An excellent mix of gray, black, and sea blue. Depending on the lighting, any of these three facets can appear in it.


Many people are still somewhat wary of the use of dark colors in the interior. And this is quite logical – and, as we would even say, it is reasonable. The fact is that dark shades require a cautious attitude towards themselves since, in the case of abuse, they can make the interior depressing and gloomy. If used as an accent but with unbalanced inclusion in the color palette, they look alien and create visual discomfort. However, you should not neglect them either. If you correctly apply them in the design of any room, they will add the same balance, depth, and expressiveness to the atmosphere that distinguish truly stylish interiors.

Today, designers recommend taking a closer look at the so-called complex dark shade with various undertones. They look much calmer and richer, and in their ambiguous perception, depending on the lighting and viewing angle, they have their unique charm. Fascinating in this regard remain shades of brown, gray, and blue – especially colors in which at least two of them are combined. We propose to disassemble and appreciate all the advantages of a color of this type on the example of one of its most charismatic representatives – 1617 by Benjamin Moore with the intriguing name Cheating Heart from the manufacturer’s classic collection.

Cheating Heart 1617 paint color features

It is challenging to determine what it looks like by the name of the color – and you will probably be surprised if you have not encountered it before. The thing is, Cheating Heart is an excellent mix of gray, black, and sea blue. Depending on the lighting, any of these three facets can appear in it, so it is of particular interest from a design point of view.

Some people find Cheating Heart similarities to another Benjamin Moore paint color, numbered 2124-10, called Wrought Iron. However, this shade has a slightly lower LRV, and in sufficient light, it becomes noticeable that chrome and navy blue nautical tones are more pronounced in 1617, while Wrought Iron is instead a very dark gray with a slight blue tint.

Cheating Heart: is it warm or cold?

Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore undoubtedly refers to cold tones – and this can be understood without even delving into this issue deeper, only focusing on your own perception of this intriguing cocktail of black, gray, and blue colors. All this is confirmed by the key indicators of the tone 1617 – and first of all by the value of the shade at 210 degrees, which clearly indicates that it belongs to cold colors.

How does lighting affect Cheating Heart?

Cheating Heart is an absolutely amazing color from the point of view of perception. Depending on what kind of light conditions it is in, it can look completely different.

So, for example, if there is not enough light in the room – and this can happen both with the onset of dusk, with feeble natural light, and with very dim lamplight, Cheating Heart will appear almost black – but at the same time with a relatively soft graphite sheen. It will seem rather a very dark gray-blue in dim daylight or sufficient artificial light, closer to the stunning and beloved by many, navy blue shade. Well, suppose you decide to decorate the architectural elements of your house outside in this color or complement the color palette with them in a beautifully lit room. In that case, you will get a wonderful dark blue tone with expressive anthracite notes.

Cheating Heart LRV

Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart paint color has an extremely low light reflectance of 6.89. This indicator unambiguously places it in the category of dark shades, which practically do not reflect light. That is why the tone 1617 needs good enough lighting to fully reveal its individuality, depth, and richness of the dark blue undertone. Otherwise, it will go into a fairly simple and very dark gray.

Cheating Heart undertones

As mentioned above, the key feature of Cheating Heart is presenting black, gray, and blue almost on an equal footing. Of course, the blue undertone is one of the most interesting in this unusual shade. However, gray also exhibits an enchanting variability, becoming graphite or anthracite black depending on the lighting.

Similar colors

The shade 1617 Cheating Heart can rightfully be considered a kind of unique—both in the palette of Benjamin Moore and in the collections of other manufacturers. You can find very similar tones, but it will be complicated to select the closest ones due to the exceptionally balanced undertones of Cheating Heart. However, you will probably be interested to know what this unusual color can be compared with, at least conditionally – and in addition to the Wrought Iron mentioned above, you will have something to see.

  • French Beret 1610 – a delightful balance between very dark gray and navy blue, slightly lighter than Cheating Heart;
  • Nightfall 1596 – deep, soft, and mysterious dark gray, reminiscent of the night sky on a starless autumn night;
  • Racoon Fur 2126-20 – dark and calm natural gray with subtle silver and black reflections;
  • Charcoal Drift by Dulux – sophisticated slightly lighter dark gray with expressive and strong anthracite undertones;
  • Raisin Cake by Dulux – an unusual color in which a dark gray base is favorably accentuated by subtle dark purple accents;
  • Evening Hush by Behr 770F-6 – very calm, even soothing dark gray with a very soft bluish haze;
  • Cyberspace SW 7076 by Sherwin-Williams – a rather dark gray with a cool bluish-gray undertone;
  • Iron Ore SW 7069 by Sherwin-Williams – very soft graphite black with blue and green undertones;
  • Perle Noir SW 9154 by Sherwin-Williams – a luxurious dark gray tone with subtle notes of mother-of-pearl.

Coordinating colors

Designers suggest combining Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart with relatively complex and light tones – from pure whites and gray-beige to light gray with purple undertones, cream, and blue-gray. The manufacturer offers its own options for a harmonious interior palette:

  • Aganthus Green 472 – a sophisticated gray-green color, reminiscent of sage in many ways;
  • Ancient Oak 940 – calm and natural gray-beige shade with light cream undertones;
  • Brunswick Beige 1061 – very warm creamy shade, cozy and sophisticated at the same time;
  • Pebble Rock 945 – pale and attractive gray, not devoid of a warming beige undertone.

Use of Cheating Heart in the interior

We have already said that the use of dark colors in the interior should be as accurate and carefully thought out. Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart paint color is no exception to this rule. Still, its potential is so exciting for designers that they try to find every opportunity available to let it reveal itself in as many details as possible. And if the idea of using this gorgeous blue-black-gray sounds exciting to you – well, let’s explore the most stylish design tricks and solutions to reveal his personality.

Luxurious accents

It is pretty logical that not every interior can withstand a large amount of Cheating Heart with dignity. However, when used for accents and details, it is simply unmatched. And for what kind of details and accents you will use it, depends only on you.

So, for example, you can try Benjamin Moore paint in this beautiful shade for decorating open cabinets and shelves against a backdrop of a light wall, nightstands, and consoles. In addition, the use of wood paneling (including boiserie) in Cheating Heart combined with a light base surface promises to create a stunning backdrop.

At the same time, do not forget to pay enough attention to choosing a light shade: for this convergence, smokey and pure white tones are ideal for a more modern and expressive contrast. Not all designers recommend using warm whites, as the yellowish tone in them will become more noticeable. Still, if you need to create an old house or a vintage interior atmosphere.


The choice in favor of Cheating Heart primarily concerns furniture. You can try this excellent paint shade from Benjamin Moore for kitchen cabinets and islands. However, exceptionally high demands are made on the color and texture of countertops, backgrounds, and decorative details in this case.

Try to use as few designs and vibrant ornaments as possible, focusing on sophistication and depth of color that smokey white walls – painted or tiled with beveled edges – can favorably set off. The same applies to countertops, for which only a discreet marble or wood texture is acceptable. But brass or bronze hardware and a large number of green plants may well act as accents.


Should I paint something in the bedroom in the color of Cheating Heart or not? To such a question, worthy of the creation of Shakespeare himself, we tend to answer affirmatively. Indeed, you should not be afraid to use a dark gray-blue tone in a bedroom: with the right design, it will not make it gloomy; on the contrary, it will add sophistication, mystery, and comfort to it. Combine an accent wall (shiplap is great for this) or furniture in this color with a light floor and walls with plain wallpaper, pale gray or gray-beige textiles, as well as a small amount of spectacular terracotta accents and golden metal elements.


Are you tired of modern, bright bathrooms? Cheating Heart promises a welcome variety with elegance! You don’t need too much gray-blue: a bedside table painted in that color and mirrors in the same frame will be enough. However, nothing prevents you from going from the opposite, and using this paint from Benjamin Moore to paint the entire walls: against such a background, light furniture, exclusive plumbing, and floors made of wood in warm colors will look great.

Use of Cheating Heart for the house exterior

You can hardly imagine any other color that would be as successful as Cheating Heart for front doors and window frames and shutters. Indeed, it is truly magnificent both against the background of brick walls and in contact with wood, painted in light or pastel colors. Depending on the time of day and weather, architectural elements painted in this color look different, making the house’s facade more interesting and sophisticated.

Is it possible to use Cheating Heart to paint the whole house? Well, this decision is quite bold, and we do not doubt that your home will take on a very spectacular look – especially if you choose the right light (best, of course, white) shade for doors, window frames, and columns. However, the designers warn: such a dark shade will fade under the sun much faster than light colors, so do not forget to update it regularly.

Benjamin Moore’s 1617 Cheating Heart is an excellent start to intricate dark shades. Before putting such paint into action, study the samples with it in more detail, and analyze the play of undertones – perhaps it will inspire you to the most unexpected ideas in home decoration!

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