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The Hottest Paint Color Trends of 2024 Might Leave You with Déjà Vu


The new year may bring boomers, Gen-Xers, and millennials a curious case of déjà vu. If something akin to Y2K anxiety creeps in around midnight, examine your surroundings—specifically the color scheme. According to experts, 2024’s palette will be dominated by the chromatic hits of the ’90s and early aughts. And perhaps that’s not a coincidence. With consumers craving what international trend forecasting agency WGSN calls “a psychological mood booster, inspiring hope and positivity in a period of uncertainty,” it makes sense that we’ve dialed the nostalgia back to before 2008’s global financial crisis.


A cursory scan through Sherwin-Williams’s most popular paint colors by decade reminds us of the 1990s fixation on beige, terra cotta, putty, sage, and earthy red—all born from that period’s Tuscan- and Southwestern-influenced designs. The same list specifies chocolate brown, latte brown, and spa blue as 2000s favorites. Younger millennials and Gen-Xers will appreciate ELLE DECOR’s breakdown of the most popular paint colors the year you were born, which begins in 1989. It declares Behr’s Wild Berry the winner for 2001, while Pratt & Lambert’s Mahogany—a deep burgundy accented by plum undertones—is 1994’s most popular.


This year’s list reads a bit like a gourmet grocery receipt and provides a feast for the eyes. “The warm, inviting tones found in nature are what clients were missing after years of gray,” Alexandria, Virginia–based DuVäl Reynolds offers in the New York Design Center’s 2024 Design Predictions. Indeed, the trend toward warm tones that we began seeing last year will only continue. “These warm tones that feel cozy might be a reaction to work-from-home nesting—and this is just the next generation,” says interior designer Gideon Mendelson. “They also feel retro, which is fun!”


The primary bedroom in the Future Perfect’s new gallery/home in Los Angeles features an enveloping custom chocolate-brown wall paint.


The one color on this list that almost everyone agreed upon: dark brown. More than 90 percent of the designers who responded to the NYDC’s survey said that brown will be the It color. “I have been waiting for brown to be the new neutral for years,” interior designer Noz Nozawa shares. While many, including New York designer David Frazier, pointed out that brown is always in, he predicts that “rich, chocolate browns will be popular in 2024.”


The 624 designers who participated in 1stDibs’ Designer Trends Survey agree. “The growing popularity of dark brown speaks to our turn toward nature and rooms that have a nostalgic feel, whether that’s connecting back to the 19th century or just to the 1970s,” says 1stDibs editorial director Anthony Barzilay Freund.


Carol Miller, color and trend expert at York Wallcoverings, whose 2024 color of the year (COTY) is Bay Brown, agrees. “With the emergence of quiet luxury, we’re seeing a gravitation toward warm, understated neutrals across fashion and furnishings alike,” she adds.



Sue Bird (left) and Megan Rapinoe in the dining room of their Manhattan pied-à-terre, designed by Mark Grattan.


Speaking of understated hues, sage has reentered the chat. Look no further than our September 2023 cover: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe’s Manhattan dining room devised by Mark Grattan. The ELLE DECOR A-List designer deftly pairs a sage wallcovering by Élitis with chocolate brown upholstery for an urban space that feels grounded in nature. Of course, Grattan was ahead of the curve.


1stDibs found that designers are gravitating toward this soothing green over the vibrant emerald that was en vogue last year. “There’s a gentle warmth to sage green, which speaks to our growing desire to create spaces that feel in harmony with nature,” Barzilay Freund posits. Further evidence comes from English paint company Graham & Brown, which named Viridis, a sage tone, as its COTY, citing its ability to blur “the lines between the outside and inside.”


Icy Blue

Mary McDonald chose a crisp sky blue tint for this dressing room.


Among a bevy of earth tones, icy blue is the perfect palate cleanser. Dan Mazzarini, of BHDM Design and Archive, says that along with the dusty, organic palette predicted, blues will have their moment. “I love cornflower blue and can’t wait to play with Benjamin Moore’s color of the year, Blue Nova,” he tells us. “Blue is nurturing and from nature. Calming in its aesthetic and powerful in its spirit, blue is regal and realistic.” Designers and paint companies are anticipating a cold plunge. According to the 1stDibs report, light blue is trending upward. Sherwin-Williams and C2 are betting on a crisp light blue with their colors of the year—Upward and Thermal, respectively.


Fiery Red

Milan couple Paolo Castellarin and Didier Bonnin doused their apartment in a look-at-me fire-engine red.


“We’ve been seeing a lot of warm, nostalgic reds in fashion, and I’m excited to see more of them in the home in 2024,” trendsetting interior designer Shea McGee tells us. “In the red color family, I’m seeing rich and cozy terra-cotta and dusty pinks, deep red tones like burgundy and rust, soft mauve, and shades of brown with earthy, red undertones.” When applied to interiors, the saturated red that hit fall 2023 runways has the power to boost quieter tones. “Basic earth tones become elevated when paired with jewel tones like ruby red,” interior designer Susan Hayward says.



The peach-kissed living room in the Washington, D.C., home of architect Carmel Greer.


Peach, apricot, persimmon? Regardless of what you call the soft terra-cotta tones that we’re seeing everywhere, they’ll have staying power in the year to come. Take it from trend forecasting agency WGSN, which named a peachy hue their COTY, tying the shade to our ever-growing focus on wellness. “Apricot Crush signifies the importance of nourishing the mind and body. It is the perfect hue for a world seeking calm and optimism, bringing a necessary pick-me-up as consumers continue to grapple with a range of emotions and uncertainty about the future,” explains Clare Smith, color strategist at WGSN. HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams and Pantone came forward with similarly juicy picks—Persimmon and 13-1023 Peach Fuzz.



A deep berry hue covers this disco-chic living room in a Manhattan home designed by Alton Bechara.


In 2023, we left Millennial Pink behind for Barbiecore. However, we won’t be living in a Barbie world for much longer. Handmade marketplace Etsy says they’ve seen searches for hot pink decor decline by 58 percent. Instead, a more grown-up and versatile red-pink blend, which they call berry, is coming to the fore. Unlike its neon predecessor, this shade mixes rich reds and blue resulting in a more sophisticated jewel tone, similar to tourmaline. “Using jewel tones for accessories in a room allows for dimension and an opportunity to “change things up” to always keep the room feeling new,” Hayward advises. Solid advice for incorporating any trending tone on this list.



Kelly Wearstler added warmth to this Toronto living room by painting walls and ceiling in a comforting tan tint.


Warm, light brown will replace gray as a neutral of choice in the new year. “After years of gray tone and monotone rooms, I think we all want to see some warmth and color in a room while still keeping to that earthy palette,” says Hayward. In fact, Farrow & Ball anticipates that layering multiple sandy, caramel tones in one room will be on-trend. “Many of us are drawn to clay tones. However, we also want to make our homes feel as bright and spacious as possible,” says the paint company’s color curator Joa Studholme. “Using a lighter tone like Oxford Stone on the walls and the much stronger Tanner’s Brown on the trim instantly makes the walls feel lighter and the room feel bigger.”

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