by Christy Heitger-Ewing

For those switching to matte finishes and warmer tones, consider yourself ahead of the curve. 2024 is the year of Natural Neutrals. As the housing market slows, homeowners are less focused on resale value and more on making their space a sanctuary. Perhaps in direct response to this trending attitude, Pantone declared Peach Fuzz their color of the year for 2024.

“A warm and cozy shade highlighting our desire for togetherness with others or for enjoying a moment of stillness and the feeling of sanctuary this creates, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz presents a fresh approach to a new softness,” Pantone says in their official statement.

Stacy Stater, founder/owner of Home & Willow Design, similarly sees a shift toward more natural, soft and comfortable details in the home. “Even the sheen that we select for painting our walls is becoming a bit more flat, matte, and natural. It’s not so shiny,” says Stater.

Stater also says she’s seeing homeowners gravitate towards warm shades like Caramel, Nutmeg, Sienna, Butterscotch, and Camel. “People like texture so where there’s an absence of color, we add texture and textiles to the mix to keep it interesting.”

Stater maintains that it’s all about grounding and giving a nod to nature. This is something that she’s even seeing reflected in hardware. Remember how brass was the hot ticket 30 years ago? According to Stater, brass has circled back, only now it’s not a shiny polished brass but rather a stripped-down version with more raw and natural finishes.

“In the past, we were afraid of color for fear that a future buyer may not like a choice we had made,” says Mia Farrell, Design & Sales Consultant for ACo. “But during the pandemic we decided to make our homes our own. As a result, we got away from being so timid about using color.”

As we enter 2024, Farrell predicts that colors will be less muted and more on the bold side – think dark green or copper-y rust. Stater agrees.

“A few years ago, people tended to like cooler colors, but now it’s the flip side and they like warmth,” Stater adds.

This year Sherwin-Williams has quite a few warm shades, including Smokey Topaz, Moderate White, Burnished Brandy, Gold Coast, Iron Ore, and Sequin. In addition, Sherwin-Williams’ Baroque period includes Classical White, Rookwood Terra Cotta, Greenblack, Muddled Basil, and Bosc Pear. Their Autumn Foliage line is also quite popular and includes Autumnal, Umber Rust, French Roast, Only Natural, Copper Mountain, and Familiar Beige. Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak and White Dove offer lovely neutral tones.

A great way to incorporate color into a home is by way of furniture. Stater suggests keeping the big pieces like sofas and sectionals a neutral color (e.g. a taupe tan) so that you can be braver with texture, pattern, and color with smaller chairs and accents. This is where nutmeg, sienna, and caramel colors can come through.

“Go full force with pillows, vases, and accessories,” she says. “We get tired of those things anyway so it’s fun to swap them out periodically.”

She also recommends annually, if not biannually, changing up your bookshelves. That’s another place where you can add a different color focus. The same is true of inexpensive art. Switch it up!

“Why aren’t we more musical chairs with our art?” she asks. “January is the best time to do so. You’ve put away the holiday decorations and cleaned your house from top to bottom. It’s the perfect time for a fresh pallet!”

If you’re eager to add some color to your home this year, consult with a local design expert from Home & Willow Design or ACo to discuss your next project.