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Color Forecast 2020: Neutral Territory


Oftentimes, color trends usher in sweeping change in the home, brightening or muting, depending on the shades in favor. As we look to 2021, trends that we’ve seen in 2020 promise to expand, creating a sense of continuity in an otherwise chaotic world. Click here to see the rest of the trends.

The warming of the spectrum over the last few years has brought brown back in a big way. And in the neutral palette, that means everything from chocolate to sand coming into prominence.

“The brown range of neutrals is fresher and also tied to the gourmand craze with porcini and mushrooms right now,” says Carpenter.

Gray—which has made the transition from trend to staple—plays well with these browns, particularly the darker slate and smoky hues. Another color that goes well with brown? Green, playing again on the theme of the natural world.

“Browns are growing, whether it’s a bronze metal mid-tone or beige, as palettes generally acknowledge a preference for an autumnal character,” says Lamb. “Those cool greens are stunning within a warm palette—you put clay and brown with that cool green.”

Another unlikely shade that’s adding a bit of interest to the neutral palette is a light yellow.

“Soft yellow shades are taking the home market by storm,” says Moonjian. “Providing a season-neutral hue that represents optimism, we will see this color on everything from accent decor to soft goods.”




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