COLOR: Where We’ve Been –Where We’re Going

February 17, 2023 § 2 Comments

Should you care about color trends? When it comes to predicting what paint colors will be popular in the year ahead, are you in one of these groups?

  • Ds & Ds (Decorators and DIYers. We love color trends, whether we follow them or not.)
  • Non-Ds (Non-Decorators. These people are not watching HGTV or Nick on YouTube. But maybe they should.)
  • HS & HBs (Home Sellers and Home Buyers. Both groups are aware of color trends because realtors talk about them a lot.)
  • RPs (Regular People trying to furnish or update their homes.)

Regardless of which group you’re in, if at some point you want to refresh your home for yourself or you want to sell it for top dollar, you will bump into the latest color trends.

One Caveat: History is the boss of me

Historic homes often celebrated color, florals, and large patterns all at the same time. If you own an historic home, you are exempt from color trends of all kinds except those associated with the original style of your home. You know who you are. But if you want to see the angst that other people experience when it comes to color in their homes, read on.

Jumping ahead a few decades …

Here’s Where We’ve Been

The Tuscan Trend

This Mediterranean-inspired period started in full swing in the 2000s, particularly in new construction. There was lots of beige and taupe with wrought iron, ornate carvings, faux finishes, and cabinet door glazes. Many people who were building or renovating at the time seemed to want to live in Tuscany.

An Italian villa or a great American subdivision?

The Gray Trend

Then in 2010 when stainless appliances were well-ensconced in new construction and renovated kitchens, Sherwin Williams coined the phrase, the “Graying of America,” and introduced a palette of gray wall colors that replaced beige in a major design shift. Builders and renovators jumped on board.

But people turned to gray in kind of a big way. Over a short amount of time everything turned gray: bedding, walls, furniture, and even flooring. Colors from previous color trends were gone from the shelves. Finding peach towels, for example, was all but impossible in this decade.

Color trend here?

Re-Enter Brass Metal

In some parts of the country where sunshine is infrequent, homes that were entirely gray began to feel a bit chilly inside. A resurgence of brass (but in a more modern finish) entered the scene and started to warm up the grays.

Not shiny polished brass. Brushed Brass.

Enter Farmhouse Wood and White

Then with the popularity of the architectural Farmhouse Style, people were drawn to reclaimed wood, which again warmed up the grays, and white kitchen cabinets that lightened and brightened the previous all-gray scheme.

Wood warms a space naturally.

Before long, everyone wanted white walls. Regardless of house style. Light, airy and open was the mantra with minimal window treatments.

Repurposed furniture and yard sale finds. And white.

But the thing about white walls is that they can look chalky or just overly bright if there is too much natural light.

Enter Greige (and how DO you pronounce it?)

Greige (a gray-beige pronounced, big surprise, GRAYge) parachuted into real estate as stagers tried to hit the middle between gray, beige, and white to satisfy the largest swath of buyers. And greige became the go-to bank of paint colors. Greige is warmer than white but it does not darken the room or look drab. Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray was a favorite.

Still recommending grays and greiges in 2020.
Greige and gray!

Time to Move On

Yet right on cue, the design community and countless influencers, including companies that want to sell paint, moved to creamy off-whites and back to beige. For those of us in the business awhile, it was like coming full circle. But alas this is not a new Tuscan Trend.

OKAY, pause here.

If you have a recently painted gray interior and you love it, keep it. You do not have to repaint. In some cases gray is the perfect neutral and regardless, we can work with it. You are in a prime position to hop on the color trend and ride into the future.

Here’s Where We’re Going

COLOR! Big art, colorful accessories. Regardless of your wall color, adding art and accessories will refresh your space.

Trying to soften your gray look, add pastels.
Trying to jazz up a greige space? Add bright color.
Add any shade of pink to charcoal walls.
Add jewel tones to brighten the black & white.
To jump on the trend, add patterns.
Embrace it! Go for drama!

If you need help with color, feel free to comment below, hit the button for a Color Consultation, or shoot me an email at

I would be happy to help you.

Hope you have a Colorful Day!

Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach


§ 2 Responses to COLOR: Where We’ve Been –Where We’re Going

  • Lauren T says:

    Great post, Barbara. I, for one, fall into the “RP” (regular people) category. Always just seeking beautiful and harmonious decorating that is timeless (traditional) with a touch of whimsy. I love color, so glad the industry is trending in that direction. Otherwise, it’s hard to find things in the stores in colors I like (earthy colors). Right now I’m living in a rented home with white walls, and can’t wait to buy a home soon so I can make it my own. Your tips are great, keep on writing! Lauren

    • Barbara Meglis says:

      Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your love of and quest for color. We’re out there! And it is wonderful to know people who appreciate color like we do. Thank you again for your thoughtful comments.

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