For the best warm and cool paint colors, I like to look at the most popular hues as chosen by the paint companies like Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Farrow Ball. Which is where this list of the best 2021 paint color trends comes from.
It’s my favorite time of the year!
This is when we get to find out what the color trends are going to be.
And you know how much I love color!
These are the ones that all of the major paint companies plus Pantone (a company specializing in colors) have selected as the most popular for 2021.
Why Look At Trends?
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If you know me, you know I don’t believe in following decorating trends.
I think you should do what YOU love, not what someone else says you should love.
So you may be wondering why I’m so interested in looking at the annual color trends.
I don’t look at these to find the trendiest color to decorate with.
I look at them to see if my favorite colors are in the list.
Because if they are, that usually means there will be lots of accessories out this year that go with my decor.
Which definitely makes decorating easier!
So with that out of the way, let’s get on with the 2021 paint color trends.
The Overall Trends
Similar to last year, nature colors are big in this year’s trends.
In fact, I think they’re even bigger than last year’s trends with pretty much every major paint company referencing the relaxing and calming influence of nature in the description of their color choices.
You’ll even notice that many of the color names are nature-inspired.
So keeping that in mind here’s what you’ll see:
- Lots of cool ocean blues and natural greens.
- Mixed with some warm sunny yellows.
- Brown has replaced black as the dark neutral color of choice.
- Then there’s the comeback color of the year…Beige. Lots and lots of beige.
- Greige (that’s a mix of gray & beige) continues its popularity from last year.
- Along with some cool gray. In fact, gray has made its way into many of the blues and greens providing a base that adds to their serene feel.
- One color that is not back in the list this year? Blush pink. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop decorating with it, if you love it. (I’m certainly not re-painting my office/craft room any time soon).
Now here are the details.
1 | Aqua / Teal
The first (and probably biggest) of the 2021 color trends is aqua and teal.
They’re soothing colors that are reminiscent of the Caribbean sea and create a relaxing and serene feeling in bathrooms and bedrooms.
Aegean Teal is a gray-based hue that was chosen as the 2021 color of the year by Benjamin Moore who described it as “intriguing, balanced, and deeply soothing”.
PPG chose Misty Aqua as a “soft splash of joy” in their paint color palette of the year.
All of the other companies (except for Farrow and Ball) have at least one teal or aqua hue included in their 2021 paint colors so you have lots of options to choose from.
Pairing it with white trim makes the room feel fresh and crisp.
But it also works well with many of the other colors on this year’s list including dark blue, dark brown, yellow and beige.
2 | Dark Blue
Following the ocean theme, the next color on the list is dark blue.
This year’s blues are rich and soothing making them perfect for bedrooms and baths.
But they also work well anywhere you want a clean and timeless look.
While most of the paint companies have at least one selection in this category, Farrow and Ball is leading the charge with four shades of blue in their 2021 paint color trends.
Including “Pitch Blue” which is the paint color I have in my living room (and I love it!)
Like most Farrow and Ball paints, it has a depth that most other paints don’t and seems to change colors in different light.
Pairing these blues with white will give your room a classic, timeless feel.
Or for a more modern look, try painting everything the same color, but use a matte finish on the walls and a semi-gloss finish for the trim.
3 | Natural Greens
The third paint color trend of 2021 is moss green.
Another soothing and relaxing color, this green definitely brings the feeling of nature indoors.
It also makes a great modern color for your front door.
This mossy green is another color that is well-represented in all of the 2021 color palettes but is a focus of the Farrow and Ball selections.
Their three green trend selections all provide a nature-based feeling but give you the choice of a yellow-based green, a blue-based green or a grey-based green.
These nature-inspired greens will go well with white, gray and natural wood tones.
4 | Dark Brown
This year, brown is the new black!
Many of these browns are red- or purple-based providing warmth and comfort to a room while still maintaining the nature-inspired theme.
Which is why Sherwin Williams chose Urbane Bronze as their 2021 color of the year.
They suggest using it as an accent wall or window trim to add a feeling of sophistication to your room.
Farrow and Ball also added rich browns to their trending colors for this year with three variations that include a deep chocolate brown as well as a couple of really warm red-browns.
I love the idea of glamming it up with crystal chandeliers for a warm and sophisticated look.
Mixing brown with teal or white is a great way to add some contrast to your room.
5 | Yellow
The next color trend for 2021 is yellow.
It’s a bright, sunny color that always feels happy and cheerful.
Which makes it well-suited for any room that you want to feel warm and friendly, like entry ways, kitchens and living rooms.
Pantone is leading this trend by choosing a vibrant yellow called “Illuminating” as one half of their color of the year.
This year they chose to use two colors together (the other half is the gray you’ll see next) to create “a message of happiness supported by fortitude”.
The yellow half of their color combination “expresses a message of positivity” that is “warming and optimistic”.
While Pantone doesn’t actually produce paint colors, Dunn-Edwards has a pretty close substitute called “Lemon Punch” if this is the shade you are looking for.
Yellow was a part of the color trends from many of the other paint companies as well, although most hues are not quite as bright.
As Pantone has pointed out, yellow goes well with gray.
But you can also pair it with teal or blue if you want more contrast.
Or create a retro vibe by using yellow with black and white.
6 | Cool Gray
Part 2 of Pantone’s color pair of the year is a cool gray called “Ultimate Gray”.
They describe it as “the colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time”. (There’s those nature references again!)
And they use it to balance out the vibrance of the yellow.
However, cool gray was not as popular with the paint companies this year as it has been in the past (most of them went with the warmer tones of beige or greige).
But if you prefer the cooler grays, there are still some color trend options available.
Being a neutral, cool gray, it can be paired with pretty much any color (including variations of itself).
However, you may want to be careful using it with cooler blues and greens since it can make the room feel cold.
7 | Beige
Next on the list is beige.
This neutral color made a comeback in a big way this year with shades from light to dark and everything in between.
So if you’re looking for a warm neutral that won’t take over the room, you’re in luck this year.
PPG chose Transcend as their 2021 color of the year which is a medium-toned beige that they describe as providing “the feeling of a warm latte on a cool morning, or warm sand on a sunny summer day”.
However, there are a ton of beige options to choose from this year!
Since beige is similar to the color of sand, it looks amazing with ocean blues like the aqua and teal above.
It also blends well with pastel colors like soft pinks and mint greens.
8 | Greige
The last of the 2021 paint color trends is greige.
If you’re looking for a neutral color that has the cool sophistication of gray with the warmth of beige, then this may be the choice for you.
While it wasn’t chosen as anyone’s color of the year, greige was quite popular on last year’s trends lists and is making another strong showing this year.
As I mentioned before, many of the paint companies are trending away from cool grays towards the warmer grays, which is where this color comes into play.
Similar to beige, it pairs well with pastels like light blue, pink and green.
Paint Company 2021 Color Trends
In case you want to see all of this year’s colors, here’s the links to all of the paint company 2021 color trends:
- Benjamin Moore
- Farrow and Ball has three pages: blues, greens, and browns
- HGTV (by Sherwin Williams)
- Sherwin Williams
Other Paint Ideas You Might Like
- Best living room paint colors
- How paint color affects your mood
- How to pick paint colors
- 2020 paint color trends
- 2021 home decor trends
Which is your favorite (or not-so-favorite) of the 2021 paint color trends? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on January 7, 2021 but was updated with new content on August 15, 2023.