That and a cocktail, actually.

By Marisa Spyker
September 28, 2020
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The beginning of fall is typically a time where we anticipate a lot of things—the changing leaves, the cooler temps, and the unapologetic permission to OD on pumpkin everything. For the decorating obsessed among us, it’s also a time to anticipate the first color forecasts of the season.

Each year, paint giants from Behr to Sherwin-Williams tap their resident experts for their predictions on which hues will make a splash in the coming year, based on everything from current trends to the collective mood of the moment. Last year, we watched as brighter, bolder hues were unveiled in anticipation of a year filled with optimism and confidence. (Are you laughing or crying yet?)

But for 2021—judging by the soon-to-be-trending shades that have been released thus far—the needle seems to be moving in a more subdued direction. In paint brand PPG’s first-ever palette of the year, colors inspired by nature and nostalgia aim to promote the sense of calm and wellness we’ve been craving all year. “When the world experiences events that cause unrest, anxiety and grief, we tend to naturally gravitate toward compassionate colors that allow us to create a personal retreat from the world,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager, architectural and industrial coatings. “These comfort colors are similar to comfort foods—both offering a certain sense of familiarity and normalcy when facing the unknown.”

Walls painted PPG Big Cypress
| Credit: Courtesy of PPG

Consisting of a trio of earthy neutrals—a “brown sugar beige,” a soothing watercolor blue, and a shaded ginger that’s “the equivalent of a big, comforting hug for your home—the Be Well palette is “intended for the consumer who wants to fully embrace mindfulness and intention,” says the brand. The shades are designed to complement one another, though on their own can also pair with greenery, blonde or natural-brown toned woods, and layers of texture for the ultimate cozy feel.

PPG isn’t the only brand with relaxation on the mind for 2021. In Behr’s recently released color forecast, consisting of a palette of 21 trendy shades, “comfort and personalization” were the driving forces behind the inspiration. “A new, ‘elevated’ articulation of ‘comfort’ goes beyond traditional beige, gray and green hues, and embraces color in a way that can redefine and enhance any type of space inside or outside the home,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color at Behr. Organized into six palettes, the 21 shades include light, warm neutrals, restorative blues and greens, and soft, gentle hues from pale pink to Smoky White.

Walls painted Behr Royal Orchard
| Credit: Courtesy of Behr

While colors that bring comfort seem to be top of mind in forecasts for the new year, there’s also a hint of brighter things to come. Both brands included complementary color stories that speak to our desire for optimism in the new year, with vibrant turquoise, sunny saffron, and Euphoric Magenta among the mood-boosting hues that will resonate with homeowners in 2021.

We’ll gladly take comfort with a side of happiness, thank you. See more about PPG’s Color Palette here, and Behr’s palette here.