2022 interior paint trends to consider before choosing your color

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When you’re moving into a new home, renovating a room, or just wanting to freshen up a space, you’re probably thinking about paint colors — and comparing a no-small collection of paint chips! It can be fun to find just the right shade for your walls, especially if you know what you want or like to browse social media for inspiration. But it can also be challenging to choose from a bewildering array of choices.

It can help to look at the colors that many are looking for right now. We asked two pros: Tommy Smythe, co-founder of the interior design studio TOMand Sharon GrechBenjamin Moore’s Canadian color and design expert – to share the most popular paint choices and what to look for when choosing a color.

According to Grech, colors that feel calm have been trending for more than a year, and there’s also been a shift to cheerful hues. “We want colors that make us feel comfortable in our space,” she said. She’s seen plenty of “nature-inspired” blues and greens this year, as well as warmer options like terracotta and other earthy tones.

Before you settle on your paint, here are some trends and tips to consider.

Warm neutral colors

Both Grech and Smythe said there is a shift away from grays. “We’re seeing a reaction against gray walls,” Smythe said. “A lot of clients and especially most designers are sick and tired of gray walls and interiors. So the whole gray thing is going to shift to warmer neutrals. And by warmer neutrals I really mean beige.” However, the beiges his team has used are more interesting: flax, linen and limestone, combined with a bright white for contrast.

Go green

Both experts agreed that green is an important paint color for 2022 and one that can be used in any room. “There’s a huge … movement toward greenery in the kitchen space and even bathrooms,” Smythe said. “I like to call [it] the fourth neutral… There’s no color that looks bad with green, so it gives you a lot of freedom for the other elements you use in a room.” And the possibilities are endless. “It’s everywhere from sage-like pistachio tones to what I call green-black, which looks like a version of black with green undertones,” he said. “And we really see it almost everywhere.”

Grech highlighted October Mist as an example of Benjamin Moore’s line, but noted that all the major paint brands emphasized soft and subdued greens this year. She suggested looking for a muted mid-tone green, such as pale sage.

Contemporary peach

“[Peach] is a huge, huge color right now that we’re seeing in all sorts of things,” Smythe said. “This current version of peach is very much a soft, very toned-down pink-peach. The ’80s peach was a little more orangish.” It’s a flattering color ideal for a bedroom or any living space you hang out in, he said, “if you’re brave enough to dip back into the peach hue. “

“The clay and earth tones really seem to have become quite popular, dare I say, with the younger crowd,” Grech said. “People [are] interested in the aesthetics of the desert sunset.” Dusty pink clay tones offer a fresh update of millennial pinkthat was part of the zeitgeist since the mid-2010s. “It’s just a little bit more muted, a little bit more livable for everyone, for every room,” Grech said. “But it still has that pinkish tint to it, which is nice.”

She is also enthusiastic about bright, energetic colors such as red, pink and orange. She mentioned Benjamin Moore’s Wild Flower, which she described as “a dusty red with a little orange-pink in it” that goes well with cool blues. She suggested using the bold color as an accent or on a feature wall. “It’s a nice transitional color, but it’s a great pop,” she said.

Nominate Navy

Navy blue kitchens have been everywhere in recent years, says Grech. But if you want to take it further, she suggested using the color to create a “more moody and dramatic” effect in a dining room or bedroom or on an accent wall.

Smythe also recommended navy blue as a chic neutral, a less harsh alternative to black. “Navy blue is a softer color that does almost the same job as black, contrasted with white or cream or lighter colors,” he said.

Decisive factors

“I like to think that any color can work in any room,” Grech said, adding that you just have to find the right intensity for the space. For example, you can use a lighter pink with yellow in it to work with the undertones in your wood floor.

Grech said when you’re starting out, it’s good to think about the vibe you want for the room. “How do you want to feel when you’re in that room?” she said. The function of the space, how and when you will use it and the existing features (e.g. floors and counters) are all important considerations as well.

If you want to see how people are applying popular colors in their homes, take to social media. “You can enter the hashtag, maybe #bluekitchen, and hundreds and hundreds of images of other people’s kitchens with navy blue cabinets pop up,” Smythe said. “And that might give you a kind of permission that didn’t exist before.”

In addition to social media, both experts noted that tools for color visualization can be a helpful starting point, but they definitely recommend applying a paint sample to your wall to see how the color will really look in your space. “There’s no such thing as capturing true color on any screen,” said Smythe. When you look at a photo of a room, the lighting, the mood, even the time of day and year can all affect how that color reads, he said — and it won’t translate the same way in your room.

Finally, Grech said you’ll want to consider the paint finish, as colors can look different depending on whether they’re matte or glossy. Where she saw a lot of high gloss a few years ago, that is no longer the case. “Eggshell and matte,” she said, “are probably the most popular wall glosses.”


Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @trucnguyen.

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