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Paint Color Trends for 2021

We interview Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing with Sherwin-Williams, to find out the latest paint color trends and what the color of the year is for 2021.

Home Sweet Home. These words have taken on a whole new meaning this year as everyone is spending more time at home. Paint is an easy, affordable way to change the look and feel of your home. To find out more, Jane Clauss, host of YurView’s Creative Living, interviewed Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, about paint color trends for 2021.

One thing we found out is that earth tones have become popular because of COVID-19. Watch the video to learn more about the latest paint color trends and the color of the year. We’ve also provided a transcript of the interview for your convenience. (It’s been lightly edited for clarity.)

Jane Clauss:
We’re all spending a lot more time in our homes these days. And if you’re like me, you thought about sprucing up your home decor with a new coat of paint. But before you pick that new room color, let’s talk about the trends for 2021. Joining me today is the Director of Color Marketing for Sherwin-Williams. It is Sue Wadden. Hi Sue.

Sue Wadden:
Hi, Jane. How are you?

I’m great. I’m so excited about color trends and the new year that I’m so thrilled to meet you. Drumroll please, everybody. What is the color for 2021? (0:22)

Paint Color of the Year

Our favorite color is Urbane Bronze. It is a beautiful deep dark bronze, almost a black. And we love it for 2021 and beyond for so many reasons. It’s just simply a color that can help you create a sanctuary. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Urbane Bronze

It’s so exciting, Urbane Bronze. Why did you pick this color? (0:53)

As a reaction to this pandemic, we’re really seeing nature and earth tones really shine for 2021. So dark colors, natural colors, earth tones, sort of those richer expressions of nature, are really going to come to the forefront because they’re so nurturing. And they create such a secure feeling when you’re at home and trying to stay safe and create these beautiful oases inside your home.

We loved Urbane Bronze because it was so dark and rich. It really just creates like a hug almost in any interior space. But what’s so great about it is you can use it outside, you can use it on your front door, you can use it on your shutters. It is just a really stunning color.

Urbane Bronze

We know blues were on trend for 2020. What other colors will be trending for 2021? (1:39)


Definitely earth tone. So if you want to think about terracottas, sort of greens, evergreen, dark greens, all sorts of greens, light greens, mint green, sort of sage greens, we’re seeing those everywhere, in design, just from design reports, as well as navy blue.

We talked about maybe blue last year, because well-being in 2020 was supposed to be the year of well-being. Well, that shifted a little. So now we’re really looking to natural tones to kind of bring home that feeling of sanctuary.


How to Choose Your Color

And this is always a big question… How do we decide what color to paint a room? (2:17)

Well, oh, it’s the eternal question, right? I’ve been doing this a long time, and people always ask. So I like to say I start with something that I know, whether it’s a beautiful rug that you have in a room and you want to coordinate around that color, or you’re looking to offset a piece of furniture that you have. Sometimes the easiest place to start is something that you want to keep within a room and kind of build from there. I find that to be the easiest starting point for a lot of people.

Because we’re all spending so much more time at home, these rooms are so valuable to us. Should we base our paint choices off of what we want the mood of that room to feel like? (2:51)

Definitely. I think it’s important to create a space that you can easily work in. Color is a simple way to do that. It enhances the mood. Whether you’re looking to create a serene space, look to colors that sort of inspire sort of a soothing aesthetic. If you want something with a little excitement, a little drama, a little playfulness, brighter colors are a great choice. And if you’re looking for just sort of an oasis, natural colors are the way to go.

Country Tweed

Painting a Peekaboo Color

Can we incorporate a more trendy color without having to paint the entire house? (3:30)

Yes, definitely. I oftentimes do things like adding accent pillows, or painting an accent wall or even just an adjacent room. You know, if you have a great living space and a little foyer, paint your foyer in a trend color, and you’re not kind of living in that space. I call it a peekaboo color. So you see this beautiful view but you’re not necessarily living at it and sort of feeling overwhelmed by a color.

Reddened Earth

Colors that Never Go Out of Style

Is there a color that never goes out of style? (3:59)

Neutrals never go out of style. I know that’s super boring to say. They shift a little bit. For the last decade we’ve talked about gray, gray, gray. Well, it’s shifting a little bit so neutrals are taking on a little more warmth.

Think taupes and khakis and warm whites. But neutrals are always going to be a safe bet. And then colors like black and green and navy. They’re really timeless hues and they kind of go with everything. Always. So that’s always a safe bet.

Pure White

Sue, it’s all so exciting. Thank you so much for joining us with all this great advice. (4:33)

Oh Jane, it was my pleasure. I enjoyed it very much. You’re great to talk to you.

Let’s get painting. If you’d like more information on selecting the right paint for your room, just head to Sherwin Williams website.