Most Popular Paint Colors to “Swatch” Out for in 2022
The new year is the perfect time to give our homes a makeover. But if a full-scale renovation isn’t in the books, giving your space a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to instantly upgrade your home. Whether you’re looking for color inspiration to refresh a family room or putting the finishing touches on a kitchen revamp, knowing which colors to choose can be the hardest part. Luckily, the design world has spoken and the name of the game this year is relaxation. We’re talking warm, comforting shades, nature-inspired hues, and soft neutrals that create welcoming and soothing havens.
To help you pick the best interior hues for your home, we surveyed industry experts to share their popular paint color picks for 2022. Keep reading to see which hues and tones we’ll be seeing more of this year.
Soft colors for a serene space
Comforting colors, such as soft pastels, light gray-blues, and gentle violets, will be popular paint colors in 2022. Not only is this a subtle way to introduce color to your interior walls, but they’re also comfortable shades that encourage relaxation.
Soft pastels: Color is known to change the way we feel in a space, and LUX Design predicts a return to grounding colors as they relate to the current emotional state of the world. “2022 brings with it feelings of grounding, hope, and optimism, which is reflected in the colors we’ll see trending in interior design,” says Lux Design. “Grounding colors in the form of soft pastels inspired by the colors seen in pottery such as Quiet Moments 1563 by Benjamin Moore will see a rise in popularity, while Hope reveals itself in strong yet muted tones such as colors Coral Clay SW 9005 by Sherwin Williams. Optimism comes to us visually with colors that can be used as feature walls and bright accents such as Babouche No. 223 by Farrow and Ball.”
Understated and soothing colors in similar tones: Another trend we’re seeing are colors that reflect how we feel. Bernay Laity, Color Consultant at Philip Martyn Design, anticipates soothing hues to be popular paint colors, helping create a calming atmosphere in our homes. “We tend to gravitate towards making color choices that mirror how we feel. In a continuing climate of uncertainty, I’m noticing an increase in popularity of a particular group of colors that share similar tonal qualities, reflecting the current focus on wellbeing at this time. These colors are all soft and soothing; grey-green, light grey-blue, gentle violet, and warm orange-pink colors. Violet is an introspective color that encourages retreat and calm contemplation. Soft blue and green tones are peaceful, relaxing, and restorative, while orange-pink shades are comforting and cozy. All of these colors are great for bedroom, lounge, and living areas, and if you pick the right tones, they complement each other beautifully in a color scheme too.”
Nature-inspired hues and soft greens
Bringing the beauty of the outdoors into our homes is a popular decor choice to refresh and invigorate a space, translating into the rising popularity of taking inspiration from the outside world. Experts are predicting soft greens, cozy earth tones, and soothing blue-greens to take center stage in 2022.
Organic hues: “2022 is all about renewal, rejuvenation, and creating a sense of wellbeing in your home. Think paint colors that create a feeling of wellness and calmness and reflect the fullness of nature. Some popular paint color trends that will create your perfect oasis while also being striking, bold, and energizing are Sherwin Williams Dynamo SW 6841, which resembles the color of an orchid, Sherwin Williams SW 9038 Cucuzza Verde, a vibrant green that’s a cross between an avocado and the color of moss, and Sherwin Williams SW 6554, a light lavender that’s a subtle shade of pink reminiscent of cherry blossom.” says Leslie Moore. “You can also opt for neutrals that work well with accent colors. Sherwin Williams SW 9109 Natural Linen is a neutral that works perfectly with whites and bold accent colors. While Sherwin Williams SW 7757 High Reflective White is a warm, soft white perfect for trim, doors, and ceilings.”
Fresh green color palettes: If there’s one color having its moment, it’s green, according to Christina Harris of colorific. “Almost all paint companies picked a green hue for ’color of the year 2022’ – so, if you want a new interior or exterior paint color that feels ‘of the moment’ there’s a green for you. Go with your gut. In other words, follow trends, or don’t — there are no rules, but it is important to do what feels right for you and your home.”
But if painting an entire room isn’t for you, she suggests incorporating green in small doses throughout your space. “You can still get ‘the flavor’ of the new trend with a bite-size taste of one of the new greens by updating a bath vanity, a piece of furniture, or even by painting the back of shelves. Or dive in and paint a small room like a powder room — just for the fun of it. The beauty of paint is that you can always change it later. Benjamin Moore October Mist #1495 makes for a calm home office, while Farrow & Ball Breakfast Room Green No.81 is perfect for spaces where you want a little energy. You also can’t go wrong with the trend of classic white walls, with black and natural accents, and lots of plants.”
Soothing soft greens: “Soft, subtle green paint colors are becoming the go-to-hue as the trend moves toward sleek, warm wood tones and the soft, golden-bronze metals of the moment,” adds Susan Grant of Color Envy Design. “Color science and data tell us colors like Benjamin Moore’s Vapor Trails 1556 and Sherwin Williams’ Lattice 7654 are factually from the yellow/green-yellow hue parents. This is why they pair so beautifully with the rich, natural, yellow-based cabinetry and brushed gold hardware that’s on-trend, as well as updating the more traditional golden oak and brass in older homes. These soft, grayed-out green hues are extremely versatile, which is why they work so well in a variety of my clients’ homes.”
Varied earth tones and pastels: Nature-inspired hues will play a big role for homeowners, and Jodi Kelly, founder and lead designer at Kelly Home Designs, sees this becoming a popular paint color choice in 2022. “We’ll be seeing a lot of earth tones and pastels being used, providing a more soothing feeling than the grays and stark whites that have been popular for the last several years,” she says. “Sage green will dominate, and a great choice for any room would be Willow Tree by Sherwin Williams (SW7741).”
Neutral, earthy brown, and green color schemes: Making a house a home starts with color, and color expert Bonnie Krims is a firm believer that color can make you a lot more comfortable in your home than a lack of. “This year, regardless of where you live, we’ll see paint colors that are based on the outdoors, especially green. This can be anything from a soothing olive green to a bold, bright emerald. Neutral, earthy palettes will include warm sandy tones, browns, and rust colors as well as highly saturated, dark cocoa and coffee colors,” she says.
In addition to nature-inspired neutrals, we’ll also see many more freshly painted white walls. “Warm whites are making a major comeback,” she adds.
Timeless for a reason, tried and true neutrals will remain a popular paint color choice in 2022. Anything from neutral gray and white to classic ivory and beige is key to creating a space that is adaptable and timeless yet creates the perfect backdrop to allow your personality to shine through.
Grays and white-on-white color schemes: “We’re predicting color trends from the last two years will continue,” says Green Valley Painting. “Last year, interior grays and whites were the preferred color scheme choices. Currently, clients are still selecting gray, white-on-white colors schemes, or single colors for their projects – even opting to have the walls and ceilings the same color and sheen. Low sheen has been popular for several years now, and I see clients expressing the desire for less sheen on their walls and trim. A preference for a more organic natural finish seems to be growing and having the light and airy farmhouse look is trending in Northern California.”
Greige: Soft neutrals that play well with other colors will also be essential in 2022. “Trends come and go, but greige stands the test of time and looks fabulous with an array of fresh, cozy, and even jewel-toned colors,” says Monica Hart, Brittany Hart, and Cheyenne Hart, From the HartLand. “Our go-to is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (OC-23), a no-fail perfect neutral. Paired with crisp white trim, Classic Gray adds a clean look to fresh colors, yet easily wraps a room in snugness when paired with soft off-white and darker tones.”
Warm and bright neutrals paired with earth tones: Don’t say goodbye to neutrals just yet. Moving away from cooler grays, navy, and stark white, there’s a trend towards warm neutrals paired with an earthy palette with green undertones. According to Heather Thompson of Heather Thompson Design Studio, “Many homeowners jumped hard on the Modern Farmhouse trend of the past 5-10 years here in Nashville, TN. But now I’m seeing the collective move from cool grays and stark whites toward more color, more warmth. Earthy, organic natural tones reminiscent of the mid-century period are strong on the playing field. Add doses of clay, cocoa brown, taupe, and ecru to accent pieces or furnishings to create a lush, warm atmosphere. Overall, homeowners want to keep the main interior (and exterior) colors neutral. The large-scale spaces (think ceilings, vast interior walls, hallways, etc.) are leaning more toward warm bright neutrals like Sherwin Williams Alabaster, Gossamer Veil, or Aesthetic White.”
And that’s not all that’s trending, with home paint giants Sherwin Williams, PPG, Valspar, Behr, and Benjamin Moore all choosing green tones for their colors of the year for 2022, it’s pretty clear that this year’s trend is a move toward fresh, organic and florid-inspired earth tones. “Green tones are definitely having a moment and will continue this year and next. Some experts claim it results from the pandemic and more people spending time outdoors, which certainly rings true with my clients. Many of them are looking to bring the light, airy freshness of nature to their interiors this year,” she adds.
But if you’re looking to invite green colors into your space in small doses, she suggests incorporating them in non-traditional areas–like millwork accent walls, cabinetry, doors, and even trim– and leaving large swathes of walls light, bright, and neutral (warm-white or putty). “These tones are–as the names suggest–whispers, mists, and fog. They are wisps of color (muted or light gray-greens) that have more warmth than their clean, cool ‘silver sage’ counterparts from 10 years ago.”
Warm browns and reds
If you’re looking to inject some warmth into your space, browns and reds will be popular paint colors to keep an eye on in 2022. While these are colors commonly seen during the fall season, this autumn-inspired color palette can be incorporated year-round.
Rich reds: “Our trending color is warm and bold happy colors,” says Winning Colors Painting. They recommend Benjamin Moore’s Raisin Torte 2083-10 as their winning color. “Nita Riccardi, President of Winning Colors Inc, painted the exterior of her 1872 Victorian-style house in this color. If you’re looking for a warm interior off-white, go with Benjamin Moore’s CSP-245 Stoneware that has beautiful undertones.”
Caramel and cognac hues: As our external world continues in uncertainty, Susan Jamieson, Bridget Beari Colors sees a shift in creating home spaces that feel snug and reassuring. “Warm, comforting colors in classic caramel and cognac hues will be on-trend in 2022,” she says. “The goal is to evoke a sense of security and wellbeing. Bridget Beari Colors “Gilla” is a rich caramel paint color that wraps a room in welcoming contentment. We love it in kitchens as a deliciously warm contrast to bright white cabinetry. Bridget Beari Colors ‘Tooney Fish’ is a deeper chestnut tone with burnt caramel undertones that is perfect in living rooms and bedrooms. In furnishings, we are choosing cognac-colored leather and velvet on plump seating that becomes more inviting and comfortable over time. Plush rugs in the same hues bring softness underfoot and withstand increased foot traffic as we stay at home.”
Dark and bold colors
Ready to take the plunge into bold colors? 2022 is the year to do so. Experts are predicting the rise of strong hues to add a stylish and vibrant touch to the home. While many people may think sticking with a classic white or neutral will brighten up a drab room, you may be surprised to find that incorporating a daring pop of color might help add the right bit of flair to a room.
Bold brights: “For 2022, I think we’ll be seeing brighter, cheerier colors accenting white walls,” says Shoshanna Portman, Shoshanna Color & Interior Design. “Most of us are ready to brighten our environment, and one way to do that is to look to unusual areas to add some color. For example, consider painting your interior doors. It’s a great way to add interest. Some fun colors that can still feel neutral include Sherwin Williams’ Luau Green or Sherwin Williams’ Indigo Batik. Both will bring some color into a hallway that will still play well with most other colors in any adjoining rooms. Another way to add pops of color is to paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Don’t be afraid to get daring; try Sherwin Williams’ Show Stopper for a fun red kitchen island or Sherwin Williams’ Intense Teal for the bottom kitchen cabinets. If you’re feeling especially cheery, add some yellow to your bathroom with Sherwin Williams’ June Day on the vanity. All these colors will work beautifully with white walls.”
Another way to bring bold color into your home interior is to add it to the ceiling. “Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black really adds some flair when paired with white walls such as Sherwin Williams Greek Villa. Remember, regardless of the trends, what really matters is what makes you happy. Your space is an extension of who you are, and as such, it should be a place that makes you feel happy to call it home,” she adds.
Moody hues: Speaking of their love for darker colors, Texas House Of Paint also recommends two colors from Sherwin Williams that are sure to bring the drama. “Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is a great option since it’s dark but not quite as dark as black – it’s a clean, pure and rich charcoal color. If that’s too dark, then I also really like Sherwin Williams Urban Bronze. It’s a beautiful earthy mix between brown and gray,” they say.
Add dark drama to your home exterior: Dark and bold colors don’t have to be limited to an accent wall, they can also be used to highlight your home exterior’s architectural details and add major curb appeal. Architectural Color Consultant Amanda Hart predicts the return of dark colors to make a daring exterior statement. “Dark Drama is a timeless, classic, sophisticated neutral – think the ‘LBD’ (Little Black Dress) of paint colors,” she says. “The fastest fix for your facade is a dark paint color that will camouflage and recede architectural eye-sores. Dark colors suggest stability and permanence while also versatile and contrasting to complement traditional and modern homes. Dark painted home exteriors also show off the natural wood, brick, stone, and/or landscaping of your home. There’s no faster or more powerful way to transform the exterior look of your house overnight than paint. If you had only 24 hours to make the biggest, profitable improvement to your house, this would be it.”
Switch things up
When it comes to paint color, the options are truly endless. And while there will always be the tried-and-true classics, experts are seeing a trend towards flipping classics on their heads to try something new.
Explore new color ideas: “As people emerge from their COVID cocoons, we’ve seen one trend emerging that we expect will continue in 2022: people are going opposite,” says Susan Mintz of America’s Color Consultants. “People are welcoming change and looking to stamp individuality on their homes in many different ways and are no longer afraid of color to do it. Those with warm or beige walls are opting for cool grays, whites, and gray greens. Those who have been living with cooler colors are opting to warm them up.”
She notes that clients in their forever homes are asking for bolder, brighter colors and are not likely to follow suggested color trends. At the same time, clients who plan to sell in 3-5 years continue to opt for the lighter neutrals that work with their decor. “Agreeable Gray, Sea Salt, and Ancient Marble by Sherwin-Williams; Gray Owl and Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore continue their popularity streak. The beautiful gray-green shades that paint manufacturers are highlighting for 2022 are proving to be popular with clients doing a total renovation or for new builds (October Mist-Benjamin Moore; Evergreen Fog-Sherwin Williams),” she recommends.
Susan also adds that highlighting architectural elements will be a big trend in 2022. “Another striking trend to emerge is the desire to add personality to one’s home through the addition of architectural elements such as wainscotting, coffered ceilings, and “feature” walls created with furring strips in various patterns. Many clients are also painting their stair railings and balusters a dark brown/black or deep gray color. Some are even trying out these dark colors on the window/door framing and moldings of a ‘trial’ room.”
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