The Reasons Behind 2017’s Color Trends

Every year, paint company Sherwin-Williams puts together a series of palettes to predict the hues and combinations that will influence interiors in the coming year. They look not only at paint swatches but also at the cultural forces behind a color’s popularity.


Last week, representatives from the company were on hand to reveal the palettes to interior designers and others attending the Chicago Design Summit. They predict surging interest in “new spirituality, cultural flux, feisty self-expression, and soulful nostalgia” will bring these four palettes to prominence in 2017:

NoirThe dark dramatic tones of this group of colors (offset by occasional flashes of light) mirror society’s rejection of screen time and light pollution with a romantic, medieval twist.

  • Cultural influences bringing this palette to prominence: Baroque/Romantic-era art, the Dutch Golden Age, Pope Francis, Earth Hour, champing, meditation
  • Finishes and patterns you’ll see associated with this color scheme: velvet, damask, dark veined marble, floral prints, iridescence, high-gloss and powder finishes

HolisticSherwin-Williams predicts that the trend toward radical transparency in society means more people are embracing the idea that “doing good is the new looking good.”

  • Cultural influences: fair-trade luxuries, adventure/experimental vacation spots, solo travel, LEED v.4, forest bathing, sustainable product design
  • Finishes and patterns: raffia, botanical prints, leather with raw edges, zinc, oxidized surfaces, puzzle designs, 1980s-style geometric prints

Read morePaint Primer: Quick, Affordable Change-Artist

IntrepidThe fluidity of identity, an emphasis on honest self-expression, and an appreciation for camaraderie and collaboration are responsible for the bold colors of this palette.

  • Cultural influences: Riot grrrl, 1970s/1990s nostalgia, the resurgence in the popularity of group classes, squad goals, Caitlyn Jenner
  • Finishes and patterns: gloss, lacquered plastics, large-scale geometric prints, vibrant kimono prints, wall panels and room dividers, bright vinyl

Unbounded: Sherwin-Williams predicts consumers are becoming more inclined to invest in quality, artisan goods now that the age of conspicuous consumption is over.

  • Cultural influences: migration, global citizenship, designers targeting a more diverse group of consumers, purpose-driven brands, connected communities
  • Finishes and patterns: ceramics, heavily patterned tiles, basketry, aged metals, woods, combinations of multiple metal hues

Meg White, REALTOR® Magazine


  1. Really good site, thank you so much for your effort in writing this post.

%d bloggers like this: