I know Thursdays were supposed to be dedicated to my suggestions for books, but I have read the many emails in support of more discussion for topics related to interior design, and they have won out.
So today’s blog is about my favorite paint company and why!
I had the good fortune a couple of weeks ago to have attended the gala opening for the Kips Bay Show House this past Thursday evening.
I had the sincere pleasure of having been asked to be seated at the Benjamin Moore table who in fact is one of the Kips Bay sponsors of this years show house.
In 1883, Benjamin Moore and his brother Robert started a paint business at 55 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. They had only a mere $2,000 to invest. The company was initially called Moore Brothers, and its first product was Calsom Finish, a wall coating. Within a year, the enterprise had made a profit. Unfortunately, in 1884, the building on Atlantic burned to the ground. Yet the brothers were back in business three days later in a new location, displaying a tenacity that would serve their company well throughout its long life. Benjamin and Robert established a New York corporation in 1889; soon after, they incorporated in New Jersey, the company’s current home.
It was only in the mid-1880s that mass production and distribution of paint began to take off. Benjamin Moore distinguished itself from competitors in various ways. For one thing, the business charged premium prices for premium paint, whose durability and high-quality pigment they considered worth the cost. In addition, the company quickly developed a reputation for creating innovative products. In 1892, the brothers unveiled Muresco, a ready-mix paint intended for walls and ceilings. Made from a recipe that included Irish moss and Pennsylvania clay, it became the best-selling calcimine paint in the U.S. during the first part of the 20th century.
Inspired by the “three Is” – intelligence, industry, and integrity – the Moores began an expansion in 1897. That year, factories opened in Chicago and Cleveland; less than a decade later, in 1906, the Canadian branch of the company was incorporated. The following year, Benjamin Moore hired its first chemist and established a research department. In 1925, the company’s logo, a letter M inside a triangle designed by L.P. Moore, made its debut. Rather than simply making and selling paint, Benjamin Moore sought to educate consumers about house painting. Early in the 1900s, the company began printing decorating brochures for customers. In 1929, a department of home decorating was added. Members of the department answered painting questions in person or by mail. From the 1930s until the ’60s, Betty Moore – a fictional character played over the years by various actresses – provided house painting tips in a series of weekly radio programs. Through World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II, Benjamin Moore managed not only to stay afloat but to grow. In the postwar era, industrial coatings that the company had developed for the war effort were adapted for house painting. (Benjamin Moore’s Technical Coatings Company, established in 1948, continued to work on industrial coatings.) Another postwar development was the rise of latex paint, which was far more eco-friendly than any previous kind of house paint, and easier to apply and clean. As usual, Benjamin Moore was committed to keeping up with industry trends, and the company is now recognized as a leader in environmental awareness. For Benjamin Moore, the mid- to late 20th century was a time of tireless innovation.
Today, the 128-year-old company is one of the largest paint makers in North America, with seven plants, 22 distribution facilities, and roughly 4,000 independent retailers in its network. Some of Benjamin Moore’s most recent developments have been among the most dramatic in its history. In 1999, the company released EcoSpec, a house paint made without volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or solvents, and thus less harmful to both the planet and consumers. In the subsequent decade, VOCs emerged as a major issue for the paint industry. As had happened so often before, Benjamin Moore found itself ahead of the curve. The following year, Berkshire Hathaway, a company led by billionaire Warren Buffett, acquired Benjamin Moore. Yet the paint manufacturer’s research continued undisturbed. Benjamin Moore’s Regal Matte paint, distinguished by a stain-release resin and the ability to tolerate unprecedented amounts of scrubbing, became available in 2003.
I have always been a great fan of Benjamin Moore paints as the quality of paint is most important. And those of you that have had painters tell you that they can get cheap paint that will match, know where I am coming from.
Benjamin Moore has thee most extensive designer paint deck and is always on top of color trends from fashion to interiors so that they are able to support all the fabric companies and their seasonal collections.
I receive emails every week asking me for a suggestion for what paint company has the most extensive offerings of white! That is a great question especially because there are tons of whites. And as you go though a paint deck will realize that whites can go from having a yellow undertone, to grey, blue, pink and even peach.
Here I have listed my favorite whites from Benjamin Moore!
All time favorite-swiss coffee! #OC-45, glacier white, OC-37, acadia white, OC-38,dove wing, OC-18
Enjoy and feel free to email me with any questions!
I appreciate the comments!