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  • Writer's pictureDebbie DeMarais

A Quick Look at the Colors of the Year for 2022

What will 2022 bring? If the last couple years taught us anything, it’s that we have no idea. But that can’t stop designers from making a few educated guesses! As we start off the new year, paint and design companies are revealing what trends they think will fill our homes and coat our walls in the new year.

Their picks—and the reasoning behind them—are thought-provoking. Especially for someone who works with paint color, décor color, and interior design choices for a living.

A few of the choices really stood out to me, and my thoughts on them are below. But as a designer working in Santa Fe, I wanted to point out how regional styles and traditions can outweigh—and outlast—fashionable trends.

If you’re looking for a complete summary of all the color picks for 2022, Better Homes & Gardens does a great roundup from paint companies and color experts like Pantone.

Like so many color specialists, paint company Benjamin Moore went with a color palette inspired by nature. Their color of the year is October Mist, which they say evokes “the silver-green stem of a flower” and “creates a canvas for other colors.” This soft green feels very peaceful, calming, and serene.

Six rectangles, each displaying one color from Benjamin Moore's 2022 Color Palette of the Year

October Mist also serves as an ideal backdrop for the other colors in their 2022 palette, many of which reminded me of natural scenery in Santa Fe.

The boldness of Wild Flower reminds me of the various hues of the Santa Fe sunset.

Mysterious looks like it was pulled directly from our skies right before a storm.

Even though the color is Pale Moon, it makes me think of a pop of Southwestern sunlight spilling across the floor.

I’ve definitely seen the soft hue from Hint of Violet in wildflowers on hikes.

And Venetian Portico could easily pass for our city’s natural shade of stucco.

Overall, I feel Benjamin Moore’s color palette for 2022 works so well because it found inspiration from nature. That’s where I often turn for inspiration in my own work. After all, a color palette that has developed over billions of years probably knows what it’s doing.

I was super excited to see what Sherwin Williams announced for their 2022 color of the year. It’s nature inspired and I feel like I’ve absolutely seen that shade out in the wild. As a former Seattleite I’m wondering if they spent time hiking in the rainforests of the PNW and came up with Evergreen Fog.

Simple rectangular shape filled with Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog paint color

The color is so calming and organic, I would love to use it in a media room. It would serve as a perfect signal to the brain that it’s time to wind down. Preparing you to snuggle in for an evening of binge-watching your favorite show. Just think how cozy and inviting that could be.

While paint companies focus on our homes and interiors, Pantone takes a wider view. Their color standards and color consultancy support designers in the fashion and product industries and in publishing and digital design. That last category is really where I see their color of the year working best.

The color is called Very Peri and it’s a play on the traditional blue-hued periwinkle, adding in some red-violet undertones. As they state in their rationale behind the color choice, it’s a color intended to inspire creativity in the digital world. They point out that “color trends in the digital world are being manifested in the physical world and vice versa.”

Five overlapping rectangles of Pantone's 2022 Color of the Year Veri Peri

While that may be true to some degree, I feel like the color they chose is probably better suited to the digital space. If I were pressed to use Very Peri in a real life application, I could see it in a kid’s bedroom or a classroom. In a home, I don’t necessarily feel like it would have a long life span. But get ready to start seeing the color on websites you visit this year!

While it’s not a color of the year, I was really impressed by the Archive color collection Farrow and Ball put together in collaboration with Liberty Interiors Fabrics. The combinations are beautiful. Like the dark blue Serge paint color paired with a sofa upholstered in Liberty’s Regency Tulip fabric in Lapis.

Fabric swatch of Liberty Fabric's Regency Tulip in lapis with a colored rectangle of Farrow and Ball's Serge color behind

What do color trends mean for Santa Fe?

If you know anything about Santa Fe, you probably know our style is a little more timeless than trendy. We have our own look and aesthetic informed by two centuries of history and the stunning landscapes that surround us. That’s not to say that we don’t incorporate contemporary design into our style, but everything is filtered through our established tones and currents.

Dining room with adobe-colored plaster walls, two glass doors to exterior patio, a sideboard, and table with seating for six decorated in contemporary style
A contemporary Southwest-style dining room in earth tones, styled by Debbie DeMarais. Photo: Laurie Alligretti

And I think that’s a great thing. Imagine if paint companies chose their colors and suddenly you started seeing the same thing everywhere you looked? From a design perspective, that sounds like a nightmare!

Santa Fe will likely stick with its copper tones and deep rich reds. In my own work, I know 2022 will see me using calming blues and greens, and of course, colors inspired by nature.


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