What the colors of the year are telling us

Cozy. Calming. Maybe even a little joyful.

Late summer and early fall are the time for paint companies and color houses to announce their colors of the year and, thus far, the winners speak clearly to consumers trying to find comfort, solace and happiness after a rough couple of years. Some of the picks for 2023 have a vintage vibe, too, grounding and tying us to times that might have seemed simpler.

Home, these companies are telling us, still serves as a refuge, even as consumers once again embrace travel and social activities outside the house.

Glidden’s Color of the Year for 2023 is Vining Ivy, a flexible, versatile “bluish-greenish-something-in-betweenish.” It’s part of a broader palette of trending colors that “reflect our desire to get back to ‘normal’ and create a cozy and welcoming environment with a touch of luxe,” the company says.

Vining Ivy from Glidden

Valspar doesn’t pick just one Color of the Year; it’s offering a collection of 12 that the company describes as comfortable, joyous, beautiful — and livable. The nature-inspired collection “is all about finding new comfort, embracing a flexible lifestyle (and) rediscovering joy,” according to the paint purveyor.

Colors in the Valspar 2023 palette include Cozy White, with yellow undertones, “that makes a space cozy like a soft blanket”; Rising Tide, a soft light blue “with uplifting qualities of a modern pastel”; Green Trellis, a hazy green that’s both calming and lively — like nature itself; and Southern Road, a muted clay that speaks to “embracing the life of contentment we seek in living with what we have.”

Southern Road from Valspar

Rustic Greige, a neutral blend of gray and beige with red undertones, is Dutch Boy’s pick for 2023. The paint company describes it as a “a versatile neutral that brings harmony and contentment home.” Rustic Greige anchors Dutch Boy’s three trending palettes for 2023: Plush, Wistful and Botanic.

Rustic Greige (far left) from Dutch Boy anchors its Wistful palette for 2023.

Sherwin-Williams went deeper and darker with Darkroom, a new neutral that is Color of the Year for its HGTV by Sherwin-Williams brand of paint colors. The color, the company says, is “inspired by the desire to craft a comfortable, yet elegant and romantic home.” Darkroom has a connection to the past, working well in heritage interiors, and is “modernly retro for a throwback-inspired aesthetic,” according to the company. It’s part of a larger Vintage Homestead color collection tied to mixed patterns, classic shapes and vintage decor.

Darkroom from HGTV by Sherwin-Williams

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Digital Lavender, a light violet shade, that trend forecaster WGSN and the creators of the Coloro color system say will be the color of 2023. It’s a cheerful, yet calming hue that works well with yellows and earth tones.

Digital Lavender from Coloro

Benjamin Moore will announce its Color of the Year and its associated palette on Oct. 14.

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