The muted green has a long history of wooing homeowners.
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When we're searching for the perfect paint color to give our spaces a fresh face-lift, we tend to look toward forecasters who've selected of-the-moment shades for inspiration. 2021 was all about comfortable, earthy hues, such as Behr's terracotta-like Canyon Dusk to Benjamin Moore's sea-inspired Aegean Teal. For 2022, paint brands have made clear the defining color for the new year—sage green. From Sherwin-Williams' Evergreen Fog and Valspar's Blanched Thyme to Benjamin Moore's October Mist, this color's major decorating moment is here to stay.

This shade also caught the eye of Pantone—and they are declaring it back in a big way. According to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the color authority, sage has skyrocketed in popularity across social media lately. And if you consider the feelings evoked by the muted green, it makes a whole lot of sense considering the circumstances. "Sage has a soothing appeal that leaves us in a calm and meditative state," says Pressman. "It expresses a need for cooperation and collaboration, not surprising when people are separated literally and mentally." Sage has a long history of wooing homeowners. According to Pantone, similar shades of green popped up in the '90s, when urban and suburban dwellers sought ways to reconnect with nature as an antidote to stressful times.

Watch: 7 Paint Colors We're Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2021:

Ashley McCollum, associate marketing manager at PPG, agrees with the soothing power of sage. "Whether for its calming qualities or its health benefits, green is a staple for wellbeing—something many of us are craving following the past two years," she says. PPG selected Olive Sprig as its 2022 Color of the Year, because it "allows for a feeling of healing and balance that nature can bring into our lives," adds McCollum, who appreciates the shade's versatility for interiors. Paired with bolder accent colors and elements, it acts as a neutral. Combining this green with softer neutrals allows it to pop within a space.  

The color has had a renaissance within the past few years, with trend reports painting the serene green as a versatile hue you can splash anywhere. While that still rings true, Sue Wadden, director of marketing at Sherwin-Williams, expects to see greens growing big in the kitchen specifically. "Lighter and more muted shades, like sage, create a calming and soothing effect, especially next to a classic white subway tile," she says. "A lighter tone also enables other surfaces to be the star, such as veined marble countertops and backsplashes."

Whether you choose to redo your kitchen, bedroom, or sunroom with sage, there's one thing we can probably all agree on: Anything that promotes calm in a post-2020 world is well worth a try.