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North Hills Monthly

Blues and Grays Leading the Way in Local Home Colors

Feb 27, 2019 12:21PM ● By North Hills Monthly Magazine

Photo courtesy of Nest Expressions

Some people wait for the Pantone Color of the Year to drop like it’s the latest Harry Potter book or newest season of Games of Thrones. And while this year’s color is striking—a pinkish-orange blend called Living Coral—not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon to embrace this bright pink hue.

In fact, the majority of paint companies who choose their own ‘Color of the Year’ have gone with more subdued shades for 2019, ranging from earthy brown and green tones to a range of varying blues. Quite a few of the selections, from Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan to PPG’s Nightwatch to Behr’s Blueprint have a touch of gray as well, adding warmth to blue tones that can sometimes seem a bit too cold, especially in northern locations or when used to cover larger areas.

According to Erin Flaherty of Colorize of Pittsburgh, a family-owned and operated Benjamin Moore paint and decorating store with locations in Wexford, Cranberry Township and Robinson Township, layered warm grays can make homes feel modern, yet cozy.

“Timeless warm grays such as Classic Gray, Balboa Mist and Revere Pewter are some of this spring’s most popular colors,” said Flaherty. “These hues never go out of style and they don’t clash with your existing furnishings.”

Janine Klein of Wexford-based Nest Expressions agreed. “Grays are definitely the most popular color for this spring and summer—these hues are calming,” she said, adding that Nest Expressions can easily match window treatments and flooring to complement the 2019 colors. With more than 20 years of experience, owners Janine and Bob Klein are knowledgeable about current trends and color forecasts, and offer free in-home consultations focused on enhancing clients’ interior design.

“Embracing a full range of blue, teal and gray is a key style for 2019,” said Erika Woelfel, vice president of Color and Creative Services at Behr Paint. “Gray will remain a key neutral in 2019, while warmer tones in taupe and terracotta will rise. Earthy blue and brown combinations will become more popular as well. Powder blue, blush peach and tinted lilac will emerge as new neutrals in 2019, creating relaxed and expansive spaces. And matte finishes will trend to emphasize softness, while metal accents are an easy way to add glamour to a space.”

Woelfel recommends layering light and dark blues on walls, cabinets, furniture and décor for an impactful, dramatic look. She added that Behr’s Blueprint is a usable and versatile mid-tone blue that works well in many different spaces. 

“Blueprint is a strong and grounded mid-range blue that commands attention, but isn’t overwhelming. You could say blue is the world’s favorite color. It’s diverse. It’s inclusive. It’s the color of your favorite blue jeans, which of course go with everything!” Woelfel said.

“Warmer than denim and softer than navy, Blueprint symbolizes our desire for positive energy, stability and confidence, both at home and out in the world,” she added. “It’s a hue that will stand the test of time.”

If homeowners are looking to reimagine their space in a smaller way, Woelfel suggests painting a piece of furniture like a coffee table or bookshelf in this classic blue, or adding a Blueprint-hued rug.

“It’s an easy hue to incorporate, as it pairs nicely with many other colors, greenery and existing décor items and design styles,” she said. “Blue has a calming effect, so Blueprint is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a color that creates a feeling of comfort and positivity. It can be especially great as an accent wall in a bedroom, where we start and end our days, or in a bathroom.”

Flaherty added that deep, bold colors with metallic accents are also popular with homeowners this season. “Kendall Charcoal, Hale Navy and Black Pepper look amazing in a formal dining room as they complement white trim, chair rails or wainscoting,” she explained, adding that these colors are trending in other Benjamin Moore stores in addition to the Pittsburgh location.

“In 2019, jewel hues will be cast with an earthy richness,” agreed Woelfel. “Lustrous mauve, dark green and warm gold will engage the senses and enhance the appeal of a room.”

Wallpaper is also making a comeback, and Flaherty has seen it becoming more popular for use on accent walls. “Our Cranberry Township location has an entire room dedicated to wallpaper,” she said. “Wallpaper can give character and texture to any room.”

Of course, along with looking beautiful, homeowners want a product that will last, especially in high-traffic areas. This is even more important for commercial business owners who need quality, long-lasting paint for locations such as restaurants, hotels, schools, healthcare facilities and more.

To this end, Benjamin Moore has introduced a new product called SCUFF-X, which provides cutting-edge protection against scuffs and stains. “There is no other product on the market like it,” said Flaherty. “This product is perfect for a high traffic area like hallways or stairways.” 

This proprietary scuff-resistant formula withstands repeated washings and is easy to apply. It is also low-VOC and comes in thousands of colors, making it the choice of many retail and commercial establishments.

Accenting the Outside

While you always want the inside of your home to look beautiful, curb appeal counts for a lot, too. From painting the whole house, to just refreshing the trim or finding a new color for the front door, there are products on the market that can make your home shine.

“Behr’s Blueprint on a front door is just gorgeous and offers such a warm welcome,” said Woelfel. “Or you can add a pop of blue to your patio with throw pillows or painted Adirondack chairs.”

According to Flaherty, Benjamin Moore’s Aura Grand Entrance creates a beautiful finish on a home’s front door or trim while offering excellent color retention and fade resistance. Colorize of Pittsburgh also carries Arborcoat, which is the number one seller for wooden decks.

“Arborcoat is an exterior stain that provides a variety of finishes while offering UV protection and resistance against stains, scuffs and mildew,” said Flaherty.

Whether you are a do-it-yourself painter or someone looking to hire professionals to provide your home with interior or exterior upgrades, there are plenty of options available in the Pittsburgh area to fit your skill level and budget.

For more information on Colorize of Pittsburgh, visit To learn more about Nest Expressions, visit or call 724-826-4209 to set up an in-home consultation. Blueprint and the Behr 2019 Color Trends are available exclusively at Home Depot stores nationwide.