Everything has its season, and for paint, winter is that time. Year after year, paint companies release their chosen Color(s) of the Year, which are meant to be reflections on trends that are coming to interior design near you. If you’ve been considering repainting a bedroom or your whole house, knowing what’s in can help you narrow down the impressively huge list of paint options available.
Bold Tones Are Where It’s At
2021 continues the trend that’s been taking us far from the subdued hues that have been so popular in the past. Instead of neutral palettes, homeowners are going big or going home. That doesn’t mean the paint scheme in every house has to be glam, but it does mean that it’s ok to put a little personality out there. Pops of color are glorious when done properly and no longer the sale killer they may have once been. But it’s not exactly a revisit to the 1950s. Color should be used more strategically to create a big impact, highlight features in your home, and influence the atmosphere in living, dining, and sleeping spaces.
Most of the major paint companies have announced their colors for this year, though a few are still waiting. Of those that have made it official, you’ll notice a big trend in color themes. Blues, pinks, and grays rule the day, though they’re not your grandma’s retro flavors.
Pantone: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating
One of the top names in color has come up with one of the top color combos for 2021. It’s a whole mood, really, and sums up 2020 pretty well. Ultimate Gray is a light neutral gray color that would be at home in almost any space. Illuminating, however, is a bright, determined yellow that should be used in small doses. As Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, wrote in a press release about the decision, “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.” It’s also way eye-catching.
Rust-Oleum: Satin Paprika
Do you dream of the desert southwest? Or maybe you already live there and want to bring a bit more pop indoors? Satin Paprika may be the answer. This coral red, spicy earth tone is the anchor for three distinct color palettes that Rust-Oleum has developed for 2021. It’s gorgeous in a variety of spaces, works with many different colors, and, frankly, it brings to mind the red stone that’s so common in the desert. Your succulents will feel right at home.
Glidden: Aqua Fiesta
Glidden zigged this year when a lot of the other paint brands zagged, and named Aqua Fiesta its Accent Color of the Year. It’s a bold, but not overly bright, aqua color that goes great with both light neutral browns and grays, allowing it to dress up all kinds of spaces. You might feel like taking an island vacation or dream of mermaids after painting this one on, though.
Benjamin Moore: Aegean Teal
Benjamin Moore was also feeling a bit blue when choosing 2021’s color of the year, but more blue than green, which resulted in a gorgeous dark robin egg-esque color. The gray undertones make it a great accompaniment to the popular gray neutrals, and the more strict blue gives it a bit of a grown-up feel. It’s a super calming color in any room and will even pair well with yellows.
HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams: Passionate
Blue isn’t everybody’s thing, and clearly HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams agrees. It chose Passionate for its 2021 Color of the Year. This is a deep carnation, but not quite red, sort of color that looks awesome with earth tones and tans. It’s the kind of color that you may have never expected to like, let alone paint in your home, until you see it in action. Accent it with other bold tones and your humdrum room will absolutely be transformed.
Sherwin-Williams: Urbane Bronze
Looking for deep, rich color that won’t leave anyone guessing about your intention for your space? Urbane Bronze is a color that will define a space without regrets. It’s a warm gray-brown that goes well with a range of flooring and lighting, but stands up on its own without the need for a lot of fanfare. You might not want to use this on every wall, as it may have a way of making your space feel a bit small, but your accent walls and accent pieces will absolutely thank you.
Valspar: Hues of the Year
Valspar couldn’t pick just one, so instead went with a whole range of colors for the year. It chose 12 muted colors; these are colors that could be considered “barely there,” just a hint of bold for a room that isn’t ready to go all in. These subtle choices range from misty blue to a warm apricot, with buttercream, green, beige, and gray also on the menu. Use this palette together to create a wholly harmonious space.