Design Trends: Saturated Paint Colors

I recently noticed that more and more of my clients were expressing a desire for deep, saturated wall color.  A trend tends to start small, gradually growing as the idea gains exposure, until one day you realize that it is all around you.   I knew this trend had gone mainstream when I received the Crate & Barrel catalog last month.  I flipped the catalog open to an image of a living room with charcoal gray walls, chartreuse furniture, and teal accents.  Nothing drab there!  As a designer, I love to see people experimenting with color.  Whites and neutrals can be absolutely gorgeous, but they all too often become the safe (a.k.a. plain, boring…) choice for those who simply don’t know what else to choose.  Contrary to common fears, dark paint can actually open up a space, adding depth and visual impact.

Photo Credit: A Beautiful Mess

There has been a lot of buzz about gray being the “new neutral” as taupe and beige fall out of favor.  Gray can be found in a wide range of shades from light to dark, but charcoal seems to be especially popular.  Charcoal is a sophisticated color that complements a variety of styles from modern to traditional and acts as a rich backdrop for bold pops of color, such as the spicy oranges, warm whites, and vibrant yellow-greens in the images below.

Photo Credit: Ann Lowengart Interiors LLC
Photo Credit: Rue Magazine

While gray is establishing itself as a modern classic, blue stands out as a popular choice for those with a more adventurous approach to home design.  Blue has long been a staple of fashion and design, but the rich royal blues and teals arriving on the paint scene today signal a turn towards the dramatic.  Like charcoal, saturated blues allow white and vibrant colors like mustard and coral to pop.

Photo Credit: Ashley Whittaker Design
Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue
Photo Credit: Farrow & Ball
Photo Credit: Eric Cohler Design

Still unsure of whether this trend will work for you?  It should be a safe bet if your room has large windows and a lot of natural light.  To emphasize the bright natural light, contrast the dark paint with bright white window and door trim or wainscoting, white accessories and fixtures, and sheer window treatments.

Photo Credit: House Beautiful
Photo Credit: Traditional Home
Photo Credit: House Beautiful

The entryway is one of the easiest places to experiment with color.  Although it literally makes the first impression for anyone entering your home, it is not an area where people linger for long periods of time and thus doesn’t have to follow the same rules as other rooms.  Have fun with it.  Choose a color you love, that you want to see when you leave for work every morning and when you come home every night.

Photo Credit: House Beautiful
Photo Credit: Punt
Photo Credit: Sheila Bridges

Deep, saturated color may be a growing trend, but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow anyone else’s lead.  The beauty of color lies in the variety of options.  Trust your instincts and create a mood that feels fresh and new.  And remember, the best thing about paint is that you can always paint over it again if you don’t love the results!

Photo Credit: Traditional Home
Photo Credit: Steven Gambrel
Photo Credit: William-Christopher Design

To see more paint colors, wallpapers, and murals, visit my Winsome Walls board on Pinterest:

2 thoughts on “Design Trends: Saturated Paint Colors

  1. Great images providing tons of inspiration . You have a beautiful blog , a pleasure to read. Thank you for stoping by my blog and for the follow. Greatly appreciated. Besa

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