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2021 Interior Design Color Trends

Posted by Elaina on

Not sure on what color to pick for your next kitchen and bath remodel? Looking for some color and design inspiration? Want to know what colors designers are using in their projects? We’ve got the scoop!

When you arrive at your local hardware store, it can be very easy to be overwhelmed by the large swaths of endless paint color possibilities when you’re not quite sure on which direction to go. 

Something I wish I knew before I painted my whole house is that many top paint companies share their color trends and palettes every year on their websites. Let’s check out what colors they’ve highlighted for the year.


Soft and Warm Neutrals

Members Club by Studio Gameiro

Now that we’re halfway through 2021 (can you believe it?!) it’s become strikingly clear that warm neutrals and even the beige of the 2000s have come back in full force. Some have taken that neutral color and pushed it a little pink, as seen in Behr’s 2021 Color of the Year in Canyon Dusk

Canyon Dusk by Behr

I believe this color trend can be largely attributed to the effects of the pandemic. With more time spent at home, families and people want to make their spaces more cozy, inviting and comforting. 

We all need the equivalent of a warm hug and these colors embody that feeling. This warm neutral color trend is also a major push back against the cold grays that were hugely popular pre-pandemic.

Throughout the post I’ve aggregated colors from the 2021 palettes of Behr, Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore to compare.

Colors by Behr

Colors by Sherwin-Williams

Colors by Benjamin Moore
Design by Kelly Wearstler

For a bit of character and movement, limewash paints which typically have naturally derived pigments from the earth, are typically available in many soft neutrals and provide a similar effect to Moroccon Tadelakt as seen below.

Roman Clay in Patagonia by Portola Paints
Authentic Moroccan Tadelakt

It’s hard to be dated or go out of style if you opt for a classic neutral color. Even if beige did eventually become passé, it’s in again! The safest and classic option is to go with a true neutral that doesn’t lean too pink or yellow. Paint on a wall is easy enough to cover, but choosing a color for kitchen or bath cabinetry definitely deserves much more consideration, thought and commitment.

Arcos by Joe Adsett Architects

Calming Blues

Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore

Did you know that the world’s most popular color is blue? Benjamin Moore’s 2021 Color of the Year is Aegean Teal, a soft and calming mid-tone blue that invokes the feeling of crystal clear waters and vacation time.

It’s easy to draw some connections as to why blue is so popular. Biologically, human bodies on average are 60% water, we crave it and need it to survive. Earth is referred to as the “little blue planet” because our oceans cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface. Our sky is blue. Denim is usually dyed blue. And despite varying cultural preferences which value other colors as being the luckiest, blue still wins out in popularity by wide margins. 

Psychologically, blue can invoke feelings of calmness and stability. In a world full of stress we can all use a bit of calm. Here are a few blues to inspire that run the gamut from light to dark.

Colors by Behr

Colors by Sherwin-Williams
Colors by Benjamin Moore

 

Design by Michelle Gage, Photography by Rebecca McAlpin

Blue kitchens have been all the rage in recent years. It’s an agreeable color for most people and looks great with a lot of hardware finishes. Take note of how some blues pair with certain hardware colors in the images to follow.

Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball, Featured in Domino, Photography by Nicole Franzen
Modern Deco Kitchen by Ginny Macdonald

For those less willing to commit to entire rooms, walls, patterns or cabinets to one color, see the reclaimed vintage example below of incorporating color just on the island for some character and contrast.

Photography by Joanna Henderson

Restorative Greens

Design by Lesigne Julien

Second only to blue’s #1 spot in color popularity in countries like the US and China, is green! Green reminds us of the natural world, it can be invigorating and soothing. Studies have shown that green may even help to improve creativity and boost reading ability.  

Trends for green have appeared in both Behr and Sherwin-Williams’ color forecasts. Check out Behr’s Quiet Haven Color Palette and Sherwin-Williams’ Sanctuary and Tapestry palettes. High end British paint manufacturer Farrow & Ball have also shared 2021 Colour Trends: Natural Greens.

Colors by Behr

Colors by Sherwin-Williams

Green kitchens are particularly striking and bold. They can range in color from bluish-greens to yellow-ish greens, each giving a different feel for the environment. 

Bluish teal greens like the kitchen above feel more moody and classic, with a confident edginess that reminds me of Copenhagen while yellow-green kitchens in the olive and avocado family look a bit more casual and relaxed, befitting an Italian or English countryside.

deVOL Kitchens
Oska Jungle Green Matt Porcelain by Mandarin Stone
Design by Faith Blakeney, Photography by Jessica Alexander

There’s also your mid-tone emerald green that always looks fantastic with gold and brass hardware and gives off a preppy glam vibe.

Design by GRT Architects, Photography by Nicole Franzen

If these options so far have been too bold, there’s always a way to tone down a color by adding more gray to it like the stunning kitchen below. A gray washed color like this will be more rigid against the changing tides of interior design trends.

Photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp, Design by Emily Henderson, Styling by Brady Tolbert
Photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp, Design by Emily Henderson, Styling by Brady Tolbert

Earthly Rust

Faina

Rich shades of terracotta, red ochre, burnt oranges and rusty browns have exploded in the fashion and interior design scenes for a while now and range in undertone from pale pink to sunset orange to red. These colors meld beautifully with the furniture trends of today that have incorporated more natural materials such as rattan and cane as well as textiles exemplifying jute and sisal.

Photography by Anson Smart

This intoxicating color trend is perhaps my favorite, reminding me of vintage terracotta pots and rich earthen clay. All the major paint players have included some form of this color family in their 2021 palettes.

Colors by Behr

Colors by Sherwin-Williams

Colors by Benjamin Moore

For some inspiration take a look at the range of shades from an almost coral terracotta color featured at Australian restaurant Fonda to orange creamsicle shades in Mandarin Stone’s Groove Terracotta Porcelain.

Fonda
Groove Terracotta Porcelain by Mandarin Stone
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As the world begins to slowly emerge from the pandemic, hopefully we can explore places like these again soon which have likely for hundreds if not thousands of years have laid witness to these natural colors.

Photography by Jaanus Jagomägi
Ourika, Morocco | Photography by Orlova Maria


Exuberant Ochre

Design by Flack Studio | Photography by Sharyn Cairns

Late last year, Pantone announced their colors of the year, including Ultimate Gray and a bright sunny yellow aptly named Illuminating. Yellow commands attention; think of caution tape, highlighting markers or a supercar. Like the sun’s rays it gives us energy and adds warmth and dynamism in a room.

Design by Lonika Chande

Colors by Behr

Colors by Sherwin-Williams

Colors by Benjamin Moore
Design by Flack Studio | Photography by Anson Smart
Design by Flack Studio | Photography by Anson Smart
Design by Tribe Creative London
Design by Ashe Leandro

I hope you found this post inspiring and insightful to this year's color trends! Check out these resources for more information and ideas on color trends:

If you're feeling especially inspired to update your hardware, our homepage is always filled with the latest collections.


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