These days, the word "modern" means a variety of different things, especially when it comes to embarking on a new interior paint project. Some think pure white paint is modernity incarnate, while others picture deep, dramatic hues. But the truth is that both types of colors have the ability to take lifeless spaces to new style heights, depending on where, and how, they're used. Modern colors aren't necessarily reserved for modern architecture, either, explains Andrea Magno. Rather, "they capture a modern sensibility," she explains. While Magno acknowledges that in recent years, folks are straying from the dated idea that a modern room is one that's staunchly bright-white, she also admits that variations of white and gray—neutrals—are actually the forerunning color trends proliferating today's painting projects.
Meet the Expert
Andrea Magno is the director of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore and has worked with the paint company for over 15 years.
Consider using one of these ultra-versatile paint colors to give your space a quick pick-me-up.
Benjamin Moore Caliente
"The captivating, upbeat power of red brings energy into every room," says Magno. Bold and energizing (and with brown undertones), Caliente completely transforms any space, whether covering an entire room or used as a simple accent. "Red never fails to make a statement," she adds, "and you can show off your color-confidence with this classic, dramatic hue."
Benjamin Moore White Opulence
Some colors never go out of style, like this versatile, bright off-white. "White Opulence is crisp and clean, with just the slightest touch of pink," Magno says. Use it anywhere you want to evoke a serene, tranquil feeling, such as a bedroom or bathroom.
Benjamin Moore Black Beauty
To create depth and a dramatic effect, paint walls black. "It's a chic way to elevate other colors, and it makes a strong style statement," Magno says. Black Beauty is a warm, modern, rich tone that that pairs well with any hue, but especially whites, deep greens, pinks, and metallic tones.
This black is perfect for small spaces, such as powder rooms, entryways, and dens.
Benjamin Moore White Heron
Another off-white, White Heron is a crisp variation with blue undertones that's particularly nice on trim, casings, and millwork. On walls, white is the perfect backdrop via which to show off artwork and decorative elements. Pair it with warm and cool shades—both work with it because it isn't too stark.
Benjamin Moore Moonshine
As its name suggests, Moonshine isn't quite white nor is it a full-on gray—it falls somewhere in the middle. "A pale gray with a tinge of green, Moonshine is a subtle color that complements many materials and textures; it's versatile and nuanced," says Magno.
Benjamin Moore Wolf Gray
The statement-making Wolf Gray is cool, with strong blue undertones. It looks beautiful on kitchen cabinetry, built-in bookshelves, millwork, and yes, walls. Earthy neutrals, such as muted yellows and greens, and bolder colors, like cobalt and indigo, complement its richness.
Benjamin Moore Silver Marlin
"This pale slightly-green gray is tranquil and elegant," says Magno. She recommends using Silver Marlin in a living room, bedroom, or bathroom and pairing it with soft, metallic accents such as antique brass or brushed nickel.
Try it alongside edgier hues (think: black, lime green, or deep magenta) for a fresher, more dynamic look.
Benjamin Moore Sharkskin
Sharkskin reads as a deep, gray-green and is "a versatile color that pairs easily with pastels, and bolder colors, too," Magno says. Mustard and deep red accents will pop against its verdant undertones. Consider it for the exterior of your home, as well.
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
According to Magno, Balboa Mist is one of Benjamin Moore's most popular grays due to its ability to freshen and modernize any space. "It works beautifully with a wide range of other colors, and stands up well on its own," she says. Think: Ceilings, trim, and walls.