Painting the interior walls is an easy, budget-friendly way to update and refresh the look of your home. But with so many color options out there, deciding on the perfect colors can be a challenge. Before you head out to your local home improvement store to collect countless paint swatches, check out the top paint color picks of 2021 from Megan Foster, the interior design manager at Clayton’s Home Innovation Lab. Plus, read her tips on how to decorate with these colors and the best complementary shades to pair them with.
Best Interior Paint Colors of 2021
Going with a neutral wall color is a great way to make a small space feel open and airy, and it provides an anchor to decorate with bold colors through small accent pieces like sofa pillows, bedding and artwork. If you’re ready to try something a little bolder — instead of the usual grays, whites and beiges — Foster recommends refreshing walls and accent pieces in deep greens, light blues and terra cotta.
Our favorite shade for a deep green is Sherwin Williams’ Laurel Woods. “This dark green sets the mood to a more comforting, deeper background and is a great neutral to add any color to,” Foster says. “The dark color is bold, but very versatile.” If you’re not quite ready to go that bold, try a soft neutral like Benjamin Moore’s Breath of Fresh Air, light blue color that “adds a calming and light feeling to any room. This light blue turns to the more subdued blue spectrum.” And for a terra cotta shade (think rust orange), Sherwin Williams’ Copper Mountain “has great depth and warmth to it,” Foster says.
Kitchen Cabinetry Color Trends
Even though all-white kitchens are everywhere right now, it may not be practical to keep a highly utilized room that clean and white. Instead, “we are seeing a shift to lighter wood grain cabinetry for a crisp, bright kitchen,” Foster says. And, if you’re ready for something dramatic, “an opposing trend, which is equally strong, is black cabinetry and darker, moodier paint colors.”
Bathroom Color Trends
If your style is more traditional and classic, Foster recommends sticking to white or light blues in the bathroom to add a clean, refreshing feeling. But if you want to try something a little different, the bathroom is also a great place to play with patterns, textures and color in a big way. “Jewel tones, like deep purples and greens, pair beautifully with natural stones and metal accents,” Foster says.
How to Decorate With These Trending Paint Colors
When painting your home, you aren’t limited to just the walls. You can get creative and paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets, furniture, built-in shelving and more. “Sherwin Williams’ Laurel Woods is a great paint color to use on cabinetry, in a cozy office or living room,” Foster says. Pro tip: “Pair this color with lighter wood floors to achieve visual balance.”
A light blue color is perfect for a bathroom “to channel the feeling of fresh and clean,” Foster says. “It’s also a great color to incorporate into your bedding and fabric selection. (It) creates a serene environment and reads very soft.”
Light blue pairs well with deep oranges, including the terra cotta shade we recommended earlier. Terra cotta is a “beautiful color accent in ceramics and other decor items that will complete the look of your space,” Foster says. It can also stand alone as a lovely front door color to give that statement exterior that is on-trend, she adds. And, don’t forget the “fifth wall.” Terra cotta also creates a visually appealing accent color for a tray ceiling.
On-trend colors can fit into your home’s aesthetic in many ways, whether it’s on an entire wall or in small accent pieces. For more inspiration on how to incorporate these trending colors into your home, check out our 2021 design trends and design inspiration boards on Pinterest, and add your top looks to your Favorites account.