Shea McGee Says This Moody Color Will Rule in 2021
Plus nine other designers weigh in on their picks.
Published Dec 16, 2020 2:15 AM
When we want to know what shades will be trending in the next 12 months, we turn to our little black book of design pros for their color predictions. From potter and designer Jonathan Adler to Domino cover star Leanne Ford, the experts we polled gave answers as varied as their styles.
The best part? Trying out a new color in your home doesn’t always mean you have to reach for a paintbrush. Take these swatches with you while you’re shopping so that you can search for already-on-the-market items in the hue of your choice. That way you can test them in a way that’s low stakes but still impactful. Now go ahead and color your world.
Put It in Neutral
Call it khaki, call it sand, call it latte, call it whatever you want, but beige is back. In a time of chaos and technology, people are looking to get back to earth, so the natural tones in rocks, wood grains, concrete, and the like are showing up as textile and paint color inspiration everywhere. —Leanne Ford, designer and Domino cover star
The New Mustard
2020was a tough year for most folks, so I think that colors that bring feelings of happiness and health are going to play an important role in the cultural landscape. Turmeric, a deep golden yellow, radiates optimism, positive energy, and wellness to me, so it’s a natural choice as we look forward to a new year that will hopefully be bright. —Justina Blakeney, designer
It’s Wine Time
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we’re going to be seeing more and more burgundy-brown tones. Whether that’s in cabinetry or a powder room, definitely in textiles it’s going to be really big. —Shea McGee, designer
2020 has been a year filled with unprecedented challenges. Being connected with nature is one thing that can help instill a sense of peace and calm to our anxious minds, which is why I predict that warm and comforting colors with pops of brights—a look that mimics nature—will be continuously desired in 2021. White hues, muted earthy colors with shots of green, black and deep gray, and pink and orange will be big next year. —Shanty Wijaya, founder of Allprace
One With Nature
Green and blue together! Obviously it has to be the right shades, but I’ve been jonesing to use them in a project for a few years now and I’m starting to see them pop up in products, so I think there’s a collective unconsciousness thing happening with the combination. The first time I was compelled to use it was after I spent some time gazing out my window, realizing how pretty the powder blue sky was against the deep rich greens. Maybe people are especially drawn to the combination now that we’ve been forced inside because of the pandemic. —Sally Breer, co-owner of Etcetera
Not Time to Be Shy
For 2021 I believe people will be bolder and unapologetic in their color selections. When I say bold, I mean they will follow their hearts and not just trends. Those who want beige will lean toward texture and warm beiges; those who want to bring the outdoors in won’t be afraid to use more greens and oranges (thinking fall); those who want to set a mood will be okay with going wall to wall with darker colors. I like Clare Paint’s Current Mood for a rich deep green, and I also like the drama of Farrow & Ball’s Paean Black. —Delia Brennan, designer
A Fresh Start
I’m having a mint moment. Perhaps it’s the mishegas of the last year; perhaps it’s an ’80s throwback; or perhaps I’m just always trying to find another fabulous playmate for my forever neutral, charcoal gray. Whatever the reason, mint feels right. What lemon sorbet is to the palate, mint is to the palette—it’s fresh, it’s clean, it’s a restart button. And I think we all need a bit of a restart button. —Jonathan Adler, potter and designer
Olive green has always been my favorite color, and it reminds me of the outdoors. After spending so much time at home, I think we could all use some olive green hues reminiscent of nature. —Amber Lewis, designer
I think we will continue to see rich, warm hues—think: earthy reds, ochres, and warm browns—become the new neutrals. Bold yet natural, these colors are comforting and grounding during the day and cozy and cocoon-like in the evening. —Colin King, stylist
Go on Mute
What I’ve been finding in the past few months is that clients are wanting calming hues. Whether the room is going to be a color or not, the tones we use are a bit muted, so they’ll have more grays or blues in them. If it’s a shade of white, the color is creamy or softer. The overriding sense is that we all want to feel peace in our homes during a time when many of us may feel anxious or overwhelmed. —Brigette Romanek, designer
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