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LAST OF THE RED-HOT LOVERS: MEET CALIENTE

January 01, 2018 3 min read

LAST OF THE RED-HOT LOVERS: MEET CALIENTE

Hot. Passionate. Sexy. No wonder Caliente AF-290, Benjamin Moore’s 2018 Colour of the Year, is all about total confidence. With a hint of orange and radiating plenty of personality, deep red Caliente makes us want to clench a rose between our teeth and shout “Olé!”     

“Caliente is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like ‘red carpet treatment,’” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s Director of Strategic Design Intelligence. “Whether used as one note or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads signaling surprise and adventure. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes.”

Caliente was already one of our favourites amongst Benjamin Moore’s 3,400 colours before the big unveiling last month. It’s a bold, statement-making hue that can help rev up a room with an abstract stroke of colour, define modern lines and give accents an adventurous pop – or, in the case of a beach house that brings in red as its primary focus, become an unexpected neutral touch.


Have you ever wondered how the Colour of the Year is chosen? We sure did.

As it turns out, the Benjamin Moore Colour & Design team annually forecasts colour trends following a year-long research journey to 30 cities across 12 countries, traveling nearly 100,000 miles (wow!). Their team of seven Colour & Design experts attended more than 20 industry shows, picking up cues and clues from around the world and capturing more than 42,200 inspirational photos from the arts, design, architecture, pop culture, fashion, and home furnishings.  

The team brings their collective findings back to their studio and pins them to a 20-foot wall. They are grouped by key colour families until common themes slowly start to emerge. This year, red hues were most prominent - embodying the change, strength, confidence and vitality in the cultural movements across the globe.

And voila… that’s how Benjamin Moore arrived at Caliente being chosen as Colour of the Year.  


Don’t be shy. Find a place for Caliente in your home.

  • Deep red walls create a mood that tones down the brightness of a room. It sets off neutral furnishings and generates a feeling of being wrapped cozily in your surroundings.

  • It’s a bit of a myth that if a room is painted in a dark colour it closes the walls in. It actually adds depth and can make a room look larger, especially when offset with white trim and accents.

  • At the same time, a bold, rich colour works its magic in open-concept spaces by making it feel more cohesive, which in turn creates a more intimate and cozy living area.  

  • Reds, like Caliente, bring out the richness of warm, weathered woods. Trust us, it will make your hardwood floors, interior doors (and hey, why not exterior doors too?) and stair railings gleam.

  • Balance out Caliente with neutral touches like a dreamy cream-coloured (or grey or beige or black) couch. Neutrals will make richer, more saturated colours sing out in your space. 
  • Bold colours deserve an equally bold treatment, so in a neutral-coloured room, consider an accent wall in a showstopper like Caliente – or better yet, a stunning fifth wall: the ceiling!

Visit Barrydowne Paint, your Benjamin Moore dealer, for more great ideas on using the charismatic Caliente AF-290 and to view the entire Colour Trends 2018 collection – a curated palette of 23 highly influential hues that enliven any room by adding depth and energy.