December 17, 2018

Introducing the 2018 Colors of the Year

With 2018 just around the corner, five major paint manufacturers have unveiled their picks for “Color of the Year.” The fact that the range of colors is so broad — black even gets into the mix — does raise the question: How can there be such varying opinions on what the top-trending color of next year will be? I suppose it’s like the movies; everybody has their own two cents on which film should win the best picture Oscar. Color, like art, is subjective. One thing’s for sure: There does seem to be a lot of blue-green going in 2018. I’m hoping the year after that we’ll get some hot pink.

Dunn-Edwards: The Green Hour

While this deep shade of blue-green can be dramatic, it is also neutral enough to work in many interior contexts. “It is dreamlike, mysterious, rich and cozy,” said Dunn-Edwards color expert and stylist Sara McLean. What’s particularly fascinating about the color is how the company came up with the name. It is inspired by the turn-of-the-century Parisian custom of drinking absinthe. Beginning at 5 p.m., called l’heure verte, or the Green Hour, bohemian artists would drink absinthe into the wee hours — and a paint color was born.

Behr: In the Moment

Behr Paint announces the 2018 Color of the Year: In The Moment T18-15, a restorative blue-green hue that honors nature to create a soothing, tranquil atmosphere. (PRNewsfoto/Behr Paint)


Also blue-green in hue, Behr’s color of the year is more subdued than Dunn-Edwards’ choice. It is soothing, serene and welcoming — like a warm hug. “Spruce blue, soft gray and lush green coalesce into a fresh shade that evokes a sense of sanctuary and relaxation amid our always-on lives,” Erika Woelfel, Behr’s vice president of color and creative services, said in describing In the Moment’s color profile. The color’s tranquil quality makes it ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and nurseries.

Benjamin Moore: Caliente

This vibrant shade of red is energizing, and it’s great for kitchens and dining rooms. It also works well as an accent against white or gray walls. I love how Benjamin Moore’s director of strategic design intelligence Ellen O’Neill described the color: “It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like [they’re getting the] ‘red carpet treatment.’ ” I’ve always loved red, but my painting contractors don’t; it’s a color with notorious coverage problems, requiring many coats of primer and paint. The effect is worth it, though.

Sherwin-Williams: Oceanside

Another blue-green hybrid, Oceanside is a rich, opulent hue that, according to a Sherwin-Williams press statement, evokes a sense of adventure. “We are craving things that remind us of bright folklore, like mermaids and expeditions across continents,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “Oceanside is the color of wanderlust right in our own homes.” I’m all about feeling like I’m on vacation while at home, so this color really resonates with me.

Glidden PPG: Deep Onyx

In contrast to Oceanside’s spirit of fantasy, Deep Onyx goes back to basics with good old black. Black is a polarizing color; many people are afraid to use it on their walls. But as Misty Yeomans, PPG color marketing manager for Glidden, reminds us in a press release, “The sense of ease and authenticity it brings to a home can’t be denied. Just like a little black dress, Deep Onyx is a classic, timeless staple.” If you’re reluctant to paint an accent wall in black, consider it for trims or doors. It’s quite dramatic.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at