Best Selling Paint Colors

The domestic diva’s world of perfect piecrusts, fresh-cut flowers and herb gardens is evident as inspiration for Martha Stewart Colors, the newest line of paint from the prolific designer. Colors like “Sweet Potato Pie,’’ “Bread Dough,’’ “Rolling Pin,’’ “Spun Sugar,’’ and “Garden Clog Green’’ reflect the homemaking activities for which Stewart is famous. Also influenced by nature and by her “favorite things,” shades like “Atlantic Fog,’’ “Bleached Driftwood,’’ “Harbor Sail’’ and “Terrace Tile’’ are equally evocative.

The brand, which has 350 colors, offers color cards that include the primary color, along with two coordinating colors—one lighter color for trims and one for accents.

Anticipating the rush to neutrals, a large number of colors are actually tinted whites. Neutrals may be in demand, but surprisingly, the best-seller is “French Bulldog Black,’’ according to Emily Reamann, publicist for Martha Stewart Colors. “It’s a true rich black, for trims and accent furniture. It’s hard to get a true black with no blue undertones,’’ she said.

Martha launched her paint line,  Martha Stewart Everyday Colors, in May 1997. It included 256 colors that coordinated with her collecton of towels, and bedding for Kmart. The brand was produced by Sherwin-Williams, but it wasn’t exclusive to Kmart. To attract a more upscale customer, in 2002 Sherwin-Williams started selling the collection in their paint stores. Stewart also developed a high-end line of paints made by the Dutch company, Schreuder Paint and selling at Fine Paints of Europe. The color palettes that sold through Kmart, Sherwin-Williams, and Fine Paints of Europe have been replaced by Martha Stewart Colors, launched by Valspar in 2007 and available through Lowe’s stores nationwide at about $25 a gallon.

Walls: “Vintage Map’’ MS 337.
Trim: “Chamois Cloth’’ MS 964.
Floor: “Anjou Pear’’ MS 266.


“Ralph Lauren understands color,’’ said California designer David Katona. “It’s the most sophisticated palette available. It’s nice to find a palette that’s applicable without getting into custom colors. ‘‘

When redesigning his own bathroom, Ralph Lauren’s “Walnut’’ was Katona’s color of choice. “The color is so easy to live with,’’ he said. “I’ve never had such response to a color. ‘‘

The Ralph Lauren brand also offers unique finishes such as “Candlelight,’’ “Suede,’’ and “Antiqued Leather.‘‘ You’ll want to check the Web site for specific instructions.

Ralph Lauren Paint is available at Home Depot Stores. For other locations, visit About $30 a gallon.

Again, the most popular shades are the neutrals, according to Melissa Sheppard, marketing and communications manager for Ralph Lauren Home. “Cottonwood’’ (TH29), “Devonshire’’ (NA22), “Thunder Bay’’ (TH30), “Parchment’’ (NA49), “Oatmeal’’ (WW43), “Tangier Island’’ (NA05), “County Cork’’ (NA 06), “Island Sand’’ (ID47), “Poplar Island’’ (NA23), and “Venetian Red’’ (TH49) head the Top Ten list.Sources:
Ralph Lauren paints: Venetian Red #TH49 and Mother of Pearl #WW21.

Across the pond,  designer Tricia Guild’s eclectic paint collection encompasses the serenity of  neutrals along with the more exuberant neon-bright shades that one associates with Designers Guild. The 98 colors are designed to work with the firm’s fabric and wallpaper collections.

The most popular shades are “Peony,’’ “Dew,” “Chalk,’’ and some of the more neutral shades. Tricia’s favorite colors would be “Borghese Lime’’ (shown here) or “Indian Ocean.’’

Available in the UK, the retail price is about $45 for 2/3 gallon of matte emulsion paint. Key tips: Before applying, walls should be lightly sanded and clean, and although it may be tempting, try not to overload the brush. For more information, visit

For British designer Kelly Hoppen, paint seemed to be the natural extension of her design ouvre.  Concerned with balance and harmony, the range of 25 color tones in her “Perfect Neutrals’’ collection offer a calm and harmonious backdrop for the decoration of any room. Accents can be introduced easily on any of the tones.

“I am always stongly influenced in my design work by the serenity of eastern philosophies, and in developing these paints, I always kept in mind their ideas of balanced contrast and poise,’’ Hoppen said.

Wall color: “Thai Beige.’’
Furniture: Kelly Hoppen for Century Furniture.

Christopher Peacock joins the cadre of design gurus whose palettes include a line of paint to complement their distinctive visions.

Known for his pristine white kitchens—his white Scullery Kitchen in the 2002 Kips Bay Designer Showhouse became an immediate trendsetter and understated design aesthetic—it’s not surprising that many of the colors in his first paint collection, launched in April, reflect his fondness for subtle shades and quiet tones.

The 90 colors in the collection “are appealing to people who appreciate the English tradition,’’ said Camilla Richetelli, color consultant for Christopher Peacock Inc. “There is a richness and depth of color and luminosity.’’

Peacock worked with Fine Paints of Europe to develop the color palette and select the special formulations and finishes for the collection. At $125 per 2/3 gallon for oil-based paint and $115 per 2/3 gallon for water-based emulsion, the new line is about the priciest paint available. What makes it so valuable? “The coverage ability, and the depth of color’’ says Lane Brooks, publicist for Christopher Peacock Cabinetry. “The paint covers in one coat, and there are no fillers or chalk; organic pigments are used.’’

The base is 100 per cent titanium dioxide—a pure white—which provides the luminosity once the pigments are mixed, Richetelli added. It takes between 4 and 8 pigments to create the complexity of color in each shade.

Durability comes along with the price tag. Wall emulsion is expected to last 12 to 15 years, cabinetry paint, 10 to 12 years.

Best-sellers in the line have definitely been the subtle shades. “With Christopher’s design aesthetic, his neutral shades meets expectations,’’ Lane said. “But it’s typical of paint across the board. People are afraid of bolder colors.’’ Some of the best sellers include “Mercury’’ (CPP1 18); “Scullery White’’ (CPP1 90); “Putty’’ (CPP1 65); “Old Bone’’ (CPP1 71); “Maldon’’ (CPP1 34), a dusty lavender; “Wintertime’’ (CPP1 16), a clear light blue; “Perwinkle’’ (CPP1 05); and “Parlour Blue’’ (CPP1 12).

Written and produced by Jan Currie


For Peacock, paint choice comes in the middle of the design process, Brooks says. The company is based in cabinetry, so cabinet design come first, along with room layout; then he begins adding wall and cabinetry color. In the Greenwich Showhouse kitchen, the designer chose “Parlour Blue’’ for the walls to set off the limestone floor and white marble countertops and to add a French Country note to the classic syle.

Cabinetry (“Classic Collection,’’ recessed panel with bead);hardware (nickel): Christopher Peacock Cabinetry, 203/862-9333,
Range, wall oven and warming drawer (by Wolf); refrigerator, wine storage and refrigerator drawers (by Sub-Zero Freezer Co. Inc.): Sub-Zero/Wolf, 800/222-7820,
Ceiling paint, cabinetry finish (“Nice Cream’’ #CPP1 87); wall paint(“Parlour Blue’’ #CPP1 12): Christopher Peacock Paint,
Faucets: KWC Faucets Inc., 678/344-2121.
Dishwasher: Asko Appliances, 800/367-2444,
Countertops and sink (statuary marble, honed): New England Stone, 800/229-7866,
Pendant lights; bar stools; bar-stool fabric: Lillian August, 203/847-3314,
Backsplash (handmade Calacatta marble subway tile): Artistic Tile, 212/727-9331.
Flooring (limestone): Cavendish Grey, 212/838-2727,

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