A tale of three blues!

As I talked about in the Greatness of Grey, neutrals are more popular than ever, but there are some subtle shifts taking place…shifts that I for one am excited to see! (Yay for Color!)

Pantone, Trend Bible, and coatings experts like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore all agree that people are stepping outside of their comfort zones to put more color in their homes in 2019.  A range of colors are already becoming more prominent in home décor, and consumers are embracing everything from deep purple-grays to blues to bold reds. Why the shift? It has to do with some complicated psychological and socio-economic trends. (Yeah, I know, that sounds complex, but read on, it makes perfect sense!)

During the Recession and afterward, consumers were looking for “safe” choices for their purchases, especially with big-ticket items for the home. As the economy improved, they could justify – and had the means –  to make the style of their home even more their own. While many of your clients will seek neutral and traditional finishes for their cabinetry, trends in color are sneaking in for those who desire something out of the ordinary. A few currents are emerging…

  • Cautious exploration: there’s been a progression from whites to grays to “safe,” desaturated color, which paves the way for bolder hues
  • Reconnecting with nature and appreciation for bringing the outdoors in
    • There’s especially been a fascination with the sense of grounded-ness and place that comes from being out in the wild, especially in the Southwest and American deserts. That opens the door to everything from sky blues to orange-reds and coppers.
    • Earthiness and going back to basics are also growing in popularity—just look at how the environmental movement, veganism/vegetarianism, organic/local eating, zero waste lifestyles, etc. have taken off!

woman lives in harmony  and respect with nature

  • Emphasis on being more connected to ourselves
    • Mindfulness and contemplation are gaining a new appreciation
    • There’s an emphasis on making the home a restful haven and cultivating feelings of calm through cozy, serene décor
  • Introspection leads to a greater focus on self-expression and seeing the home as a place to really project our individuality
    • A sense of freedom and appreciation for traditional handicrafts, native textiles, and ethnic/folk art and patterns makes space for bold colors and rich tones

And that’s where blue comes in. Blue has become more and more popular over the years–we even have a recent Houzz article wondering, “Is this the Year Blue and Green Kitchen Cabinets Edge Out White?

Blue is one of the most versatile colors in the spectrum, ranging from the wispiest to most electric shades. It’s the world’s favorite color, and can express cheerfulness, serenity, boldness, coziness….the list goes on and on.

But it might seem like quite a leap to go from thinking about adding some blue accents or décor in a home to buying blue painted cabinets. Here’s the key to using color in something with as long a lifespan as cabinetry: finding a timeless color. It’s easier said than done! But going back to that theme of reconnecting with the earth, one easy way to evaluate a color for its staying power is to draw inspiration from things found in nature, especially colors associated with unchanging or long-lasting elements such as stone, sky, and water.

In fact, that’s one of the underlying factors in the development of our three brand new blue paints! Dusk, Gale, and Celeste were even named after the elements they reflect.

Brookhill raised panel maple Dusk Classic
Brookhill raised panel maple Dusk Classic

With Dusk, we were really going for a soft, gray-toned color that calls to mind the tranquility of evening. It’s subdued and soothing and you might find yourself wondering, is it gray or is it blue? The answer is: yes! It’s a bit of both. 🙂

Hudson Falls flat panel maple Gale Classic
Hudson Falls flat panel maple Gale Classic

Gale lends more of a statement with its marine depth. It’s a respectable mid-tone blue that pairs nicely with greys and darker browns…and of course white!

Loxley Flat Panel Maple Celeste Classic
Loxley Flat Panel Maple Celeste Classic

Celeste brings a velvety, inky blue to the table, or maybe it’s better described as a smoky version of navy blue, which means it works as a contrasting dark color that is also quite neutral.

Where did they come from?

These three colors were born out of a careful research into both trend forecasts and how blues were trickling into kitchen and bath design in different regions of the US. We also looked at the nuances of each color to make sure they have staying power (long-term trend) that will endure for the lifetime of the kitchen and most importantly, that they complement other Medallion stains and paint colors in the kitchen as well as neutral paints that become the backdrop wall color. So you see, we did think of the big picture…the hardest part was narrowing it down to three!

Still, for some, the thought of doing a whole kitchen in color will be a little too daunting, but, of course, color can be worked into a design in so many ways. Consider using blue for the lower cabinets, or on the island cabinets or a hutch. Or one of my favorites is as a stand-alone vanity – it’s a color destination you really can’t go wrong with! These ideas feel less risky but still offer the reward of being unique!

Below are some examples to get your juices flowing on how this trio of blue works with our top trending finishes. 

Seaside Serenity
Sea Salt and Dusk with maple Dove Appaloosa accent. Tile here, and hardware here.


Rustic retreat
Celeste with Hickory Smoke and Silver Appaloosa accent. Click for these Tile and hardware sources.


French classic collage
Gale & Espresso maple; click for this tile and hardware.


Coastal contemporary
Gale with Irish Crème and accents of Peppercorn cherry; click for this tile and hardware.

As you can see, tile is another way to bring blue into the design and complement the accent paint color of the cabinets in a subtle way.

Tailored farmhouse
Carriage Black classic on oak with Dusk; click for this tile and hardware.
Lakeside restoration
Finishes: Celeste with cherry and quartersawn oak Cappuccino. Hey those planks are tileand here are the hardware links: Cyprus and Glacio

As you’re thinking about new projects, keep these palettes in mind as just a few of the ways you could use the new blues in combination with our other finishes. With trends in blended styles, consider how paint works in many style categories too! For example, you might pair Bella MDF in Celeste and Irish Creme for a contemporary design, and add Catania accents for an edgy flair. But the possibilities really are so much greater, and adding color has the power to increase the WOW factor in almost any design and style!


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