At the TOH 2020 Idea House on the Cape, interior designer Denise Enright wanted to create a fresh twist on a traditional Cape Cod cottage. “Given our coastal location, I felt the need to incorporate some sandy neutrals and watery hues. But I really wanted to steer clear of the typical ‘beachy’ palette,” says Enright.
Enter the Williamsburg® Paint Color Collection by Benjamin Moore. Together with preservationists at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Benjamin Moore’s chemists and color experts examined 18th-century wallpaper, original paint samples, and historical documents to accurately re-create colors found in early American design, to curate a collection of 144 beautifully nuanced colors—a timeless palette that is both historic and distinctly modern.
In the Williamsburg® Paint Color Collection, Enright found the perfect blend of classic, organic colors that she could use in a refreshing, contemporary way. Read on to see the palette as featured throughout the 2020 Idea House, and get inspired!
An inviting entrance
“Here in the mudroom, at the family entrance, this ocean-inspired hue was just what I was looking for; it’s energetic, inviting, and modern against neutral trim and rattan accents,” says Enright.
Shown: Walls in Williamsburg Wythe Blue (CW-590), exclusively from the Williamsburg® Paint Color Collection by Benjamin Moore.
Classic and comfortable living room
Building off a neutral foundation in the living room, Enright combined textures of jute, rattan, and leather to create a coastal-chic vibe. Contemporary black window frames are softened by the subdued, driftwood-inspired walls. An accent wall of almost-white shiplap adds a traditional cottage element.
Coastal cottage kitchen
“For continuity, we carried the soft, graceful gray walls straight through to the kitchen, which inspired design choices like silvery-finished alder cabinets and nautical-inspired stools.”
Shown: Walls in Bone Black (CW-715), exclusively from the Williamsburg® Paint Color Collection by Benjamin Moore.
Romantic master suite
“The master bedroom is one of my favorite spaces,” says Enright. Inspired by the Cape Cod coast at twilight, “I chose a gentle sunset pink for the ceiling. It’s unexpected, and sets a dreamy tone for the room.”
Timeless master bath
It’s more compact than a typical master bath, so Enright was able to splurge on a marble mosaic floor tile; for the walls, she chose a neutral shade with a hint of gray that perfectly complements both tile and countertop, and makes the space feel bigger than its footprint.
Shown: Walls in Bruton White (CW-710), exclusively from the Williamsburg® Paint Color Collection by Benjamin Moore.
Soft and sophisticated guest bedroom
A colorful rug set the beachy bohemian tone for this guest bedroom, and gave Enright fun colors to play with. “I kept the walls neutral, but decided to add a surprising pop of dune-grass green on the ceiling, and sky-blue trim.”
Fun fact: This fresh, fanciful blue was inspired by the light blue found in both French and English wallpapers in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections.
Tucked-away laundry closet
In an effort to save space, Enright housed the washer and dryer inside a closet just off the guest bedroom, and painted the walls inside a friendly, velvety blue.
Shown: Walls in Chiswell Blue (CW-660), exclusively from the Williamsburg® Paint Color Collection by Benjamin Moore.
Relaxing reading loft
In the upper loft, Enright chose a combination of tranquil blue and pearl, to complete what is sure to become a favorite spot for curling up with a good book.
Gray galley kitchen
In the ADU (auxiliary dwelling unit) kitchen, Enright chose a creamy, gray-tinged neutral that played off the striated oyster-and-sand-colored cabinets. And just around the corner, the bright blue of the living space adds a refreshing element of surprise.
Architectural details in the ADU
This asymmetrical shiplap wall called for a strong hue. A beachy indigo, with bright coral accents against white walls and furnishings, creates a fun and fresh look.
Wondering how a color this punchy came to be part of a colonial-inspired collection? New technologies uncovered evidence that historical pigments were more saturated than previously thought. From there, Benjamin Moore chemists calculated precise formulas to match the original, authentic colors—like this rich blue, based on the popular 18th-century pigment Prussian blue.
An inspiring place to create
In the maker’s workshop, Enright wanted to create a space that would foster creativity, without being distracting. “I highlighted the workstation wall in a soothing, sophisticated gray, and used a lighter shade on the side walls to create depth and interest.”
Beautiful bonus space
“I call this room the ‘basement bonus,’” Enright explains. “It’s designed as flexible space that can be used as a yoga studio, a home office, a teen hangout, or a media room. Chunky textures, abstract beach-themed prints, and a golden-green accent wall make for a space that is restful, peaceful, and still a bit of fun.”