As each year draws to a close, I find myself anxiously awaiting the color trend reports for the following year. There’s just some sort of low-key optimism that comes along with the announcement—the anticipation of new things to come, and the comforting promise of change on the horizon.
Sure, the color trends could be taken at face value—corporate-picked hues selected to influence what shades all our favorite clothes and home accessories will be cast in in the following months—but they can also mean much more than that. In the past several years, companies like Pantone, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and more have used the palette as a porthole to a wider conversation about our world at large. Seen that way, the colors chosen as the following year’s trends are no longer just colors—they’re the physical embodiment of our conversations, our ethos, the times we live in.
While 2021’s colors focused on cultivating a cheerful optimism that was much-needed mid-pandemic, 2022’s hues signal a more relaxed approach to living. For the first time since I can remember, nearly every major paint company is aligned on their color choices (save one—more on that later). And I’m not just talking about all picking a warm hue or a cool hue—no, they almost all chose some variation of green.
From Benjamin Moore’s October Mist to Sherwin-Williams’ Evergreen Fog; Behr’s Breezeway to PPG’s Olive Spring; Farrow and Ball’s Breakfast Room Green to Valspar’s Blanched Thyme, verdant hues were clearly on everyone’s mind when choosing which colors take center stage in 2022. While the shades vary slightly in tonality, they all feel overwhelmingly similar in what they represent—a return to the simplicity of a bygone era; the soothing aspect of nature and time spent in the great outdoors; an invigorated focus on protecting the planet we inhabit. The 2022 Color of the Year paint selections speak to our collective outlook towards all that faces us in our post-pandemic life in the Roaring ‘20s: a careful optimism and hope for better days.
From a design perspective, green is about as versatile as it gets. Known to evoke notions of growth, renewal, and security, it can play well with nearly any decor vibe out there—from mid-century modern and traditional, to farmhouse rustic and Scandi-chic. Whether you turn to little pops of color or all-over hues, green adds a dose of considered elegance to our homes in ways big and small. If you’re not looking to paint your walls or cabinets right now, consider playing with the hue through accessories like throw blankets, pillows, and even lamps.
For its part, Pantone is ever the wild card. The brand, which is considered by many to be a thought-leader in color trends, is known for picking hues that feel a bit like they’re out-of-left-field for their color of the year—that is, until you see them all over the fashion and home goods industry mere months later. Their 2022 selection, Very Peri, is as quirky as it is unexpected. A cross between soft lavender and ultra-violet purple, the energetic shade is meant to represent the intersection between color trends in the modern world and the digital world. While the shade feels a bit intense to star in a room’s scheme, I could totally see it working as an accent hue or pop of color in an otherwise neutral space.
I sincerely hope 2022 brings us all the year these colors represent: one filled with peace and tranquility, an appreciation for the little things, and a fresh energy for all that’s yet to come. For a deeper dive into each of the hues chosen for 2022 check out our take below.
Subdued and refined, Benjamin Moore’s selection for the 2022 color of the year is a refreshingly crisp take on the classic grey-green. Described by the brand as a “gently shaded sage,” the hue would look stunning in a study or bedroom, calming in a powder room, and hit just the right refined rustic note on kitchen cabinetry. If you’re looking for colors to pair this versatile shade with, Benjamin Moore has a slew of them, all chosen as part of an extended 2022 palette.
In close similarity to Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams also chose a dusty green hue—Evergreen Fog—as their 2022 color of the year selection, viewing the shade as the ushering in of a new guard of nostalgic mid-tones. “Evergreen Fog is a sophisticated wash of color for spaces that crave a subtle yet stunning statement shade,” says Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, Sue Wadden, in a release about the hue. “[It] inspires us to begin again and is a great choice for modern interiors and exteriors.” The color pairs gorgeously with various wood tones and natural textures like leather, plaster, and bouclé.
High-end paint brand Farrow & Ball—known for their timeless take on classic hues and world-class paint formulations—named a selection of five paint colors as trends for 2022, noting that the chosen shades “evoke the warmth and harmony of a more innocent age while celebrating life today.” Among the colors is Breakfast Room Green, a cheerful hue that is vibrant and lively without being garish. As the name implies, it would be great in a kitchen or dining nook—but also equally as stunning in any other space where you want to bring a little sunshine and happiness, like an office or mudroom. Other colors of the year picks from F&B include Stone Blue, Incarnadine, School House White, and Babouche.
Described as a “grounded and versatile grey-green,” Olive Sprig was chosen by PPG to represent qualities of regrowth and re-emergence, not unlike nature’s own resiliency. The classic green shade has a bit of zest to it, making it the perfect invigorating pick for a fun-filled family room or outdoor-adjacent sunroom. The paint brand recommends pairing the hue (which can be found at Home Depot stores nationwide) with natural materials, curved furniture, and architectural details.
Certainly the most vibrant of the bunch, Glidden’s aptly-named color of the year pick, Guacamole, packs energy and personality into any space. Described by the brand as “spirited but soothing” (yep!), this hue is the perfect playful pick for a young family or a duo of city-dwellers looking to bring a bit of nature to their urban jungle. Tone it down with a quiet accompanying palette of neutrals or keep the vibrancy alive with complementary hues like mustard, ochre, blush, and navy.
A subtle yet interesting mid-tone green, Valspar’s Blanched Thyme is among 12 shades chosen by the brand to represent the 2022 colors of the year (you can see them all here). As a whole, the palette showcases dustier versions of our favorite vibrant hues, proving that color is here to stay—just in a more nuanced way. For its part, Blanched Thyme is the perfect “pop” of color for the typically color-adverse. It’s vibrant enough to be noticeable but neutral enough to go with nearly any decor you already have in place.
Midway between an oceanic teal and a mint green, Behr’s 2022 color of the year, Breezeway, brings a touch of vacation-ready bliss to any room in your home. The silvery green tone boasts cool undertones, making it the perfect accompaniment to vibrant whites and rich blue hues. Breezeway is joined by 19 other colors tapped by the brand as an up-and-coming shade in the design world for 2022, including the rich and dusty Wild Mustang, timeless Whisper White, and smoky Cracked Pepper.
Sprightly and vibrant, Pantone’s Very Peri comes on the heels of several other saturated selections from the brand for years past, including 2021’s Illuminating (a punchy yellow) and 2019’s Classic Coral. The dynamic color is certainly a statement, but one modern design lovers can easily make with equally bold materials like acrylic, lucite, and glass. When it comes to creating an entire palette around Very Peri, Pantone has advice for that, too—the brand recommends balancing it out with dusty pastels like blush pink, gritty mauve and soft mustard, or playing into the vibrancy of the hue with equally bold picks like eggshell blue and emerald green.