movements, and the research that goes behind these type of trend does serve as inspiration for what comes next but moreover as a mirror for the time in which we live.
In this year’s mid-term elections, voters lined up across the country, many of them seeking a change from the near-constant state of controversy. Could this color choice be similarly motivated?
“Comforting, composed and effortlessly sophisticated, Metropolitan AF-690 exudes beauty and balance,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Director of Strategic Design Intelligence. “It’s a color in the neutral spectrum that references a contemplative state of mind and design. Not arresting nor aggressive, this understated yet glamorous gray creates a soothing, impactful common ground.”
Emphasizing the calming role gray plays in society, the Color Trends 2019 color card illustrates how to capture the coveted feeling of restorative quietude in any setting.
What Are Stylish People Saying about the Color of the Year?
From interior to fashion designers, movers, shakers and envelope pushers are all weighing in on how to use Benjamin Moore Metropolitan AF-690.
“The new ‘approachable grey.’ Green undertones are about nature in this easy-to-use neutral. When used with moulding framing colorful wall finishes, it adds subtle sophistication. You would get gorgeous results when used on kitchen cabinetry; with a matte finish, it adds a fresh take on the classic white.”
– Gregory Augustine, August Interiors
“Metropolitan AF is timeless and evokes sophistication. It’s cam glamour, when used with homeowners that appreciate luxurious finishes and classic tones, especially in a living or dining room where they might entertain, it’s chic AF.”
– Tina Ramchandani, Tina Ramchandani Creative
“Metropolitan AF-690 is full of nuance and brings to mind a rolling sky of clouds and fog. Fermob’s new Acapulco blue, or honey would bring sophistication to the palette when paired with Metropolitan AF-690; Fermob’s storm grey or anthracite would allow a designer or homeowner to layer colors of grey resulting in harmony between the paint and furniture color.”
– Leslie Thompson, President, Fermob USA
“Metropolitan AF, first is a great name because it’s the epitome of every New Yorker who has ever dealt with the drama of this concrete jungle. As a clothing designer and fiber artist, Metropolitan AF wall color is perfect for those people who want a clean classic look without the white walls that you have to repaint the moment you accidentally rub furniture against.”
– Jennyvi Dizon, Fashion Designer
“It is really lovely when you wrap all the walls and ceiling in it using a matte sheen and then the trim in the same color but semi-gloss sheen. It just envelopes you in a quiet, ‘velvet-y’ way.”
– Cynthia Spence, Cynthia Spence Design
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Open floor plans are quite prominent in interior Manhattan architecture. Using Metropolitan in monochrome, or a tonal way, let’s the beauty of the build speak, without highlighting & drawing your eye around every line and plane. I do a ton of big color work, but everyday clients lean on me to recommend great transitional colors to wash a space. Metropolitan has become a Benjamin Moore go to.”
– Martin Kesselman, Colour Expert
– Kristen McCory, McCory Interiors
“This cool mid-tone gray helps create a space that is both fashionably elegant and peaceful. It is an effortlessly stylish color that grants us permission to seek a respite from the noise of today. It reminds us that quietude is glamour and balance is beauty. Due to the timeless neutrality of this color, it can be used in traditional as well as contemporary environments. Because of its adaptable and modern sophistication, Metropolitan AF-690 is the perfect backdrop for both residential and commercial 21st-century design! Layer it with other soft grays, matted neutrals, warm metallics, textured patterns and textiles, shimmering sheens, and/or pops of saturated color for harmonious results.”
– Keita Turner, KT Design Solutions
“One of our core objectives as a restaurant was to be colorful, we are doing that by using ‘pops’ of accent colors, especially in the food, so we wanted walls in a beautiful neutral shade with a subtle hint of green. When it comes to food, we had to pay special attention to the colors because they do have an effect on the appetite as well as the general mood in the space. Green is a color you will find naturally in food and the grey is in keeping with the calmness we want inside a fine-dining restaurant where we want to encourage people to stay and enjoy their meal rather than push them out of the door quickly. This shade is not going to distract from a meal but it is going to support our modern, minimalistic style and it goes very well with both the rustic and industrial inspirations we have.”
-Imma Restaurante, Queretaro, Mexico
“I am excited to use Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Metropolitan AF-690, to frame views of lush exterior greenery. When used with rich, variegated natural greens, it becomes the perfect subtle backdrop to let nature sing. It would be excellent for a quiet nook in a hotel lobby to steal away for a moment of respite. For us city dwellers lacking a nature view, Metropolitan is the perfect pick to make that potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree (you know you have one!) shine like a new penny.”
– Courtney Mcleod, Right Meets Left Interior Design
“Metropolitan is a perfectly classic color. It adds a touch of grace and calm to any space. When used as a wall color and paired with bold trim or molding such hunter green or navy blue, it can add a playful touch to a historic or traditional home.”
– Michiel Perry, Black Southern Belle
“Metropolitan AF reminds is reminiscent of walking through the Met. Its soft hue provides a classic backdrop for most any interior. I love how M-AF provides a blanket of soft classic color to the room. I see this color becoming as classic as Interior White… what a beautiful neutral color. I would saturate all the common areas of a home with this color. Walls, Trim, Ceilings… like you dropped to room in a bucket of paint and pulled it out… Voila!”
– Chad James, Chad James Group
“Metropolitan AF-690 is the perfect neutral as its values are just dark enough to make a statement while still feeling light. I love the way it complements the Medina Blanca rug that is rich in a variety of cool and warm neutral tones but still subtle in its overall appearance.”
– Shanan Campanaro, Creative Director and Founder, Eskayel
“When you put [this color] in a room, it creates a great background to start with. White over Metropolitan packs a punch while still having a lightness in the room. I also love painted furniture whether it’s a French antique or a modern lacquered piece and tired of seeing so much white furniture all over the place. Metropolitan is a sophisticated alternative to painting furniture white! Beautiful color to paint a lantern or even just a lampshade.”
– Erick Espinoza, Creative Director, Anthony Baratta
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Last modified: April 2, 2019