Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Shift to a Warmer Color Palette

Warm color scheme in an upscale bathroom.

It all  began in 2020 when we went home, and stayed home for months on end. The office, gym, and mall were vacant. We all spent more time at home than we had in years. Spending time at home prompted renovations en masse as we came face to face with our sterile and entertaining-based home designs. It didn’t take much to realize that it wasn’t cutting it and it was time for a change. 

One of the first changes was the color palette. Cool-toned gray and bright white suddenly felt unwelcoming and uncomfortable. Almost overnight, color trends shifted from cool and minimal to warm and personality-filled.  

The shift to warmer colors was firmly planted in color of the year selections in 2023 with beige instead of gray, magenta instead of navy, and gold instead of silver. In 2024 colors shifted even further into the warm spectrum with color infusing even neutrals. 

Take a closer look at the warmer, comfier color palette. 

Large bathroom with warm woods, pink and green color scheme, and a sage green vanity.

Gray > Green 

Gray is over. Instead try one of the gray-greens that are trending. Light but warm sage or olive add personality yet are neutral enough that they can’t be overused. Deeper greens are a good choice too as long as they stay warm. Choose matte finishes or fabrics with plenty of texture. Florals are a great choice for pattern as they already have lots of green.  

Bright bathroom with beige and black color scheme and a modern beige vanity.

White > Beige 

Pure whites or whites with blue or green undertones can look cold and create a more sterile vibe. Instead reach for warm whites with yellow, pink, or purple undertones. Creams and beiges are an excellent choice if you want a clean background to work with.  

Large bright bathroom with lots of color on the statement wall.

Neutrals > Color 

Any neutral you consider should be warm. But a new color trend is emerging in neutrals, color. Paint color experts are picking colors of the year that are blends of colors. For instance, Sherwin-Williams chose a barely-there blue called Upward designed to create “a sense of ease and possibility,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.  

Glidden paint company went a totally different direction but had the same premise. Limitless is their contender for color of the year. It’s a yellow-beige that manages to feel light and warm at the same time. Both of these colored neutrals are excellent additions to the neutral palette.  

Marble walled bathroom with a blue vanity.

 Navy > True Blue 

Navy’s excitement has dimmed over the years and a whole array of fresher blues are making an appearance. Blue is one of those colors that can be cool or warm and has remarkable potential to convey mood. Seven paint companies chose shades of blue for their colors of the year in 2024.  

These blues range from sky blue and robin-egg blue to warm, dusty blues and intense blue-greens. To get some energy and warmth out of your blue selections, go for vibrant colors that elicit a calm yet interested energy. 

Large bathroom with sage green and gold color scheme.

 Silver > Gold 

Silver, nickel, and other cool metals have been the choice since the early 2000s. But the warmer gold tones are back. Many think that gold tones date a design, but designers disagree. In fact, metal trends have become hard to pin down with all the color coming back into the palette. Designers advise that you go with whatever metal suits the color scheme despite preconceived notions about trends in metallics. 

Copper sink in a marble topped vanity.

 Pink > Terracotta 

The blush trend of the 20-teens has given way to more orang-y hues. Terracotta tones came on the scene after the pandemic and there’s no sign of it losing momentum. There’s nothing better than the sun-soaked colors for introducing warmth.  

Anything with orange or red influences plus patterns and textures that soften the bold color are perfect for a warmer color scheme.  

Can’t Remodel Right Now? 

As much as you want to totally remodel your minimalist white and gray living space, maybe now isn’t the time. No problem! There are plenty of quick updates you can do yourself at an affordable price to achieve a warmer, cozier space.  

  • Change fixtures in the kitchen 
  • Add throw pillows and blankets in warmer pops of color 
  • Change out your furniture for something with color 
  • Introduce art with plenty of warm color 
  • Create a statement wall with a bold color or wallpaper pattern
Move in a warmer direction with the colors that will enliven your spaces and ignite your senses. Get more design advice on our blog.  

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