Finding the perfect winter color trends for your home relies on two fundamental elements. Firstly, select a color that you and your family will love throughout the entire season. Secondly, source a color that will keep you warm and cozy during the dark, cold months. This may sound easy or complicated depending on your color expertise, but worry not, our experts are on hand to ensure your room color ideas are perfectly on point come winter.
Understanding color trends lies at the root of all interior design decisions, and exploring the latest colors, along with consulting the color wheel, basic color theory, and recent paint trends, will ensure that you choose the perfect winter palette for your space.
2023 winter color trends are both cosseting and calm, impactful yet soothing, and celebrate both comforting neutrals and daring brights, so there is something for everyone, no matter your style.
A welcome choice for winter, teal is having a moment in the spotlight. The uplifting yet serene teal is an interesting contradiction, blurring the boundaries between blue and green, and equally fun and sophisticated when added to an interior scheme come winter.
Used for centuries, it is currently riding a renaissance, according to Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. ‘Teal is a very balanced, versatile shade that can be used to create a subtle or dramatic space, as it shifts between blue and green in varying levels of light. Its green undertone brings a sense of calm and cohesion to a room, perfect for spaces where many people gather.'
But why does teal uplift and calm in equal measure? Tobias Lewis, head of brand at Valspar, has a theory that links to the shades found in the natural world and the recent global pandemic. ‘Colors that have a biophilic nature, such as blue and green, evoke a stress-relieving and mood-boosting atmosphere. This makes teal – a deep, cyan-green shade – ideal for rooms to entertain in, including the living or dining room.'
It is a wonderful choice for a room that can take both cool and warm undertones, making it perfect for the colder seasons.
Ochre might seem like an unseal choice for winter, but unlike its brighter cousin yellow, an earthy golden ochre is a shade that shines, but it also creates rooms that are rich and enveloping – it's a hue that's like a warm embrace in winter.
‘Ochre is a color that evokes happiness and provides a sense of positivity,' says Andy Greenall, head of design, at Paint & Paper Library. 'While it is perfect for areas of the home where there is much activity and socializing, ochre can also add energy and vitality to a bedroom, especially a children's bedroom.’
'It’s easier to incorporate this shade into a scheme if you’re slightly put off by bright yellow paint in your home and it is particularly effective in darker, moodier spaces as it creates a feeling of seasonal warmth,' explains Sarah Brown, founder, of Sarah Brown Interiors.
3. Black and white
Far from binary, the aesthetic associations of black-and-white room ideas for winter are rich and varied. Symbolizing balance and equilibrium, the pairing can also be used to isolate, capture attention and confuse; they are artists’ fundamental tools for capturing volume and form, and for architects to create rhythm and order.
Within interiors, checkerboard floors of black and white marble have been found to pave grand villas of ancient Rome, but fast forward to the 20th century and the palette signifies purity in Modernist design.
During the winter months, a simple glance out of the window can provide rich inspiration for two-tone decorating; from the silhouettes of leafless branches to the long shadows from the low winter sun.
For a dramatic look, go high contrast with pure black and white; alternatively, for a softer take on monochrome, layer up a myriad of grays. Whatever your temperament, both options make a great base for colorful furniture and collectibles. As for complementary hues, anything goes, but a shade such as Limitless, Glidden's 2024 color of the year, will help bring life and warmth.
Metallic gold is a wonderful way to add the Midas touch to your home for winter. Use this lustrous hue to create rooms that radiate warmth and exude luxury, unlike any other color.
From subtle flecks of gold detailing to full-on gold walls and ceilings, decorating with gold brings radiance and subtle shine to every surface it touches. Along with its mood-enhancing qualities, gold is a highly versatile color that can be paired with many other shades to make a home look expensive and rich.
‘Sophisticated gold brings in a touch of optimism to a room, perfect for bringing a sense of positivity into the home,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown. ‘The color creates a sense of calm with a feeling of restfulness and well-being.’
Similar to ochre, gold makes a wonderful accent color too. 'Gold is an invitation to dream and to travel,' says Jamie Beriestain, founder, of Jaime Beriestain Studio. 'I don’t use it a lot, but sometimes it can fill a space with light.'
Hugely diverse decorating with gold can be used to create spaces that are stimulating and energizing, fun or formal, to cozy and welcoming.
5. Forest green
Calming, creative, and with strong links to nature, dramatic dark green is a versatile color that is perfect for those cold, winter nights.
The majesty of ancient forests has long inspired interior design. Whether the grandeur of an oak tree or the enchanting shape of an acanthus leaf, rich, velvety greens offer homes a nurturing connection to nature that is often lost in the winter.
There are many varieties of deep green. ‘It can have a warm, yellow undertone or a cool, blue hue,’ explains Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown Paints. ‘As a color family, deep green is incredibly versatile and can be paired with so many shades and materials that will bring out either its warm or cool tone. Deep green really comes to life with plenty of natural light, so it suits south-facing rooms best. It can, however, work in a dark, narrow space too, when paired with terracotta shades and mid-tone wood to bring in warmth,’ she adds.
‘I love decorating with green because it is very calming,’ says interior designer Sarah Vanrenen. ‘I also love using patterned wallpaper in green. I don’t think space is a barrier to going bold – don’t be put off by using strong colors and patterns in even the smallest spaces and use it on all four walls. The effect is dramatic and green works with so many other incredible colors, too.’
For the perfect winter color scheme, be inspired by the colors and textures of the forest.
6. Navy blue
Used in decorating for centuries, serene dark blues are enduringly popular, harmonizing with many hues for gloriously diverse results.
The depth of pigment of darker blues means that they offer an emotional content that can be as nurturing or soothing as any green, particularly when you decorate a room floor-to-ceiling in a dark, velvety blue. For some homeowners, the idea of dark colors might feel foreboding, but for others, it is the dark ‘night’ of a shade that offers serenity in a winter room scheme.
Navy blue is a soulful shade. For a relaxing retreat, wrap a room in a cocooning deep dark indigo. Leave no surface untouched, painting paneling, fireplace surrounds, architraves and doors with the same color for a moody atmosphere. Style with highlights of antique furniture, and gilded wall lights for casting a subtle glow. Before making your final paint choice, swatch a room with samples to analyze how they work with the light in your room.
What are the trending colors for winter 2024?
The trending colors for winter will make us feel safe and warm, according to color psychologists, designers, and trend forecasters.
'In the winter, everyone wants to feel warm and cozy,' says Devon Wegman, design director and founder of Devon Grace Interiors. 'I love pulling warm earth tones in rather than traditional holiday colors. Earthy, rusty reds and oranges can make a space feel warm, even on the coldest winter day.'
Joshua Smith, principal and founder of Joshua Smith Inc agrees: 'I believe that plum, eggplant, and even a deep magenta will take center stage this winter. I have been using them paired with teal and navy, and my clients cannot get enough. In fact, I just painted the front door of my studio Farrow & Ball Brinjal No. 222.'
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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