Studiopepe, Moooi, Normann Copenhagen and more are showing muted retro tones like oxblood, olive, orange and mustard, replacing formerly neutral furnishings and accessories. And while paint company Sherwin-Williams predicted that beige was on its way to unseat grey as the new neutral (how exciting!), millennials and Gen-Zers everywhere rolled their eyes at a collective reluctance to brighten up. Highlighter neon from the catwalks may be more than the renovating adults are ready for, but it’s clear that the default for powder rooms, kitchens and bedrooms is no longer gallery-wall white.

Bring on Colour

Designers share their adventures in saturation.

Bold in Blue

“The clients were a super fun family of five with so much personality that monochromatic was just not an option! This sofa was bold enough, yet still elegant in the space. Upholstered in a rich, blue velvet, the sofa had the personality that the room needed.” —Erin Chow, The Haven Collective, Vancouver

aaaaaaaaErin Chow's adventures in blue. Photo by Janis Nicolay.

Set the Mood

“A moody master bedroom doesn’t have to be every-wall bold to create a feature. Here we simply created a feature wall with moulding and a great accent paint: Benjamin Moore’s Nocturnal Gray.”—Jamie Banfield, Jamie Banfield Design, Vancouver

ffffA moody bedroom by Jamie Banfield. 

Calming Kitchens

“The shift toward saturated colours for kitchen cabinetry is one that we like very much. Francesca designed her own kitchen using an earthy green—Forest Floor by Benjamin Moore—as it reminds her of her garden and the green spaces she seeks out when travelling to Europe: the olive groves of Italy and the woodlands of the U.K. It works so well with metal finishes, creams and wood tones, and reflects the green space of the garden just outside the French doors, which is a very personal passion of hers.”Emma Kelly, Rudy Winston Design, Vancouver

rudyA classic green kitchen from Rudy Winston Design.

Think Pink

“If you’re going for pink, you should go with a pink with a bit of brown in it, or a dusty pink. We installed a cabinet in what used to be a closet and painted it Texas Rose from Benjamin Moore, which is a muted, desaturated version of pink, and that makes the room feel a bit more global.”—Ben Leavitt, Plaidfox Studio, Vancouver

ewadsasHere, Plaidfox Studio uses Texas Rose pink for a pop of colour.

Sage Advice

“When it comes to colour, we love muted, rich tones: chocolate browns, terracotta accents, sage greens (as seen here in our Newport residence with Benjamin Moore’s Cushing Green on the wall) and blue-greys.”—Kyla Bidgood, Bidgood and Co., Victoria

bedroomA Kyla Bidgood-designed bedroom. Photo by Janis Nicolay. 

Green and Great

“We recently completed a home that merged classic contemporary with elements from the client’s heritage. Subtle Chinese-inspired elements are thoughtfully placed throughout the home, however the dining room (pictured) is heavily contrasted against the otherwise fresh, bright and white home with its moody wallpaper, dark furnishings and luxe window treatments.”—Amanda Hamilton, Amanda Hamilton Design, Calgary

aAmanda Hamilton Design project. Photo by Joel Klassen.

The Battle for Colour of the Year

The hits and misses in the latest crop of Paint Colours of the Year.

dddBenjamin Moore's First Light pink. 

Benjamin Moore First Light

Is this soft, rosy hue Benjamin Moore’s answer to millennial pink? An evolution of Pantone’s Rose Quartz? The exact colour of your laundry after you wash a red sock with your whites?

“First Light paired with oatmeals and brown tones would be beautiful.”Kyla Bidgood

“Colour trends come and go, but in today’s current arena I think pink is a political statement and I couldn’t be happier about it being the colour of the year.”Ben Levitt

“Over it. Isn’t this just a more muted version of what I like to call the ‘Millennial Blush’ that’s been sticking around for as long as brass? I attended Paris Design Week and the London Design Festival and while pinks and greens are still current, I saw a lot of warmer neutrals making their way back into furniture.”Amanda Hamilton

greenBehr Back to Nature

Behr Back to Nature

Interiors have been working to reflect the outdoors for quite some time, so it’s no wonder Behr created a palette to reflect the natural world, including springs, sandy beaches and soothing streams. Back to Nature is right at that spot where beige meets green.

“This colour will definitely create nostalgia for some, reminding them of their mother’s kitchen colour or even bathtub colours many years ago. Our go-to for a good accent green would be more on the pastel side, such as Behr’s 2018 Colour of the Year, In the Moment.”Jamie Banfield

“To be honest, we’re not big fans of Back to Nature!”Kyla Bidgood

sasasassaSherwin Williams Naval blue paint. 

Sherwin-Williams Naval

This Gatsby-palette primary colour is further proof of a growing art deco takeover. It’s confident, sophisticated and naturally pairs well with geometric prints, flapper fringe and glittery vintage metals.

“With the darker hours of fall and winter, decor takes a deeper, more saturated direction, but having strong colours in your spaces all year round helps add interest and creates layers. A navy blue, like Naval by Sherwin-Williams, can do that for a space. Painting a piece of furniture, vanity or wainscotting in this colour can help define a space and offset brighter pieces, artwork and lighting.”Francesca Albertazzi, Rudy Winston Design, Vancouver

“I’m a huge fan of Sherwin-Williams’s Colour of the Year! It’s calming, yet bold and moody. It’s versatile enough that it could pair well with just about any colour or material. I’d love to see a kitchen done in this colour. Gorgeous!”—Erin Chow