Benjamin Moore’s Creative Director on the Power of Color
Ellen O’Neill is the kind of person who would say: “Pink is red with a past” and “You don’t see the true blue of the sky without a white cloud.” And one can’t help but believe her. Being aware of and working with color has always played a big role in O’Neill’s personal and professional life—and right now is no exception. O’Neill, a former vice president for Ralph Lauren Home Collection, and vice president of design at the St. Regis and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, has, for the past three years, been the creative director of Benjamin Moore, the paint company.
For its influential Color Trends 2016 program, she presented Simply White, a beautifully layered, fresh-looking concept. Since last summer, she has rented one of the nicely well-worn out-buildings at the Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack, New York, the estate that was once home and studio to the American painter Robert Dash, and that is now open to the public. Recognized as an important color painter, Dash put his imprimatur on the fences, gates, and gazebo of his garden, having painted them in Day-Glo colors that give the wildflower landscape extra jolts of interest. The irony of the contrast between her colorful home environment and Simply White does not escape her.