Neutrals and Earthy Tones are Back in Style for 2023

Life does not happen in monochrome; it’s bursting with color – influential and delicious blends of reds, blues and greens that bring an unending plethora of beauty. Each year, designers choose certain palettes to decorate our clothes, cars, gadgets, advertisements and homes. 

For a short while – just a year before being replaced by newly selected palettes – these colors represent the universal mood and aspirations of the time to become the landscape of our visual world. And each year, product, fashion and interior designers rely on these crowned colors for inspiration, eagerly awaiting color forecasts and unveilings.

The spell of uncertainty cast upon the world due to global events beginning in 2020 resulted in an interesting mix of color interpretations meant to evoke stability, calmness and hope, reported the American Coatings Association. That trend continued through 2021 and 2022 and is forecast to emerge in 2023 with a fearless approach to individualism and contrast, as described by Pantone LLC.

Kelly Hansen, owner of State Street Blinds and Design in Brighton, is looking forward to the color shift anticipated for 2023. “After years of neutrals, especially cooler tones like gray, we will turn back toward warmer tones,” she says. “The neutrals will be cream and tan, plus we will also add pastels like pink, salmon and lavender.”

Trade shows and industry-only previews from manufacturers provide opportunities for designers to glimpse upcoming palettes before the public sees them. Some of Hansen’s favorites include Paris Fashion Week, the Spring High Point Furniture Market and Pantone’s Color of the Year predictions.

“Among other things, these three big events often set the tone for new colors,” she says. “Seeing the items in person or digitally is exciting and we look forward to implementing them in local projects.”

Calm, tranquil, earthy and inclusive. Those words best describe the palette forecasts of 2023, but what paint colors will be the stars of 2023? That varies by manufacturer.

  • Sherwin-Williams has curated a collection of 40 hues named TERRA that honors our connection to the culture, history and the Earth by embracing browns, taupes, grays, mauve, indigo, chartreuse and more. The Sherwin-Williams chosen color of the year (COTY) will be Redend Point, which is described as a soulful, earthy hue.
  • Behr is offering Blank Canvas, a shade destined to inspire renewal, as its color of 2023. The Behr palette was chosen to “boost overall well-being” and consists of muted earthy tones.
  • Glidden is going with a bold choice – Vining Ivy, which is a rich, luxurious teal. Glidden’s colors for 2023 are also earthy in tone, but richer than its competitors.

Hansen suggested searching websites for paint color ideas. “There’s a lot of inspiration for new color on Houzz, Pinterest or Instagram. It’s about selecting what you like. Start small, try just a quart of paint and go from there,” she says.

State Street Blinds and Design is a residential and commercial design firm of five serving Livingston, western Oakland, Washtenaw Counties and beyond, celebrating 18 years in business. You can find them on Instagram @statestreetblindsanddesign or on Facebook, Houzz at State Street Blinds and Design.