Farewell! Designers Say These Are The Paint Trends To Leave Behind In 2022

See ya never (or at least not soon).

2021 Idea House Kitchen with White Walls and Painted Floor
Photo: Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Our favorite thing about the new year? The motivation to try something different. It could be an exercise or a food, but in our case, it's probably a design trend. Whether it has to do with a fun finish or transforming tile, the only thing that never really changes in our world is the constant inspiration we're surrounded by. While it's true that trends are never out forever, these are the ones we're saying goodbye to for now—and what we're trying instead.

2021 Idea House Kitchen with White Walls and Painted Floor
Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Subdued Tones

"2023 is going to be all about color saturation," claims Katie Vance, partner and chief creative officer of interiors, architecture, and construction firm Powell in Nashville, Tennessee. Vance sees raspberry and garnets in our future, while Betsy Berry, principal at B. Berry Interiors in Charleston, South Carolina predicts other jewel tones such as deep magenta and moody blue. "This elevates the space immediately, adding an element of glamour and mystique," she explains.

Sherwin-Williams Seaworthy SW 7620 in Library with Built-In Bookshelves and French Doors
Photo: Mimi & Hill

Industrial Neutrals

Neutrals are never really out, but bright white and cool gray definitely are. Instead, they're evolving into creamier, earthier hues, says Gena Kirk, VP of Design Studio at homebuilder KB Home. "This subtle change can have a dynamic impact on your space," she explains before suggesting Mushroom and Foothills by Sherwin-Williams. And if you really need a white? Her current go-to is Natural Linen, once again by Sherwin-Williams. Anastasia Casey, founder of The Identité Collective, IDCO Studio, and Design Camp in Austin, Texas has noticed the same shift for a different reason. "Bolder neutrals like chocolate brown and charcoal gray have gained popularity for a cozier, European-inspired vibe."

Guest Suite Fireplace
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Standard Finishes

We've been using solely flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss paint for far too long. It's time to mix it up. The first up-and-coming finish on our wishlist? Limewash. "Limewash paints have become a designer favorite for their ability to convey a sense of age and permanence, adding depth and movement to walls," explains Casey, who recommends Portola Paints to anyone trying the trend. "A limewash is a lovely way to add color variation and texture in a way that is more dynamic than paint but more subtle than wallpaper or millwork." We're also crushing on all the high shine. "Lacquer reflects light beautifully, making it ideal for darker spaces with less windows, such as a dining room," Berry shares.

Farrow and Ball Green Smoke Paint Color in Living Room
Jeff Hurr Photography

Keeping Paint for the Walls

Some people are still clutching their pearls at the idea of covering up hardwood with paint, but not us. As Bethany Adams of her namesake interior design firm in Louisville, Kentucky explains, "Painted wood floors are an easy way to freshen up a space, and less of an investment than refinishing or new carpeting." Besides, painting floors isn't a forever thing. Decide you don't love the look anymore? Sand it down and try something else.

Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam Home in Charleston, SC Foyer
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

White Trim

Once upon a time, the only way to freshen up trim was to slap a coat of white paint on it—not anymore. "It's time to say goodbye to colorful walls with bright white trim," advises Leah Ashley, interior stylist and DIY expert from Living with Leah in Austin, Texas. "It feels not only dated but also harsh." Her rec? "Opt for a trim that's the same color as your walls to make your room appear larger and feel more fresh."

Benjamin Moore Normandy Blue
Normandy Blue by Benjamin Moore adds depth to this room designed by Megan Molten. Margaret Wright
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles