Goodbye Gray, Hello Earth Tones: Our 2020 Paint Color Forecast

The predictions are in for the hottest paint colors of the year.

Paint manufacturers and color experts have shared their predictions on the color trends to come in 2020, and the wide range of forecasted shades has something for everyone. If you love rich earthy hues, soft pastels, or moody blues, our roundup of popular paint colors can help inspire your next room refresh. These are the top paint picks you'll be seeing everywhere in 2020.

bedroom with dark gray accent wall
Courtesy of The Creativity Exchange / Home Builder: Patterson Homes

1. Rich Earth Tones

Nature-inspired shades reminiscent of the changing seasons will influence home color selections in 2020, paint manufacturers predict. As homeowners look for more ways to unplug, velvety earth tones, such as chestnut, burgundy, and deep olive green, offer a soothing organic element to indoor spaces.

Warm brown undertones form the foundation of earthy colors, which vary in saturation from paler hues like beige and tan to bold shades like chocolatey browns. When mixed with crisp white, the complex undertones in earthy colors instantly stand out and make a beautiful statement on walls and cabinetry alike. Try painting an accent wall with a dark earth tone, such as this relaxing bedroom designed by Brandalyn Dennis, as an easy way to introduce drama and color into a neutral space.

Wall Paint Color: Peppercorn, Sherwin-Williams

laundry room with pastel colors
Courtesy of The Creativity Exchange / Home Builder: Raykon Construction

2. Soothing Pastels

Soft pastel paint colors, such as pale pinks, greens, and blues, will continue to trend in the year ahead. These calming hues can bring harmony to a space and soothe overstimulated eyes. Look for pastel colors with gray undertones, which help diffuse the color saturation and make these hues softer on the eye. In lighter variations, these pastels can even act as a neutral foundation for a more colorful palette. Pastels are especially stunning on cabinetry, like in this laundry room designed by Four Chairs Furniture and Design, interior doors, and bathroom vanities in otherwise neutral spaces.

Cabinetry Paint Color: Light Blue, Farrow & Ball

walk in closet painted deep green color
Courtesy of Erin Kestenbaum

3. Muted Colors

As the popular neutral shades of the last decade give way to more saturated hues, color experts predict subtle coloration will resonate with consumers in the year ahead. In other words, color is making a comeback, but the movement toward bolder hues will be gradual by way of soft, muted shades. Think: pale blush, sage green, slate blue, and other soft versions of your favorite colors. To find muted shades, look for colors that border the gray cards at the paint store.

Cabinetry Paint Color: Inchyra Blue, Farrow & Ball

blue industrial loft dining room
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

4. Moody Blues

As blue continues to trend in 2020, look for a shift toward deep, moody shades with rich undertones reminiscent of a stormy sea or midnight sky. Naval, Sherwin-Williams' 2020 Color of the Year, is a timeless navy blue that follows this darker color direction.

Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, notes that the use of color in design is shifting from a focus on the overall look to an emphasis on how the space makes you feel. "People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being," she says.

As the world's most relaxing color, blue is ideal for your bedroom, living room, or another area of your home where you're looking to create a calming escape.

Wall Paint Color: Naval, Sherwin-Williams

neutral colored kitchen
Courtesy of Jessica White Photography

5. Warmed-Up Neutrals

Neutral paint colors will continue to play an important role in home color selections in the year ahead. Color experts predict a move from balanced, neutral undertones to warmer neutrals, such as beiges, tans, and warmer grays, in 2020. "Neutrals will be as important as ever in the new decade, but expect shades to warm up with the resurgence of beige, brown tones, and mushroom shades," says Wadden.

If the space you're painting has very little natural light, consider a slightly cooler neutral color to brighten the room and offset the lack of sunlight. For brighter spaces, like this kitchen designed by Studio McGee, consider a warmer neutral to balance the abundance of daylight, which has a cooling effect on color.

Cabinetry Paint Color: Stone 3, Portola Paints

light green front door
Courtesy of BEHR Paint

6. Organic Greens

Green is forecasted to strongly resonate with consumers in the year ahead, with organic, less-saturated shades such as sage, moss, and olive gaining more popularity than traditional primary greens. As consumers make the anticipated move into more earthy, natural hues, greens reminiscent of nature, foliage, and the outdoors are forecasted to trend.

BEHR's 2020 color of the year, Back To Nature, is a "restorative, meadow-inspired green" that echoes the outdoor-inspired trend in home decor we're forecasting for 2020. Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at BEHR, says the hue is intended to inspire people to reconnect with nature. The color is borrowed directly from outdoor landscapes like grassy fields and leafy forests. Use organic green paint colors on your front door, kitchen cabinetry, or living room walls, and pair with warm wood tones.

Door Paint Color: Back to Nature, BEHR

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