“The mix of earthy tones and textures paired with pastel shades balances this room,” says Nashville designer Rachel Halvorson.
Paige Rumore

Faded, subdued hues are infusing spaces with a new kind of serene sophistication.

The South is hardly shy about color, but right now, it’s making a statement by using hushed palettes. The shades being selected today whisper rather than demand attention. Rooms are being veiled in washed-out blues, dusty pinks, and delicate greens. The lighter hues are layered like neutrals with warm grays and enlivened by bright pops of color in accessories and textiles. “Ever-softer shades of pink, blue, turquoise, and green are showing up in fabrics, wallpapers, and overall design schemes,” says interior designer Lance Jackson, cofounder of Parker Kennedy Living in Commerce, Georgia. Classic textiles are being reinvented in serene color palettes as well. “Picture an 18th-century damask in faded slate blue, pale spa aqua, and soft grays,” says Scott Kravet, chief creative director for Kravet, Inc. In fact, Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt (SW 6204)—a neutral, versatile faint green—is one of the best-selling shades across the South.

Paige Rumore

How do you keep things lively in such a soft space? “Use bold patterns and colors in small doses to keep your eyes moving,” says designer Rachel Halvorson.

Not sure what shade is right for you? We asked three Southern Living Designer Network members share their top hues.

Stardew (SW 9138); Sherwin-Williams

Southern Living

“This serene gray-blue can somehow change color with the light, from  a silvery shade to a  deep blueberry.” 
Jess Dauray
Greensboro, North Carolina
jessicadaurayinteriors.com

Romance (SW 6323); Sherwin-Williams

Southern Living

“The perfect neutral to brighten any room, this color is also soft enough to blend in with the rest  of your home.”
Sarah Moore
Birmingham, Alabama
sarahcatherinedesign.com

Filmy Green (SW 6190); Sherwin-Williams

Southern Living

“A soothing green can do no wrong in any kind of bedroom—from  a master to a nursery.”
Lauren Deloach
Atlanta, Georgia
facebook.com/laurendeloachinteriors