The big brands have spoken on the 2019 paint colors we’re about to see everywhere. Now we've asked our designers for how to master the paint trends that are about to blow up.
Choosing a paint color is one of the most impactful design decisions you can make. Your hue choice sets the tone for the entire room. (No pressure or anything.) Each year, paint purveyors like Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Sherwin Williams select a color to give you some guidance on the shades your about to see everywhere—but we wanted a little more intel than just that. So we asked some visionaries extraordinaire—aka twelve Homepolish designers—to share how they envision using these colors, plus the other paint trends they’ll be embracing in 2019.
Design by:, Photo by: Dustin Halleck
(Above):Design by:, featuring similar color to Metropolitan AF-690; Photo by: Genevieve Garruppo;
How would you use Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year: Metropolitan AF-690?
: “Metropolitan AF-690” is great for sophisticated living rooms and lofty open spaces. It will pair perfectly with soft grey curtains to create an elegant Dior-inspired look.
Julieta Alvarez: This color gives the opportunity to highlight the furniture. I would paint a living room in this color and furnish it with a mix of mahogany and gilded antiques, taffeta curtain panels, and some modern and sculptural lighting pieces to keep it from looking too old school.
: I imagine using this color to show off moulding in a formal dining room. It is dark enough to create a warm vibe without being shocking.
: This is the perfect mid-tone, neutral gray. I would use this color in a bedroom, and paint everything (the doors, trim, ceiling, etc.,) to create a cocoon-like feeling. I would pair it with a rattan headboard, dreamy linens, and a large lantern pendant.
Olivia Stutz: This is a great color for a living room or an entryway, as the walls almost disappear and the furniture then speaks for itself. Art always goes on the walls very nicely with a soft grey!
Mackenzie Madsen: I’m disappointed in Benjamin Moore for naming a grey as their color of the year—it’s beyond passé. It reminds me of everyone doing brown and tans in the early 2000s with “Baltic Brown” as their granite countertops.
How do you envision using Sherwin William’s Color of the Year: Cavern Clay 290-C6?
Julieta Alvarez: I’d use it in a library with a combination of leather seating, cerused light oak pieces, and shiny chrome fixtures to freshen it up.
Maggie Burns: I would use this in a powder room with a complimentary wallpaper on the ceiling.
Olivia Stutz: This warm, earthy hue would look stellar in a breakfast nook or an art-filled guest room. This has loads of warmth, so try to have muted furniture with this color.
Allie McMunn: This color has been very popular in 2018, so I am not surprised it made the list! I have used it as an accent on several jobs. I would love to use it in an office paired with earthy textiles, like leather and mohair. I also would love to see it in a powder room against bright, painted cement tiles.
: Terracotta is all the rage right now, but if you’re not bold enough to paint a whole room this color, I would consider it instead as a backsplash in the kitchen or as an accent color
Tina Rich: I love a dusty terracotta color! Because this color is fierce, I would use it sparingly, in a powder bathroom, or on millwork. I see this paired with beige and eggplant.
Design by: Steven Santosuosso (left), Helen Callahan (right); Featuring similar colors to Blueprint S470-5
Photos by: Joyelle West
How would you embrace Behr’s Color of the Year: Blueprint S470-5?
Ashlie Broderic: It would be great for a kitchen island and/or kitchen cabinets. I would pair it with a marble countertop and add brass light fixtures to complete the look.
Julieta Alvarez: I would paint kids’ furniture this color and combine it with different shades of green and pink throughout the space.
Maggie Burns: I recently painted an entire hallway (including trim, doors, walls etc) in a similar shade of dusty blue, and it added a ton of drama and personality to the space.
: I love this color very much and recognize it’s having a moment, but I believe it can withstand the trend badge. This blue is a cross between grey and blue-green and can be both bold and a neutral. I would love to paint a whole kitchen, including cabinets and ceiling, in this color, but I’d also opt for just the front door for the not so bold client. Looks great with light mints, earth tones, and cool greys—practically any color!
Larisa Barton: I would use this color in a master bedroom against warm metals and vibrant textiles.
Gianna Marzella: This is stunning when paired with warm brass tones, chartreuse, grey-veined marble (classic Carerra), or the up-and-coming Nero Marquia marble. This color would make for some stunning kitchen cabinets, which would be gorgeous from day one, but also stand the test of time.
Photo by: Laura Pressey
Which Farrow & Ball colors do you look forward to using in 2019?
Tina Rich: I’m dying to use Farrow & Ball’s “Setting Plaster,” it’s the perfect beige-peach, and I see it with a plaster finish, hence the name.
Olivia Stutz: I am currently using Farrow and Ball’s new color, “De Nimes” in an office project that I am designing in New York. It’s intimate enough for a small office but gives off the correct amount of blue for my client’s to feel that they have personality in their space. Like denim, this blue hue always fashionable.
Ashlie Broderic: My favorite shades for 2019 are “Strong White” for walls, which is a luminescent grey that works in living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens, and, for color, I suggest “Hague Blue,” a saturated teal in a gloss finish for cabinetry and accent walls.
Mackenzie Madsen: I’m most excited to use “Preference Red,” “Paean Black,” and “School House White.” They’re super rich and always timeless.
Maggie Burns: Farrow & Ball just introduced a new color called “School House White” that I’m dying to use! It’s the perfect off-white shade that manages to stay soft without looking yellow. It would look killer on some shaker-style kitchen cabinets.
Photo by: Seher Sikander
Many of these colors are more grounded. Are you noticing a move to more complex earthy shades over crisp and colorful?
: I think it’s a direct reaction to the ’80s and terrazzo trends which were bold and bright.
Julieta Alvarez: The white and gray paint color trend is reaching an end soon. We are hungry for more color.
Gianna Marzella: Absolutely. I see a shift towards richer, deeper and more saturated colors. I am excited because it translates to more inviting spaces that make you want to linger.
Larisa Barton: People are definitely moving away from stark neutrals with pops of color. We are embracing having color be more of a staple than an accent this year.
Olivia Stutz: What I am seeing a lot is a trend for great colored whites and soft greys, as displayed in Benjamin Moore’s pick. I’m also seeing people choosing not to paint the entire house. Instead, they are choosing plaster techniques for some walls mixed in with wallpapered foyers and bathrooms.
Tina Rich: I am seeing a shift towards more color. It’s been all about the pinks, terracotta, and rust for the last year, but I think there is going to be a shift toward cooler colors, greys, powdery blues, soft purples.
Design by: Megan Born
Photo by: Dustin Hallock
How do you feel about Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral? How do you plan to use it?
Larisa Barton: “Living Coral” embodies the move towards embracing bright color in more significant ways in design. I would use this color on the ceiling of a white-paneled dining room to perk up the space!
Olivia Stutz: I plan reupholster my old sofa in coral-colored mohair for springtime. It’s the most beautiful color that makes any room pop.
Julieta Alvarez: I love coral shades, particularly for cold places like New York to offset the cool light in the morning. I would use it in a north-facing room to warm up the space and make it inviting; and in places like a library, a bedroom, or an entry. I would balance the shade with pops of fuchsia, pink, and orange in the furniture and accessories.
Claire Hung: I’m oddly excited about Pantone’s pick. I don’t really care about company-dictated color trends, but “Living Coral” is fun and nostalgic! Most importantly, it brings to mind an important the environmental issues our coral reefs and our planet as a whole are facing. I’d love to do a restaurant, office, retail space or even a summer home using this color with monochromatic minimalist complements.
What other paint trends do you foresee for 2019?
Allie McMunn: I have noticed a pull towards purples and lilacs, which is a color I never thought I would like on walls. Seeing the way some of my favorite designers have used it this year has changed my view on it.
Ashlie Broderic: Ombré walls are still going strong and micro-concrete finishes will continue to be popular.
Olivia Stutz: I am noticing paint selections with a high-gloss finish—it just makes the room pop and look so elevated. I really enjoy high-gloss finishes in media rooms and hallways. If you add color to a high gloss finish, it’s even better. Don’t be afraid of color.
Larisa Barton: I have noticed the use of paint in unconventional areas more—think ceilings, trim, and half walls.
: Another trend is not a color but texture, such as Venetian plaster, more elaborate stucco with lots of movement, raised textures, and white textured wallpaper, which is usually used to paint over but we skip the last step. Also, look out for “unfinished walls” such as peeled wallpapers and layer of different color drywalls also peeling.
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