Skip to main content

This undated photo provided by PPG shows their colour Black Flame on the wall and was named 2018 Colour of the Year by PPG Paints. A statement-making black, infused with the undertone of the deepest navy, which evokes the privacy, hope and classic modernism that many consumers crave today.

Deeper, richer hues are often part of decor's fall palette, but this year, they're bigger and bolder than usual.

"Colour is a powerful communicator," says Pottery Barn spokeswoman Monica Bhargava. "It can be a key point of inspiration that defines the mood and feel of a home."

PPG's colour marketing manager Dee Schlotter sees a trend toward interiors "that embrace nocturnal shades" in homes, hotels and stores.

Deep hues are often incorporated through matte yet soft materials, she says.


"I love dusky blues, plums, grey of all types, and surfaces that have a mysterious effect," says Jamie Drake of New York-based Drake/Anderson Interiors.

For the guest bedroom of one project, Drake/Anderson had Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting in Cresskill, N.J., create a strie effect with an iridescent blue top coat, evoking a moody retreat.

In another apartment, in Midtown Manhattan, Drake says his company used deep plum tones to anchor the high-altitude rooms, while another project employed dark navy walls in a cozy library. "Using a colour this dark in a small space is a favourite tool to make the edges of a room 'disappear' and create a mysterious illusion of more space," he says. (

Some deep, dark colours evoke privacy, quietude and a feeling of being wrapped in warmth, designers say.

But brighter, saturated hues can be uplifting and electric; Sherwin-Williams' two new collections are Affinity, inspired by craft and tribalism, and Connectivity, inspired by technology. (


Of the trending deepened hues, emerald green is especially dominant, Schlotter says. To her, "It represents luxury and emulates lush foliage."

"Colour palettes that range from darker shades like black and navy, to gold and coral, complement the depth of emerald green," she says, "while pale neutrals like white and light grey give it a crisp and trendy edge. A courageous colour, emerald green also works well with a number of materials and textures."

Emerald is showing up in upholstery. Furniture company Sauder has a little tub chair in the hue. CB2's 50s-inspired Avec sofa comes in plush emerald velvet. (; )


Italian company Bertazzoni, known for its high-end ranges in rich shades such as burgundy, orange, yellow and red, just introduced a new hue called Azzurro. Blending cerulean, turquoise, sapphire and cyan, it's a positive, energetic colour. ( )

Both Frigidaire and Kitchenaid have suites of appliances in black stainless steel.

And look for countertops and cabinetry in deeper tones, too. Cambria Quartz's Bala Blue stone is the colour of deep water. In a contemporary kitchen with sleek white cabinetry, Cardigan Red's vibrant warmth would be a terrific foil. ( )


Intrepid decorators will love another aspect of this trend: dark walls.

At Kip's Bay Show House a couple of months ago in Manhattan, Susan Ferrier dressed a bedroom in deep forest green. Organic objets d'art accents made it feel like a luxe nature retreat. ( )

Kevin Lichten and Joan Craig cloaked a downstairs bar in charcoal silk, trimmed with bronze, creating an intimate, sexy space.


If you're interested in dabbling in any of these colours, don't worry about the trend being short-lived. PPG, Olympic Paints and Glidden announced their 2018 Colour of the Year choices: Black Flame, Black Magic and Deep Onyx.

And Schlotter reports that PPG's colour story for 2018 will be replete with deep, rich colours such as smoky greens, luxurious purples and charred grey-blacks.

They've given the palette an intriguing name: "Brave."

"These colours," Schlotter says, "reflect consumers' growing yearning for protection, strength and stability; to feel safe during uncertain times."