Caliente – The Color That’s Vocal

“Caliente is the signature color of a modern architectural masterpiece; a lush carpet rolled out for a grand arrival; the assured backdrop for a book-lined library; a powerful first impression on a glossy front door. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes. Harness the vitality. ” – Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore.

Caliente is the bold new shade recently announced by Benjamin Moore as the 2018 Color of the year. It’s hot, impactful and full of life. Ellen and the Benjamin Moore team spent the year researching color trends in fashion, media, art and pop culture around the world before arriving at a hue they saw making appearances time and time again.

Strong-willed Shade for Modern Times

It’s widely documented that colors have a psychology associated with them, and it stands to reason that popular shades of any given time are linked to the societal values of the era. So what does the selection of Caliente, an assured, warm shade, unequivocally audacious yet still conjuring a certain level of comfort, say about our current culture.

Red is associated with power, assertiveness, energy, and passion. The growing popularity of various shades of red and pinks in the past few years has been attributed to a rise in third-wave feminism, a redefining of femininity and increased gender fluidity. We’ve also seen a rise in public activism and vocalization of political and social opinions. Caliente – a hue that makes a strong statement – is a reflection of this.

CALIENTE af-290 — Rhinocerosselene” Chair

As far as red goes, however, this shade does have its softer side. With orangey brown undertones, it retains a certain sophistication, therefore making it more easily adaptable for the home. Reds, in general, are associated with love and passion, and Caliente has definite connotations of romance and enthusiasm.

It’s easy to shy away from utilizing a color this bold, so we asked interior designers to weigh in on the hue and how one might go about “harnessing its vitality” in one’s own home.

sasha bikoff

“Red is associated with power, assertiveness,
energy, and passion.”

Warming Up

The designers we spoke to understood being hesitant to commit to using red in vast swaths, instead suggesting that it be used as an accent or for accessories.

“As excited as I am that we seem to be returning to richer deeper colors I’m not sure that our clients are ready to take this journey just yet. I believe that Caliente will definitely be used in numerous accessory applications and in fabrics. This will allow us to ease our way into the great departure from white-ville” says Nashville based designer, Chad James of Chad James Group.

“869” by cassina — oil on canvasmodern chairs
anthony baratta, llc

“I believe that Caliente will definitely be used in numerous accessory applications and in fabrics.”
— Chad James Group

Painting it (Caliente) Red

Many designers spoke of the desire to see this red used in intimate spaces. Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, co-founders of interior design firm Mitchell Hill remark, “Red has the tendency to spark all 5 senses…and then some. We could see this on a ceiling as an accent in your bedroom. It would be the focal point of the room and exude tremendous energy.”

Nina Magon of Contour Interior Design could envision it effortlessly warming up the walls of a bathroom or ensuite. “Benjamin Moore’s rich red Caliente gets me excited about creating a bold and sexy powder room, with the walls and ceiling saturated in this warm hue.  Using bold colors like this one helps to create a presence.”

Consolechandelierbijou rosso

“Red has a tendency to spark all 5 senses…
and then some.” — Mitchell Hill

Whether you’re ready to make a confident statement with Caliente or simply want to incorporate it as an accent, there’s no question the hue has a vivacious personality to contribute to any environment it’s invited into. For More RED Caliente Hot visit


Leave a Reply