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2019 Paint Color Trends



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We’re on the trend train this January, and while we’ve already touched on what we think is going to be “in” for kitchens, bathrooms, and furniture and decor, we’ve been itching, nay violently scratching, to talk about colors, specifically paint. Last year, I wrote about my desperate cry for more colored walls in design, after years and years of white being the gold standard and I’m happy to report today that I’ve absolutely noticed a slide into other colors. I don’t think people have run out all of a sudden to their local paint counter and bought up all the brights and bolds they could get their hands on because of my article. Not by ANY means, but I sniff a shift, and it smells really good.

So, I’m quite happy to report that this post is not full of a bunch of different shades of white and gray (though we are always talking about the perfect white and should probably go ahead and do a round up of some of our go-to shades), but actual color. Truly and honestly, and I know we’ve said this so many times before, paint is the cheapest and most reversible way to make a HUGE impact in a room. That, and some subtle architectural details like molding. If your walls could talk, I promise they’d beg you for a nice warm coat of some sexy, sexy paint.

Which brings us here. The editorial and design teams put their heads together to drill down and dig up the colors we’re seeing and loving, and are going to move forward on calling out as a “trend.” This is not to say that should you choose something not called out in this list, you’re somehow wrong, but if you’re on the hunt for something fresh and new for your home, we hope this will be a good guide for you.

Mossy Green

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Ste. Marie

Moody greens were not up for debate. It was the first color out of at least three of our mouths when we were sitting around, braiding each others’ hair and talking about paint trends (though Michael petitioned HARD for a clearer, brighter emerald green, but it didn’t win out today, sorry). If you’re doing a little dance in your chair right now, be sure to head to this post where we really dove into the whole green-is-the-new-white idea. Deep almost blue-ish greens have been super popular lately, but we’re really excited about this more mossy, dusty green with slight olive undertones.

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Ste. Marie

We personally don’t think a tone like this would work very well in anything other than a super matte finish (unless you pair that on a wall with the same colored molding in a higher sheen). You can always bring in a touch of glam with shinier velvets, marble or polished woods (or a fox) if the chalkiness falls flat to you.

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Billy Cotton

It also comes off so, so lovely and Old World when the palette built around it is also rich and moody. It’s definitely a heavy look (some might call it “granny,” except I hate the use of that word…as if grandmas can’t be really cool and full of style…).

Schoolhouse Green

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Kennedy Nolan

For anyone that was bored by that last green, thinking it was dull and dour ::cough MICHAEL cough::, we present you with a much happier, zippy green. It’s what we’re calling “schoolhouse green” because it’s kind of that tone that can be found in chalkboards and seats in grade schools the world over (though I highly suspect schools don’t even have chalkboards anymore and have been replaced with something much higher tech like dry erase boards or holograms). The color in the above photo is ALIVE people, and while probably too bold of a move for most, it can be a seriously fun jolt in a room with mostly neutrals.

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Helen Cathcart

Here’s a hot tip on bringing in a color that might feel like it would just be too suffocating on a whole wall: paint window and door trims in it, and leave your walls a lighter shade or even white. It’s a really European touch that we give the thumbs up to.


Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Giancarlo Valle

I can already hear all the “this reminds me of the ’80s and I’m not going back” outcries, but just because it was done in the decade that gets the worst rap for design and fashion doesn’t mean it can’t work in 2019. It’s all about how it’s used and what it’s paired with. In the room above, combined with mostly wood tones and soft neutrals in interesting silhouettes, it feels sharp, modern and sumptuous.

This color works particularly well on a wall + molding + built-ins situation in a satin or high gloss. It’s already such a rich, showy color that you might as well get even flashier. Teal welcomes the attention (it’s like the Kardashian of the paint deck. It begs you to look at it, watch it, want to be it, buy its lip kits).

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
photo by Sara Tramp for EHD | A Before & After House Tour

Ashley from The Gold Hive house tour we ran earlier this month painted her den this deep greenish blue that had us all oohing and ahhing over (it’s Benjamin Moore’s Salamander, which is actually much more of a hunter green in real life, but it photographs nearly teal and still wanted to show it to you for inspiration). It’s particularly chic with the equally striking blue velvet sofa set against it.

Dusty Blue

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Feltus Hawkins Design & Dryden Architecture and Design

A slate-y blue like this bedroom feels perhaps the most “EHD” shade here, but hey…we aren’t a one-trick pony, okay? And basically, any deep shade like this is definitely made even more eye-catching with molding painted the same color.

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Kate Thornell-Staig

The more we looked at these cabinets, the more we saw the strong purple undertones, but actually, that’s kind of what’s nice about it. It’s a kind of hue you can’t quite place your finger on…is it blue? Is it purple? IS IT GRAY? We all wish we were as mysterious as this cabinet color.


Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
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We’re currently working on a post about all the things we’re seeing that we’re told are “big,” but we’re just not there yet with. Coral is kind of that. We were passing around paint decks to vote on paint colors we liked best for this post and it kept having to be introduced as “I mean, not for your actual house, but like, if it were, which would you pick?” It’s a hard sell to the EHD squad, but just because we aren’t 100% there yet with it doesn’t mean it’s not happening in the zeitgeist. It can be very pretty and invigorating in the right space, paired with the right colors (so far, we can swallow it when it teams up with warm neutrals or is colored blocked with rich oxblood reds and or rusty oranges…it’s fluid, it can go both ways).

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
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It does also work very nicely with other soft pastels, like lilac, periwinkle and blushy pinks. Hot tip: when you have a color like this that’s an attention hog, be sure to pair it with plenty of natural textures like wood, linen, nubby wools. It’ll ground it and make the room feel much more welcoming, and less like a showpiece.


Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Dabito of Old Brand New

This dining room GIVES ME LIFE. The pairing of colors feels so good and solid and not too matchy matchy and that’s all I could ever want in a room. Bravo Dabito. And the star here is of course the Babouche yellow from Farrow & Ball that somehow doesn’t come off insane and like you’re inside the sun. The low white wainscotting treatment mellows it out, as does the wood dining table and credenza.

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
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Dabito’s dining room was a touch mustard (super popular right now across furniture, textiles and decor, too), but this kitchen right here is like the happiest sun-shiny yellow we’ve seen and it brings a smile to our face. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s for someone okay, and if you’re that person, I want to be friends with you (and have breakfast at that table).

Dusty Rose

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by deVOL

This color goes out to those of you who just can’t quit blush, but are maybe looking for a more grown version of it. Again, this absolutely brings back memories of late ’80s and early ’90s design, but like anything else, it’s how you work with it. It can be really beautiful in an unexpected spot like the kitchen, elevated with rosy golds and marbles but balanced with rough-sewn and live-edge wood.

Emily Henderson 2019 Paint Color Trends
image source | design by Kip & Co

Oh man does this whole kitchen make my eyes pop out of my head (in a good way). Is it CAH-RAZY? YES, and that is precisely why I love to look at it. Living in it might be a bit of a different story, but a milky pink concrete kitchen island and BRASS CABINET FRONTS is the kind of boldness I wish I lived my life with more, right?

Before we go, we put together some EHD-approved paint decks for each of the colors we talked about. Oh, and we’re sharing these with the caveat that while some of the picks we know and love IRL, others we haven’t tested, so pretty please buy samples before painting a whole wall and then cursing us when you end up hating it. Hopefully, it’s all love and rainbows and happiness, but ALWAYS TEST YOUR PAINT before committing (you want to see how it looks in your specific room, with your specific amount of light). Okay, agreed?

Best Green Paints

Half Moon Bay by Portola Paints & Glazes | Breakfast Room Green by Farrow & Ball | Pewter Green by Sherwin-Williams | Night Watch by PPG

Best Blue Paint Colors

Stardew by Sherwin-Williams | Pelican Bay by Portola Paints & Glazes | Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball | Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

Best Coral Paint Colors

Cape Cod Summer by Portola Paints & Glazes | Sockeye by Sherwin-Williams | Red Earth by Farrow & Ball | Firenze by Benjamin Moore

Best Pink Paint Colors

Pale Cherry Blossom by Benjamin Moore | Pressed Flower by Sherwin-Williams | Strawberry Mousse by Pratt & Lambert  | Sulking Room Pink by Farrow & Ball

Best Yellow Paint Colors

Indian Summer by Portola Paints & Glazes | Forsythia by Sherwin-Williams | Babouche by Farrow & Ball | Stuart Gold by Benjamin Moore

Alright, now it’s time to hear from all of you. What do you love? What do you veto? Beyond these 7 general hues, what else are you seeing that has you feeling like you can’t breathe when you see it because of its sheer beauty. Share links below or even just paint colors you know and love. We can’t wait to hear!

Fin Mark


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0 responses to “2019 Paint Color Trends

  1. Love the paint swatches at the end – very useful!

    If you had to add an adjective to this 2019 yellow, what would it be? The pink is dusty, the green is schoolhouse, but yellow without an adjective is 16.67% of the colorwheel (huge), and I’d like an adjective to whittle it down a bit.

    1. Maybe “summery”? None of them are particularly buttery, which I feel like is a big risk with yellow. These all look like they’re pulled straight from a garden.

    2. I’m not sure if this is descriptive enough, but we kept saying we needed “happy” yellows (and also some mustards and richer). We wanted to make sure the colors were saturated and “clear” (i.e. not dusty or milky because then they’d veer too buttery and that’s not what we were going for).

    1. I love emerald in some applications, but this particular photo just reminded me of a green screen used for special effects.

      1. LOL! I agree, that pic maybe makes it look a little bright. I would probably be nervous to use that exact shade but it is still such a happy and fun color. Maybe if it had richer or deeper emerald tones it would be a little better. But I just can’t help myself…I LOVE the color green in all it’s shades! Even the mossy.

  2. We decided to paint the front door of our mid modern house a colour, husband brings home 3 colour samples, one of them is a coral colour, which I now love and we are going for it. Next day on IG, Panatone announce their colour of the year – living coral. Cant believe we are on trend.

  3. coral: yes, all day long. i love bright colors and it totally makes you feel good and happy when you look at it. our living room is painted a very bright, color, it looks like the inside of a cantaloupe. and our dining room, which you can see from the living room is bubble gum pink, and the kitchen which you can see from both the dining room and living room is painted a goldenrod yellow. when you sit in the living room and look at it all together, it looks so HAPPY and pretty. i wouldn’t have it any other way.
    i do look at all white interiors, as they are basically everywhere in the design world, and i do think it looks amazing and all that, but give me a bright color that glows in the sunshine!

    also, under yellow, that kitchen. gross. the yellow cabinets don’t go AT ALL with the rest of the space. but that yellow dining room, YES! looks so good!

    1. It is hard!!! But, I suppose that’s what gives our industry some clout because what so many people don’t understand is how hard it really is!

  4. Hot damn, for once I’m on trend! Moved this summer and our color story for this house is almost exactly this post, right down to the white with green trim! I was planning a mossy green for my boys room but it has dormer windows that face north and west. Any thoughts? Do you think it’ll pull too dark and drab?

    1. I painted one wall of my girls’ dim north facing room mossy green, with the other three walls a medium putty colored greenish beige. The lighting makes the paint colors go significantly grayer/toned down and less saturated looking than they appeared on the paint chip or in other rooms, so it took a LOT of sample chips and test pots to find the right colors for the room. In the end they APPEAR just how I wanted and do not pull too dark and drab, but test test test and I bet it will work out for you!

    2. Here’s what we recommend. Pick a hue you like, then one a shade or two lighter, and a shade or two darker. Paint all three in a decent sized swatch (maybe like 20×20) on several walls and see how the colors look in the light throughout the day over a few days. You can always do whatever color you decide in a bit of a higher sheen (plus more kid-friendly) to catch more light.

  5. We are absolutely LOVING the dark hues, especially the blues (Hague Blue, Drawing Room Blue, Oh my!) We love seeing the dark moody hues being used in a study or a library, or even a small powder room!

  6. Painted my 1/2 bath in Salamander this weekend! It’s perfect & we love it. Thank you for recommending The Gold Hive for the inspiration!

      1. I was just looking at that post to help me pick out a grey – it was great but Brady never told us which color he went with in the end (“….stay tuned for the reveal!”) and the in his next post when he revealed the whole living room he just said errr didn’t work so went with a F&B that wasn’t one of his original choices. I was dying to know which one didn’t work out and why – it would have been very instructive! Just goes to show even professionals can get paint colors wrong even with multiple swatches and testing.

        By the way, Emily and team, the Portola paints look lovely (the Half Moon Bay color looks gorgeous and exactly what I’m looking for for my son’s room) but maybe it would be better to show paint swatches from larger companies like Ben Moore and SW that are available anywhere? Getting paint shipped from a small local shop in LA to places like Minneapolis can be dodgy in the winter if paint ends up sitting outside in freezing temperatures. Just a thought….

  7. What a fab post!! I love seeing and hearing about the trends you guys have caught onto and especially like the dusty blue and pink wall colors here! The idea of painting just the window and door trims is very cool and something I was talking about just the other day – maybe a topic for a future post? Great work as always! 🙂

  8. I love it when something I’ve used in my own home gets a mention by you guys! I chose the deep teal Marea Baja by SW in my guest room and recently painted the window trim to match (if you’re interested: : ). It’s been two years and I couldn’t be happier -cozy and comforting during Portland’s grey winters and a cool respite in the summer (though sometimes I have the urge to paint the ceiling the same color..? when my whim is something I don’t quite understand/you don’t regularly see in other people’s homes/ out of the mainstream, I will often wait to see if my gut is serious enough to continue making the same request before I take the plunge. I’ll let you know if it happens.) side note: Arlyn, your voice here on the blog felt instantly familiar to me and the feeling only deepens with each post. Looking forward to the formal introductions to the rest of the new/er EHD team.

    1. First off, your room is SO cozy it makes me want to curl up in a blanket like a giant human burrito and never unwrap myself. Secondly, thank you so much!! That really made my Tuesday morning (and week and month). We’re working on a team page so everyone knows everyone, and we’re so excited to launch (though it probably won’t be for another few weeks).

  9. Curious how the EHD team feels about using these bold colors on orange-peel walls. It seems to me these gorgeous colors need to be on a level 5 smooth wall only. I don’t want to dray attention to the awful peel texture.

    1. Here’s my personal thought on this, as someone who has VERY textured walls in half my apartment: orange peel doesn’t look great no matter what color it is, so I might as well paint it the color that will make me happiest.

    1. Yassss! I love me some Emerald Green! To be honest…I love all shades of green. ALL OF THEM. Sometimes I just like the brighter/happier ones a little more but understand those are harder to use in design.

  10. I have just picked out several of these colors for my house while planning renovations. I am honestly not sure if that makes me feel happy or not that I am on trend.

    1. Green is just such a pretty color. Maybe it’s because I’m from Oregon originally where EVERYTHING is green but I just love it. I don’t think I’ve met a shade of green I couldn’t befriend.

  11. Ok. I always lurk and never post but I am so excited about this post! I just painted (in December) my dining room and living room Benjamin Moore Vintage Vogue, in Matte. And my ceiling in my family room Odessa Pink! My butlers pantry is already Slate teal!

  12. Thank you for this post. I am especially loving the beautiful blues and greens and am totally Team Michael–more emerald green!

  13. Greens and blues are always good!!
    Personally, I cannot do yellow. I think it was my childhood ‘70’s bedroom ????

  14. This brings back fond memories of decorating my very first apartment based on a fabric with shades of sage-y green, slate blue and soft, grayish coral. Of course I obeyed my landlord and stuck with white walls but any of those samples would have bene perfect. Ahhh, the early ’80s!
    The yellow swatches, on the other hand, harken way too closely to the harvest gold nightmares of my childhood kitchen. No can do!

  15. Thanks to a friend in the biz, I’ve used 2 variations of these colors (greens) and am going dusty blush with my next project. Let’s just hope I’m not repainting it all in a few years ????

  16. YES!! In my opinion, white walls are now suuuuper basic and (dare I say) starting to look dated (*gasp!*). I just don’t see the creative design in rooms with white walls anymore, like it almost feels lazy at this point? But maybe that’s just me. I embrace an 80s comeback with open arms, there was so much energy and boldness that I think the design world really needs after obsessing over Scandi minimalism for the past 5 years.

  17. What color would you say are the walls in the first image of your post? It is beautiful!! Not pink but not coral. Don’t know exactly what it is…help, please!

      1. I’m painting my China cabinet from my Mom with Farrow & Ball Dead Salmon. The color in the first photo looks similar to Dead Salmon.

  18. I’m on Team Chocolate Brown … diet busting chocolate. I’ve done walls in our bedroom in two separate homes in this shade. We have a white Matelesse quilt which helps offset the dark tone. And a black and brown tones Haori kimono hanging over our bed…

    But I’m pinning this post in case I get hungry for something else…

  19. Really like this content as paint is (relatively ) easy but I don’t always know where to go when I’m tired of my current paint color!

    What are your feelings (as a team) of things painted black? Ive wanted to paint everything black for the past couple of years, but I’ve resisted as I have 2 young kids and my DIY projects have to be very thoughtful. Should I paint my kitchen island black?!?! My cupboards!?!

  20. I notice that several of these examples take the color across the molding or continued on the ceiling. This seems like a good approach for bringing colorful walls into older homes. We used to live in an old cottage with white trim, white ceilings, and colorful walls that made the space warm and inviting. Unfortunately, the foundation had settled and the floors weren’t level with the window trim or the ceiling. I got a cold that messed with my balance and the wonkiness of nothing being level made me so dizzy and nauseous it was unbearable. I headed to the paint store, asked for three gallons of whatever was the most popular white (BM Linen White), and went home and started painting. I could finally be in my living room again without feeling sick! We are in an old house again that much more level but not perfect. I have to keep remind myself when I see posts like this that white walls are fine. I think my main takeaway is that if your house is not level, avoid a high contrast between walls and trim. It doesn’t have to be all white–the older homes with matching trim and walls are lovely.

  21. “It’s definitely a heavy look (some might call it “granny,” except I hate the use of that word…as if grandmas can’t be really cool and full of style…).”

    THANK you!!! “granny” as a decor term pisses me right off. 🙁

    I’m the one who is not (ever) ready to give up blush. When I was a kid, I remember my mom calling Dusty Rose — Ashes of Roses. So, that’s what I always say. Makes me like the actual color even more.

    1. Thank you so much for this post and all the beautiful color options. I too am a Portlander and love to have my home filled with happy, welcoming colors. I also want to thank you for declining to use the word granny. Ugh! I see it everywhere (including this blog sorry) and find it ageist and misogynistic, reinforcing the stereotype that women with a few more years under their belts can’t have great style and taste. I’ll be reading more Arlyn. Thank you.

  22. I’m not against bold color per se – but I feel like these shades would be great for a year or so and then you’d want something more subtle. There’s a reason why whites and neutrals are so popular. Because when you want a change you can switch up the decor without having to repaint. I’m curious if these color ideas are something that Arlyn is really into but not so much Emily? It doesn’t seem very Emily to me. Arlyn likes to kick it up a notch for sure! Which I think is awesome – just different than what I recall seeing here before. I do love that dusty pink very much!

  23. Yay! I love this post and am SO happy to see a variety of colors. My bedroom is close to that Stuart gold, but I’m thinking about changing to a pinky/coraly color on one all the walls but one, which will get white. Then I’ll be able to hang any of my quilts on the white wall and decorate around whichever one I use for however long it stays up. And the yellow dining room –!

    So I’m in a condo with the open kitchen/dining room/living room. Would it work, do ya’ think to paint one wall in each section, one color (thinking the mossy green)? I can do a wall opposite my kitchen cabinets, then diagonally across the room the nook of my dining room then diagonally from that, same level as the first wall in the living room. (So as you enter the condo – wall on the right, then the left, then the right.) They are three distinct areas.

    Thanks for all the color!

  24. Any guesses what the name is of the dusty pink paint in the opening photo is? Hands down my favorite and reminds me of a living room I painted more than a decade ago.

  25. That dusty rose kitchen with the blackwash and natural cabinets is EVERYTHING. Been crushing harrrd on that one for a while.

    The purple/blue/gray is gray. But I once chose a mid-dark gray that turned out to have an unexpected purpley tone, and I absolutely fell in love. It came off as really elegant versus more stodgy neutral counterparts.

  26. Thanks for the shot of color. I too am am so thrilled for decorating tips that show my darling pet fox in the best light. 😉

  27. I don’t know about it as a decorating term, but I love my “granny” shoes and believe that when I wear them with the right jeans, they make my ankles look super sexy. j/s 😉

  28. Love this list! I’ve just picked a bright mustard for my MIL’s guest room and was feeling nervous about it (I’m still on the white walls bandwagon for my own place). Thank you for validating my instincts haha!

  29. Love that mossy green!! A couple years ago, we painted our bedroom that color – so restful. Now I’m looking at something similar for the kitchen. Thanks for sharing all of these stunners!

  30. Queen Anne Pink by Benjamin Moore is the perfect blush, and goes beautifully with navy and gold accents.

  31. I LOoove this!! (in my best Cameron from Modern Family voice) The first green wall makes my heart glad and the blues are great as well. Is the green color from that wall mentioned? It’s the one directly below mossy green with the live edge cutting board.

  32. I can attest to the greatness of Stuart Gold, it’s a warm yellow without being jarring. I’ve used it on the main wall in my entry and it really cheers up the space.

    It goes nicely with the warmer white we’ve used (Swiss Coffee – BM) and with the teak stained wood paneling we have on the licing room wall that opens into the entry.

    The yellow wall sits behind the teak one, so you get a combo of Stuart Gold, Swiss Coffee and Teak when you look from the living room to the entry.

  33. Thanks for showing off my moody green den! That paint color is like a mood ring – sometimes green, sometimes teal, sometimes black, sometimes blue. I love it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  34. I painted my north facing great room/dining room Salamander, which is that deep hunter green Ashley from The Gold Hive used as well. It has completely transformed my house in the best way. What used to be a dingy, depressing walk-through room is now a room we spend so much time in. The color is cozy and luxurious and I’m leaning in hard to super saturated royal tones right now. With that color as a backdrop, my eye wants ALL the colors against it, so I’ve been experimenting with breaking some rules and seeing what the full rainbow looks like against it. I think I’m all in at this point ????

  35. Tempted to paint my dining room an emerald green or dark teal. But no to mustard or gold. Not enough time has passed from painting over all the yellow and gold from my last home and one room in my new home. Digging coral for a guest bathroom particularly BM fruit shake or cool lava.

  36. Oh gosh. My living room is teal, my dining room is coral, and my kitchen is yellow. They have been, since we bought the house in 2016. At the time, I joked that Easter threw up all over our house…

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