Paint And Color Trends For 2021

Fixr’s annual paint and color trends report tells us that staying at home has strongly affected our color choices. So maybe it’s not surprising that, after spending most of the past year isolated and socially distanced, we don’t love gray any more.

For much of the recent past, all shades of gray have been the hue of choice for designers, furniture manufacturers and stylish homeowners. But now we’re over it, and we are drawn to earthy and warmer neutral tones instead. 

Fixr, a home improvement resource, releases periodic design and construction trends reports, industry updates and data visualizations.  

This report, released on February 4th, was compiled from the results of a survey of 68 interior design experts. They were given a series of multiple-choice and open-ended questions covering a variety of design-related topics. For some multiple-choice questions, respondents were able to choose multiple options.

81% of these experts agreed that quarantining has strongly affected homeowners’ color choices. When asked about the top three palettes homeowners are choosing today to paint their interiors, earth tones came in a solid 3rd place (46%,) behind warm neutrals (50%) and neutrals with pops of bold color (54%.) Neutrals in all their shades go hand in hand with earth tones, with warm neutrals complementing them particularly well. It seems that many homeowners are ready for some more color after several years of gray.

When it comes to specific color choices, Aegean Teal and Urbane Bronze will be the two most used colors by homeowners this year, experts agreed.

Each year, many paint companies and manufacturers release what they call their “Color or Colors of the Year.” These colors sometimes speak to current trends, other times they make a statement about the year itself. Of the six selected companies that have released a color or palette for 2021, 53% of experts think that most people will choose Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal for their homes. A further 43% feel that Sherwin Williams” Urbane Bronze will be used. These colors both tie in well with other trends. Urbane Bronze is a sophisticated warm, natural and neutral color, while Aegean Teal is the kind of bright but soothing tone that would work well as an accent against a more neutral background.


49% of the designers surveyed agree that textiles are the most popular way to incorporate new colors. Since a neutral palette with pops of color will be the most popular palette for the year, adding pops of color makes the most sense when using things that can readily be changed out for a fresh new look as needed. This, in turn, means that textiles would be the natural place for a bright color like Aegean Teal to be introduced into a room.

41% of the designers surveyed said that they have seen an increased use of natural, plant-inspired colors indoors. And, when it comes to furniture choices, it seems that more people are gravitating toward light colors. Light natural tones received 36% of the vote, while light colors in general got another 24%. 

We have embraced the concept of the accent wall, but our way of doing them is changing. 65% of the experts say textured walls and wallpapers, not coats of paint, will lead the way for accent walls. In fact, 90% of these designers agree that there is a surge in the use of wallpapers. 

The colors that sell an interior, according to 63% of the design experts, are whites and creams. When it comes to the exterior, 53% of experts felt that white is the preferred color. White has actually been one of the most popular shades for exterior color palettes for a number of years. 

We may want earth tones and color pops in our own spaces, but when it comes to selling a house, or to showing its public face, we want a whiter shade of pale.