Martha Stewart approves of Behr Paint's controversial 2024 Color of the Year

Behr Paint's 2024 Color of the Year is polarizing – but design experts are urging us to embrace the bold bold shade

martha stewart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Martha Stewart has never been one to shy away from controversy (who else could appear in Sports Illustrated at 82 and pull it off?). Still, she is widely considered a maven of good taste in the home interior space. 

Martha's anti-trend stance on home decor allows her to make even that which appears unfashionable chic and timeless again. So, to color trends

Recently, the lifestyle guru took to Instagram to announce her approval of Behr's 2024 Color of the Year, Cracked Pepper. The shade is a dark charcoal color akin to the hue of peppercorns. It is available in multiple finishes. Some lamented the color choice, but most, including our design experts and the Martha Stewart Show host herself, are embracing this dark shade in the coming year.

Martha Stewart announced Behr's 2024 Color of the Year with the statement, 'Get ready to embrace the dark side.' 

She included a quote from Erika Woelfel, the Vice President of Color at Behr Paint stating, 'The moment now is about optimism, awakening the senses, and elevating how you feel – and a room with a soft black really checks the box on all of those things.' 

Martha goes on to say that the  paint is both 'moody' and 'versatile.'

Black painted dining room

(Image credit: Behr)

Black paint is somewhat of a lightning rod in the design community. The paint color is generally considered 'brave' and included on 'colors to never use in your living room' lists. However, Behr Paint's announcement of this color of the year combined with the approval of Martha and other knowledgeable interior design experts indicates that we should no longer be scared of the dark paint hue. This color trend is here to stay.

'My thoughts on color schemes incorporating black paint are that they can be very dramatic and moody, and even warm. There’s something about the color that envelops you and feels very insular,' says Alexa d'Argencé, Senior Interior Designer at BAR Architects & Interiors

Black colored wall in living room

(Image credit: Behr)

The mood of black paint, she indicates, is all about the surrounding decor. 'Lighting feels really warm against the color' says Alexa, 'I could see a dramatic wallpaper feeling great in a space with black walls also.'

alexa dargence
Alexa d'Argencé

Alexa d'Argencé is a San Francisco Bay Area, CA based residential and hospitality interior designer. Her goal as a designer is to create spaces that transport each person who enters them. She has a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University.

Color and paintwork expert Goodell David admires the effects that dark paints like Cracked Pepper can have on a space. He says, 'I think a black color scheme is very sophisticated and elegant, as well as versatile and timeless.' 

Black dining room

(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams)

Goodell continues about the Behr Paint color of the year, 'Cracked pepper is a soft black that can create a dramatic and cozy atmosphere in any room, as well as contrast well with other colors and materials. It can also add some depth and dimension to our space, as well as reflect light and create some shimmer and shine.'

Goodell David
Goodell David

After years of experience in the art world, Goodell recognized the need for premium acrylic paints for artists. He founded PaintsAcrylic to offer resources on acrylic paints to painters around the world.

Though introducing it requires some skill and forethought, black paint is a stylish and versatile paint trend that will be appearing everywhere in 2024.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

I am a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens. My interests lie at the intersection of design and popular culture with a particular focus on trends and celebrity homes. Before joining Future, I worked as a Content Writer and Communications Lead for Fig Linens and Home, a luxury linens and home interiors brand based in Fairfield County, CT. I have a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology.