We Can Officially Say These Are the Top Paint Trends of 2021

Here's all the inspiration for your next paint project.

Now that we're well into 2021, let's take a look back at all the predictions for Color of the Year 2021. Some paint colors have proven to be favorites among interior designers and trendsetting homeowners, while certain painting techniques have taken over our Instagram and TikTok feeds. From the "it" paint color to 2021's version of the accent wall, here are the definitive paint trends of the year.

01 of 05

Clay Paint Colors

Behr Color of the Year 2021, Canyon Dusk

This year, the desert landscape of the American Southwest proved a major source of inspiration for the design world. Whether called clay, faded terracotta, or—Behr's pick for Color of the Year—"Canyon Dusk," warm earthy hues are having a moment. These colors are grounding and comforting, helping turn a bedroom or living room into a sanctuary.

02 of 05

Painted Arches

Paint Trends 2021, Painted Arch Behind Desk
Carly Fuller / @mycityapartment

For those who are lucky enough to have arched doorways in their homes, many designers and homeowners are playing up the architectural interest by painting the archway in a high-contrast color.

No arched doorways to speak of? Follow NYC home stager Carly Fuller's lead and DIY your own using paint. By adding the arch behind her work-from-home desk, she helps visually separate this office nook from the rest of her bedroom.

03 of 05

Colorful Wall Paneling

Bathroom with blue wall paneling on lower half
Emily Henderson Design / Photography by Sara Tramp

Years ago, Joanna Gaines and the HGTV show Fixer Upper popularized white wood paneling (hello, fans of shiplap!)—but now, colorful wainscoting, or wood paneling applied just to the lower half of the wall, is gaining in popularity.

Of course, designer Emily Henderson was ahead of the trend when she created this dreamy bathroom in Portland. The wall paneling is V-groove, which Emily explains provides a more custom look than beadboard. The paint color? Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams.

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High-Contrast Ceilings

Paint Trends 2021, Blue Painted Ceiling
Benjamin Moore

Recently, more designers are considering the fifth wall: the ceiling. In addition to adding decorative treatments like wood paneling or wallpaper, many are opting to paint the ceiling. A light blue color can mimic the sky on a sunny day (especially in a room full of windows), while a dark gray ceiling makes a dining room or library feel cozy and intimate. Here, the bathroom ceiling is painted in Buxton Blue by Benjamin Moore.

05 of 05

Moody Hues

Sherwin Williams Color of the Year 2021, Urbane Bronze paint in bedroom

From dramatic forest green kitchens to charcoal dining rooms, dark paint colors are being used to create rooms that cocoon. Sherwin-Williams predicted this trend with its pick for Color of the Year 2021: Urbane Bronze, a sophisticated shade of gray.

This trend will likely become less popular during the summer months as light and airy looks take center stage, but we expect moody hues to make a comeback this fall.

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