Pick a color any color. It’s the color of the year. Every year or so now, the top paint companies announce their color of the year, their best guess of what the color “in” is about to be.

Begin the drum roll.

While I don’t believe for a minute that these ads are much more than a PR ploy to get consumers to think about color and maybe buy paint – which they do or these companies wouldn’t continue don’t have to – and while I’ve never really gone out and painted a room in my house one of the anointed colors, I like to watch. The color expert picks help me understand how colors go in and out of style. And the colors move.

COTY’s first announcement came earlier this month when Sherwin-Williams’ HGTV Home chose Darkroom (HGSW 7083), a black with a purple undertone. Among the words used in the accompanying press release to describe it were “alluring,” “classic,” and “retro modern for the throwback-inspired aesthetic.” My darkroom reaction: Uh, maybe if I made a house for Morticia Addams.

A week later, PPG’s Glidden Paint delivered Vining Ivy (PPG1148-6), a bluish-green tone, like its COTY 2023.

“Consumers are looking to simplify in this post-COVID era, as the past two years have shed new light on the importance of serenity and small moments,” says Glidden color expert Ashley McCollum in the press release. . “Vining Ivy embodies that vibe perfectly.

I don’t know what teal has to do with small moments, but I prefer ivy over darkroom.

A few days later, the Sherwin-Williams 2023 Colormix Forecast was released. Don’t confuse, as I did, Sherwin-Williams’ HGTV Home, a product line sold at Lowe’s, with the broader Sherwin-Williams brand, which sells its paints in Sherwin-Williams stores and has its own COTY . As if color wasn’t complicated enough.

Sherwin-Williams named its Colormix Forecast 2023 Terra “because it’s about nature and our connection to the Earth as humans.” OK if you say so. The forecast includes 40 colors across four select palettes from which the company’s COTY will emerge in late September, says Sue Wadden, the brand’s director of color marketing.

I try to get her to flip the paint color she’s leaning towards, but all she’ll say is that it’s kinda hot. Well, that reduces it.

However, what I really want to know about this woman who thinks about color all day and travels the world observing color and then talks to others who are doing the same thing, other than how to get a job like that, n It wasn’t the color of the moment, but rather color trends for the long term, like, say, the next 10 years.

In other words, don’t give me your flash-in-the-pan-fun-for-a-second color, but colors we can rely on, reliably engineered.

So, I grabbed a cup of coffee and asked Wadden all the questions I selfishly wanted to know:

Q For those of us homeowners who want to make sustainable interior design choices, what colors should we stray from and head towards?

A Stay away from gray. I’m not saying the gray is bad, but it’s had a very long cycle, and the natural evolution is to move away. Walk towards warmer neutrals that have a small range like bone, beige and greige. Opt for natural earth tones like terracotta and sand, which will gain momentum as people seek to nurture stable colors in their homes. Run to brown. Strong, dark and nutty browns are really coming.

Dark gray purples and rich plums, especially alongside very light shades, will be prominent. But the strongest color of the future is green. I will say that green is the color of this decade.

Q What has the most influence on color trends now?

A The opening of our post-pandemic world. After months of confinement and restricted travel, we are thirsty for nature. We seek to get out and escape. That’s why in this post-pandemic shift, green is the color. It’s so symbolic of rebirth.

We are also moving towards darker colors. We no longer paint everything white and gray. In times of turmoil — social and political — darker colors make rooms feel like sanctuaries. They reassure us.

Q Kitchens are such an investment, a place where you really want a look that lasts. What do you recommend there?

A On the countertops, you don’t see much besides white or creamy white, but you’re moving away from the kitchens which are white countertops on white or gray cabinets. I always love the tuxedo look, light countertops over dark cabinetry in timeless colors like carbon gray, deep blue or forest green. I also like the stained wood cabinets.

Q What color advice can you give to anyone with gray-on-grey homes? How can they move on with color?

A They don’t have to change everything. They may view color trends as an opportunity to introduce a fresh color, perhaps a bright yellow, in new seat cushions, accent plates, and fabrics to balance out the grays.

For color confusion, Sherwin-Williams is offering a new free virtual consultation service to help homeowners navigate their choices at sherwin-williams.com/en-us/virtual-color-consultation.

Marni Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books including “What to Do With Everything You Own to Leave the Legacy You Want”, “Downsizing the Family Home – What to Save, What to Let Go” and “Downsizing the Blended Home – When Two Homes Become One. You can reach her at marnijameson.com.