Interior Designers Predict the Next 10 Years of Paint Trends

Sherwin-Williams interviewed 250 interior designers to find out what's in, what's out, and what's next in paint trends.


If you’ve painted one, you’ve probably painted a hundred homes with the modern farmhouse palette over the past few years: All-white walls—or light grays—accented with shiplap or barnwood. But take heart: The color-trend pendulum appears to be slowly swinging the other way, and it has a brighter outlook.

At least, that is what appears to be happening, according to the 250 designers who dished to Sherwin-Williams to reveal what’s in, what’s out, and what’s next for the world of paint color and design for 2020 and beyond.

Paint Trends: What’s In

Neutrals will never disappear, of course, but it seems that both designers and homeowners are becoming more flexible about what “neutral” really means.

Lately, cooler-toned white and gray hues have been the go-to, but designers are reporting that warmer beiges are beginning to take over.

There are also some nontraditional neutral colors coming to the forefront; namely, black, sage green and navy blue.

Blush pink, a favorite of millennials, as a neutral canvas for a room—or house—ranked lower on the nontraditional-neutral list: Only 35 percent of designers agreed it qualified.

Paint Trends By Generation

Those who make up Gen Z are moving into homes and making them their own. Designers say about a fifth of them have a surprising, vibrant pick: They’re the most likely age group to request oranges and yellows.

But Millennials also aren’t afraid of color, favoring bolder tones. Topping the list? Blue and purple. These darker colors don’t leave much room for error, so knowing some tidy tips from a picky painter is essential for success.

And the color that designers noticed clients being most amenable to trying? Emerald green, which is already popping up in fashion, social media and magazines as a color of choice for kitchens and baths.
Here are 5 tips for a successful interior painting project.

Paint Trends: What’s Next

It’s just paint—but generally speaking, homeowners still see using bolder colors in their homes as a risk. According to interior designers, homeowners are most willing to take the leap in a bathroom or powder room—small space, big impact—followed much more distantly by living room, bedroom and dining room.

Of course, none of this comes as a great surprise: Most clients want their home to feel either warm and welcoming, or relaxing and peaceful (especially with any of these best interior paint colors). The best news is, all of these colors can help them achieve either look.

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Katie Dohman
Katie Dohman is an award-winning freelance writer who has written about home, design, and lifestyle topics for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured in Artful Living, Midwest Home, Star Tribune, and Teen Vogue, among many others. She is currently living her own how-to story as she and her husband work through a complete gut remodel on their 1921 home—while parenting three tiny tots and dodging their dog and cat, who always seem to be underfoot.