How do some of us react to the world? By picking up a fresh can of paint. It’s why in these turbulent times, cozy, serene, comforting colours rule the roost.

Paint colour trends may seem benign on the surface—blue’s in, green’s out, rinse and repeat—but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that these simple colour palettes reflect big ideas. Changing values, emotions and attitudes affect the types of colours we’re drawn to as a society and reflect the types of spaces we’re currently craving.So in these troubled times, there’s some deeper meaning behind the soothing hues we’re drawn to. “We’re all looking for ways to balance work and family life right now, so the idea of the ‘home as a sanctuary’ is a huge factor in finding that balance,” explains Behr colour expert Erika Woelfel. “There’s a search for coziness and comfort through textures and deep colours that create a cocooning, safe feeling.”Think  colours that “open up and breathe,” says Woelfel: nature-based hues rule right now, particularly darker, more botanical shades that call to mind the colours of the forest. You’ll also be seeing more earth tones that bring the calm and quiet. In the Moment, Behr’s colour of the year for 2018.Related are trends towards organizing and decluttering, and prioritizing “wellness” and personal happiness—two movements that seek to bring order and calm to our hectic lives, and ones that are reflected in this next generation of quiet paint colours. “We want spaces that bring joy and peace of mind, places that allow us to escape and rejuvenate,” says Woelfel. Behr named “In the Moment” (seen above) as its 2018 Colour of the Year because it does just that: “It’s a spruce blue that’s soothing and restorative, like many nature-based colours.”Sure, happiness seems like a tall order for a can of paint, but colour is a powerful thing. “Colour is one of those elements, we don’t just see it—we feel it on an emotional level,” says Woelfel. “It impacts the mood of the room so powerfully that it’s important to colour with intent and colour mindfully.”

4 Ways to Create a Cozy Sanctuary with Paint Colours

1. Take a cue from nature. When you can’t go for a restorative walk in the woods or along the beach, a well curated colour palette can help soothe a troubled mind in a pinch.2. Combine warm and cozy colours with textures. Chunky wool throws, lush area rugs and cozy upholstery will enhance the coziness of an earth tone.3. Paint your bedroom dusty grey lilac. Cool muted blues and purples help enhance a good night’s sleep: your best tool for fighting stress.4. Capitalize on the positive effects of colours. Brighten up your mood with a pop of colour: think warm light wood tones or accents of orange.

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