We spoke to industry experts about the shades that will define the coming year—and how the hues can dictate our moods.
We tend to define our favorite colors and stick with them as other aspects of our lives change. Those who like bright shades are more likely to splash them up on their walls, for example, while others who gravitate toward neutrals commonly keep their spaces just as calm.
This year, after plenty of change, you might feel the urge to upgrade your home with a new, yet predictable coat of paint. Or maybe you’ve developed a ho-hum attitude toward your preferred color choices after spending so much time inside, and are looking to wander outside your comfort zone. "Consumers are craving stability now more than ever," says Andrea Magno, director of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore. "As the desire to express personal style increases, paint colors provide a great opportunity to showcase that creativity."
Pale Moon by Benjamin Moore is a soft and subtle yellow shade.
"Paint color has a direct impact on the mood of homeowners and their guests," adds Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. "We’re seeing homeowners lean toward engaging hues that are reminiscent of the outdoors. Calm hues and nature-based colors provide balance and a breath of fresh air in your space."
In anticipation of 2022, we examined industry-wide paint color forecasts and spoke to experts at Benjamin Moore, Behr, and ECOS Paints about the shades they predict will be most popular in the year ahead.
Greens, Greens, Greens
October Mist, a gentle sage-green hue, is Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2022.
If you’re open to making a change that can easily adapt to your surroundings, look no further than Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2022, October Mist. "It’s a soft, silvery-green that can transition from soft and dreamy to invigorating and nurturing," says Magno. The gentle, sage-green color can transform thrifted furniture for a guest room or accentuate existing earthy tones in a living room. "October Mist makes it easy to create combinations with a wide range of colors," Magno continues. "As we worked on it, it quickly became clear that this color creates a canvas for experimentation."
Everlasting Sage by ECOS Paints is an ideal color for those who want a noticeable and stylish change without much heavy lifting.
Emma Pugliares, marketing director at ECOS Paints, agrees, which is why the brand’s Everlasting Sage is also a top choice. "People are looking for softer tones to create a sense of warmth and well-being in their homes," Pugliares says. "This calming color changes with the light and is endlessly adaptable."
Green-painted kitchens and olive-toned walls gained increasing popularity over the past couple of years, and it looks like the pale-green paint shade will continue its reign for the foreseeable future. Sherwin-Williams named Evergreen Fog its 2022 Color of the Year, and Breakfast Room Green popped up on Farrow and Ball’s list of top five paint shades for the coming year.
Punchy Earth Tones
Behr’s Perfect Penny is an ideal shade for those who want to lean into earthy, seasonal colors.
Like most of the 2022 paint color trend forecasts we’ve seen so far, Behr’s palette focuses on nature-inspired shades. Woelfel recommends the cranberry-colored Lingonberry Punch as a chance to try something new. This is the type of saturated contender that’ll look great in tight quarters-perhaps in a powder room that needs to be modernized in your home. Paint the ceiling, trim, and even the door in this shade, and complement it with brass or black accents. A slightly brighter option is Behr’s Perfect Penny, which resembles the coin’s copper hue. Woelfel notes that both earth-toned colors would look great in a dining room during a cozy feast.
Shades of Gray
Designer Lisa Tharp created ECOS Paint’s Approaching Dusk shade.
If you enjoy switching out your wardrobe and decor whenever the weather shifts from warm to cool, then ECOS Paint’s Approaching Dusk, created by designer Lisa Tharp, is an ideal shade to channel for fall and winter. "It’s a hazy, violet-infused shade that can be used as a softer alternative to pure gray," Pugliares notes.
Behr’s raven-colored Cracked Pepper is also great for those who want to create a dark and impactful statement. Woelfel recommends using the shade to coat an edgy accent wall in an entryway, paired with wood tones and woven textures. If Cracked Pepper is too stark for your liking, Magno recommends using the navy-blue Mysterious AF shade by Benjamin Moore. It’s a lighter pick that’s still "a moody, deep, earthy hue," she says.
Hint of Violet by Benjamin Moore is a pastel lilac with a cool-gray cast.
For those who’ve always been drawn to bright colors, don’t fret: "Soft, frothy pastels are also trending for 2022," says Magno, who notes that these paint shades "provide a whimsical and airy feel." In Benjamin Moore’s collection, Magno thinks the blue-gray Quiet Moments and pastel-lilac Hint of Violet colors fit the bill, and can work with a wide range of palettes. Try these subtle shades out in bedrooms to create a relaxing environment, or incorporate them into hallways for a harmonious feel.
Breezeway by Behr can work as a calming shade in kitchens, from the walls to the cabinets.
The sea glass–green Breezeway shade by Behr, which marks the brand’s 2022 Color of the Year, can work as a playful accent in kitchens, while the beige hue of Whale Bone by ECOS Paints is perfect for a primary bath. "I’d recommend it in place of a stark, bright white," Pugliares says. "It provides a flexible backdrop for more colorful accents."
In 2022, we’ll also relish cheerful yellows, such as the understated Pale Moon by Benjamin Moore and the brighter, bolder Babouche by Farrow and Ball. Whichever mindset you’re after, these options should give you lots to think about in the months ahead. "It’s all about experimenting and making your own design in 2022," Magno says. "Use the palette as a reflection of your personal style."