Darrin Varden was recently invited by Benjamin Moore to design their Architectural Digest Home Design Show booth, making him the first designer ever to work with their new paint innovation: Century.

DSC_0014-12Says Darrin,” The paint is truly extraordinary. It has an inviting, tactile, finish. It is soft and matte – it looks a lot like leather. The palette has been so carefully curated and is so rich and inviting, it is almost hard to choose the colors, you want them all.” However, Darrin chose a deep, rich purple and then created an entire living space using various iterations and textures of it to play off of and underscore the unusually nuanced paint finish.

DSC_0026-24Just as in Darrin’s residential work, custom touches abound in this design, from the use of rich, silvery metals to custom silver-cerused oak millwork and a custom pouf of Darrin’s own design. He called on some of the top design minds in interiors for superb details such as the velvet sectional, striped silk and lush lamb’s wool pillows and whimsically scaled and immaculately feathered sconces.

DSC_0019-17.jpgAnd also reminiscent of the designer’s interiors, this living room vignette was anchored strongly by art. Photography by fine artist Damien Dufresne was given its own recessed niche, lined in the same silver cerused and ebonized oak that appears in the room’s custom millwork. Thus emphasized, the already striking extreme closeup abstract portrait diptych in high contrast silver and black created a sophisticated focal point evocative of thoughtfulness and passion, two of the traits the designer associates with this deep, rich purple color.

DSC_0027-25A finishing touch of note was Darrin’s own “fire and ice” sculpture – a graceful swoop of of silver twigs that seem to rise like a wave of cool flame in the fireplace. “I wanted a custom metal sculpture for the fireplace, but nobody was able to make it to my liking,” notes the designer. Ever the innovator, he willed the sculpture into being by picking up some decorative twigs in the wholesale flower district, spraying them silver and hot-gluing them into his desired arrangement.

DSC_0033-31 “Getting to be the first to use Century paint was really fun and exciting,” says Darrin,”As a designer you’re always looking for something truly innovative that’s also beautiful. Benjamin Moore has accomplished it with this new finish and that sexy palette. I can’t wait to incorporate Century in my upcoming design projects.”