The paint colors you choose can do much more than blend with each other or complement your furniture. Psychological research on the connection between your emotions, your personality and your color choices reveals that the paint hues you choose can impact your emotional well-being.
While personalization is encouraged, especially for something as easily changed as paint, there are also identifiable trends in colors that may influence how you decorate your home. Some of those trends can be seen evolving in model homes, such as the prevalence of beige a decade ago followed by the preference for a gray and white palette in recent years.
You may be wondering exactly what it means to be named the “Color of the Year,” and how a particular hue may be selected for the stylish honor. For paint companies, there is quite a lot of science that goes into the full process of choosing a color or color palette that aligns with new and upcoming trends.
Design professionals, social scientists, and fashion experts come together for the year-long process. They dive into global trends, travel through contemporary culture, research and analyze consumer markets to carefully select a color that inspires a feeling of home.
Most paint companies traditionally announce their picks in late fall, sometimes in December. As we take the leap into 2021, color experts across many brands seem to come to an underlying consensus: 2021 will be a year in design that embraces calm reflection through warm earthy tones, cool and muted blue-greens, with a dash of optimism in bold and daring accent colors.
Some brands have chosen one color to be their prize pick while others have selected a full palette that captures their intentions for the new year. Here are the 2021 picks announced so far to get you primed for decorating your new home or refreshing your space for a new year.
2021 Paint Colors of the Year
Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams, a long-standing industry giant, has selected a warm and soothing neutral in Urbane Bronze for their 2021 color of the year. A part of their “Sanctuary” palette, this deep and bold gray brown will inspire a calm and collected feeling in your home.
While the earthy tone of this color gives a natural, grounded feeling, the gray undertones radiates timeless charm that pairs well with modern aesthetic. This hue would be perfect for a bedroom retreat, accents to your living room or kitchen, or even your front door. Its versatility makes it the perfect pick for any interior or exterior refresh this year. You can find it in Sherwin-Williams paint stores nationwide.
Passionate by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams
Considering bold accents, HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams has selected a bold, vibrant red as the color that will bring optimism and strength in the new year. This color hints at the extravagant but settles into a modern, lovely contrast alongside this year’s neutral picks. Passionate, part of the Delightfully Daring Collection, can make a beautiful accent wall to inspire confidence and nurture femininity and mindfulness. Pair it with any number of neutrals or a contrasting bold blue, green, or earthy tones.
Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore just announced their pick for 2021 color of the year, and it does not disappoint. Aegean Teal is a soothing and balanced blue-green shade that is quiet and serene while beautifully elegant. Its gray undertone balances the mind to inspire reflection, while keeping a modern look. It pairs well with creamy neutrals, soft yellows and earthy bronze tones. This would be lovely in a kitchen, bedroom, or even an entryway with lots of natural light.
Epoch by Graham & Brown
Luxuriously bold, Graham & Brown’s pick is sure to delight. Epoch is a deep, rich magenta that feels both regal and modern. Its vibrant and soothing nature inspires a personalization to create a space that is unique and all your own. Consider pairing with gold accents, soft lavenders, or rich teals to create a warmer space. Since this color enriches your room with a darker tone, you may consider lighter pops of color in pink or peach tones. This timeless hue could also be used as an accent wall or to dress up your front door.
Dreaming of the Day by Diamond Vogel
Similar to Benjamin Moore’s concept, Diamond Vogel choose a color of the year that invokes balance and serenity. Their choice of “Dreaming of the Day” is a relaxed blue-green that will provide a lovely accent color to your kitchen cabinetry, a meditative comfort to your bedroom, or a welcoming feeling on your front door. This hue seems to balance slightly more green tones than gray and is reminiscent of a quiet pond or a gently drifting lily pad. It pairs well with earthy tones as well as muted blues and greens to create a soft, contemplative space.
Color Palettes of the Year
PPG Industries, Inc.
Once known by the name Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, PPG Industries, Inc. has grown to a worldwide giant in the paint, coatings, and specialty materials industries. PPG revealed their color palette of 2021, Serenity In Any Space, and it certainly falls in line with the previous picks in bringing a spirit of optimism, balance, and the beauty of mindfulness to any home.
This palette features three colors that can be used simultaneously in either one room or your entire home to inspire good health in mind, body, and spirit. Transcend offers an earthy beige that may be reminiscent of a creamy latte. Big Cypress is a comforting ginger that will warm your space, while Misty Aqua provides the gentle optimism and freshness of a watercolor cerulean blue. Consider this palette for any space where you want an extra level of comfort and a bit of joy to splash into this new year.
Valspar opted for a collection of 12 colors for 2021, all of which are predicted to trend in the coming months. These colors are similarly muted hues ranging from Blissful Blue to Soft Candlelight. There is a little something for everyone in this collection, whether you are looking for the sophistication of Cherry Taupe or the playfulness of Arizona Dust. To find your favorite color and discover the perfect neutral pairings, visit the Valspar Colors of the Year Collection style page.
Farrow & Ball
The English company of Farrow & Ball have revealed a select palette of 12 key colors for 2021, categorized as either rich and warm hues, timeless blues, natural greens, or Earth tones.
Their color experts have identified three chocolatey tones in Preference Red, Deep Reddish Brown, and Tanner’s Brown for areas of academic study such as library shelving or study rooms to inspire a chic, modern look by day and a natural soothing feeling by night. As for timeless blue, they recommend a lively Pitch Blue, Ultra Marine Blue, or the darker Stiffkey Blue. The restorative nature of blues often invokes nostalgia through calming comforts from our childhood and can add a beautifully styled look to any kitchen or an accent wall.
As is the trend for the upcoming year, neutral grays are being replaced with earthy, natural tones. Color experts at Farrow & Ball recommend natural greens for hallway spaces in a more traditional Treron, slightly bluer Green Smoke, or the olive-colored Sap Green. Earth tones, such as Jitney, Dead Salmon, and India Yellow will also bring a warm and familiar vibe to any room. These bolder colors will offer a comforting, grounded sense to any space and certainly a fresh look for a new beginning.
Behr, another giant in the paint industry, has developed a fairly extensive palette for color trends of 2021. To ring in the new year, their color experts have produced the Behr Color Trends 2021 Palette, a carefully curated selection of 21 colors to invoke a sense of casual comfort, calm, focus, quiet serenity and a hint of bold optimism. This palette is widely varied, yet cohesive and thoroughly compiled. There is something for everyone and every space to create your personalized home sanctuary.
Paint Your Fresh Start
As we all look forward to 2021, we can hope for a fresh start and welcome this new beginning. There’s no better way to manifest a bold, optimistic, and bright new year than to refresh to your space with a new coat of paint. I hope these trends give you a place to start your research to find the perfect color for your new home.
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.