Fall may bring about scenes of burnt orange leaves and pumpkins, but think again. This year, paint experts are predicting the dominant colors are going to read much more lively and even a bit reminiscent of summer as that season winds down. We’re talking bold, fruity colors like lime and orange, punchy hues like magenta and royal blue, and, of course, classic neutrals and earth tones.
We tapped paint experts to share what trends they are spotting for the fall, and their picks will surprise you—in the best way.
Neutrals are here to stay, and they can play a role in many ways throughout your home’s color scheme. Pair them with punchier colors for balance, or create a serene environment inspired by nature with lots of earthy tones.
“Looking to fall 2021, nature continues to be a predominant theme with a focus on outdoor life, hiking, forest bathing—really any activity that engages the senses in nature,” the experts at Dunn-Edwards Paints say. “In this trend, we will see a continued focus on warm neutrals and look for browns to surge forward, along with nature-based greens, sky blues, gray rock, and earthy mineral hues.”
Is your door looking a little dull? Brighten it up with a punchy color to really make a statement.
“Using a warming color on walls is not only soothing but has a reassuring effect, making us feel secure as well as very current,” Joa Studholme, the International Color Consultant at Farrow & Ball, says. “However, for an extra revitalizing twist, use a more upbeat color on a single door. Here, refreshing Yeabridge Green is used to add some extra energy and make you smile.”
After another trying year, everyone is seeking joy and comfort in their spaces, and paint trends will mirror this. The walls around you should brighten your mood, making another color trend bright, floral-inspired shades of magenta and true sky blues.
“We all seek joy and escapism and heading to fall 2021, and this trend still continues creating positive moments, embracing joy through spontaneity and laid-back lifestyles,” Dunn-Edwards says. “The color examples here are bright, fun, clean, and happy."
Warm, Optimistic Shades
“Overall, we are seeing 2021 fall color trends going in a more optimistic direction,” says Erika Woelfel, the vice president of color and creative services at Behr Paint. “The drivers behind this movement are the people—they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the world is starting to open up again. They are looking for colors that bring positive and uplifting energy into the home.”
Behr notes that warm, neutral color stories will remain key for fall and cites shades like oranges, beiges, and browns as classic go-tos.
Adding to Your Curb Appeal
“Our homes are more important to us than ever, so add to your pavement appeal by making your front door feel as big and welcoming as you can by painting the frame as well as the door itself,” Studholme suggests. “This intensely pigmented blue has been used over the complete entrance to anchor the house, make it feel far more substantial, and add a little drama to the beginning of the journey through our home.”
Connecting Interior With Exterior
On that note, people are ready to enhance their outdoor living situations even into cooler fall nights.
“Bringing the elements of the natural world into our interiors encourages personal growth as well as evoking a feeling of calm,” Studholme says. “To really embrace the great outdoors, use the same color on the frames of your windows as your walls rather than defaulting to white trim that creates a barrier between the interior and exterior. Here, soft Green Smoke sits perfectly in the landscape creating a calm and protective space.”
If you’re hoping to curate a timeless look in your home, look no further than soft, pastel hues for the fall. The pastel and sorbet color movement was prominent this year, and as they are not too far off from the neutrals we know and love, they are an easy way to add color and interest.
Dunn-Edwards predicts that this trend will continue well into 2022. “If you're looking for a variation of neutrals to work within fall designs, these colors bring a lightness and airiness to traditional and contemporary designs,” they state. “A variety of soft pastels and light hues provide inspiration as to what lies ahead in 2022.”
Fruity and Lively Hues
Get ready to brighten things up, despite the approaching winter weather. Dunn-Edwards predicted that in fall 2021, the color trends will read fresh, bright, healthy, and fun. If you want to hold on to summer a little longer, paint your space in shades of citrus, bright yellows, and berry blues.
“Heading into fall 2021, we continue to treasure the simple joys of life and days filled with gratitude and being outside in the world again,” Dunn-Edwards states. “This inspiration will carry into 2022 as it morphs into a resurgent passion for life, community, and just being around others.”
Going for Monochromatic
Carry your color to each aspect of your home—including your furniture. “Since we have spent so much more time in our homes, we have felt the need to disguise our storage, making rooms feel bigger and more seamless,” Studholme says. “Kitchen cabinets painted the same color as the walls mean that they ‘disappear’ into the walls and the room will feel less like a kitchen and more like a living room."
This trend applies to creating necessary spaces of the home shine, like the home office. "Similarly, home offices created out of closets can be disguised if painted in the same wall color on the outside, while a stimulating shade can be used on the interior to define a working space," Studholme continues.
Luxe and Dramatic Shades
“We are finally able to go out and celebrate among the people, and this will bring a renewed sense of drama and flair in all facets of design,” Dunn-Edwards predicts. “We’ve been craving lush color and showing off a wow factor.”
Not only will residential homes see an increase in dramatic shades, but commercial settings such as reopened restaurants, lounges, and retail will amp up the color as well.