by Christy Heitger-Ewing

Every year paint manufacturers come out with their choices for “trending colors of the year.” Some homeowners are eager to paint their walls with the latest trend while others make selections based entirely on their taste.

“Color preference is really in the eye of the beholder,” says Stacy Stater, senior designer and founder of Home & Willow Design.

According to Stater, the design industry went through what she refers to as the “era of the ‘hamburger” where walls were brown [meat], green [pickles], red [ketchup], and gold [mustard].

“We spent a long time trying to get rid of the hamburger!” says Stater. Now, however, beautiful brown shades are making a comeback. She personally likes Sherwin Williams’ Homestead Brown, Iced Mocha, Spiced Cider, Spiced Molasses, and Antiquarian Brown.

Kate Elliott, designer and owner of Koti Designs, agrees that people are drawn to rich, earthy tones.

“What I like about the brown spectrum is that it can fit with any style of home because you can bring in different wood tones and play with different flooring,” says Elliott, who is finding that homeowners are embracing beige, taupe, coffee, and dark chocolate. Her favorite colors for this year include Accessible Beige, Tavern Taupe, and Smoke House, which is a super dark brown.

“Smoke House could look really sharp on some built-ins around a fireplace,” she says. “Tavern Taupe in a dining room with rich bronze furniture would look amazing, especially with some lighter colored art on the wall.”

This year Sherwin-Williams named Redend Point, a warm neutral that combines the best of beige and blush, as their Color of the Year. Benjamin Moore has a similar color with reddish undertones called Raspberry Blush – ideal for someone searching for a bolder shade. Elliott notes that there is a cool trend called Dark Academia Aesthetic, which incorporates darker greys. Sherwin Williams also has a color called Muddled Basil that has an olive undertone. Elliott recently completed a guest room in which she painted the walls Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams.

“It’s a rich green color that’s one of my favorites,” she says.

Stater likes Benjamin Moore’s Smokestack Grey because it goes a little blue.

White is always classic, but not just the basic white. This past fall, Stater did a home for Home-A-Rama that was black and white, but the white they used was Natural Choice from Sherwin Williams. (The black was called Caviar.)

“Natural Choice on the pallet looked very creamy, almost tan, but when paired with black in this house, it looked white but not harsh,” says Stater, whose favorite whites are West Highland White (a warmer shade) and Alabaster (a cooler one).

Elliott notes that coming out of the pandemic, people are growing weary of their white bright homes because they feel a little sterile. So, they are embracing color.

“I’m a huge fan of green and dark blues, plums, fuchsia, and oranges,” says Elliott. Dani Kohl, design consultant with ACo, feels like people are increasingly open to bold colors. For instance, Raspberry Blush is a positive hue, though she suspects most homeowners may decide to use it for accents and paint their walls with embers and browns.

Stater’s advice for those who want to stay up on the trends is to keep the big stuff neutral, then pop in a trendy color with pillows, vases, lamps, ottomans, or a focal wall.

“Go to town on a focal wall because it doesn’t take long to paint a wall,” says Stater.

Our homes are our sanctuaries, but they are also where we entertain.

“When you keep the colors neutral and add pops of color, people have a tendency to feel more welcome in the space,” says Kohl.

Ready to add some 2023 color trends to your home, but not sure where to start? Consult with an expert local designer like Home & Willow, Koti Designs, or ACo for your next project.