CLEVELAND - Sherwin-Williams announced Alabaster (SW 7008), a hue it is says is symbolic of new beginnings, as the 2016 Color of the Year.
 
"Alabaster represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness, well-being and an atmosphere that is pure," said Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "It provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and 'less is more' visual relief. Alabaster is neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring hue of white."
 
By its own admission, Sherwin Williams says it is hotly debated as to whether Alabaster it is a color at all. Exhibit 'A' in that debate will be the color swatch, which is reminiscent of a brain - hence, the mindfulness, I guess.
 
White is said to have a strong connection with pureness and light across many cultures. "At a time when homeowners are faced with excess and clutter, and may be overwhelmed by the commotion of technology, Alabaster encourages a time to relax and re-examine," says Sherwin-William's announcement about the color. Like re-examining whether it is a color.  
 
The paint company, which is 150 years old next year, cites a homeowner study stated that nearly 3 out of 4 (73%) prefer Alabaster's naturally flattering, barely-there undertones to a plain white when selecting neutral colors for their homes. Alabaster can be used as a monochromatic statement, or it can be paired with any other hue as the ultimate complementary color.
 
But actually, the "color of the year" is a bit of an overstatement - since there there are really four palettes of the year for 2016 - and Alabaster is in only one of them - though it pairs well with all of them.
 
Similarly, Behr paints, made by Masco Cabinets and sold at Home Depot, has four palettes - including Galapagos. That name is symptomatic of the escalating war in inflated color names. 
 
Back to Alabaster, it comes from the Pura Vida palette (there are four) in Sherwin-Williams Color Forecast 2016, Alabaster represents the prominent use of light, which is a key element for traditional Nordic design. Alabaster also pairs nicely with other popular Scandinavian décor influences including sleek lines, copper metallic finishes, marble and wood grain materials.
 
And Alabaster gets support as color of the year from annother source: Benjamin Moore. Its color of the year? White!
 
  

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