If you’re planning to do a bit of painting this fall, you might want to step outside first for some inspiration—this season’s indoor color trends are all about what’s beyond your front door.
Colors that evoke the feeling of being in natural surroundings—greens, blues, and woodsy browns—will be everywhere this season, experts tell us. It makes sense, since we all may be craving the outdoors after we’re forced to retreat inside for refuge from fall and winter’s chill.
“This and next year is all about embracing nature, sustainability, and warmth at home,” says Helena Brana, designer and founder of BRANA Designs in Orange County, CA. “The everything-beige trend is done; so is Scandinavian cold style.”
Here are a few colors to go with when you’re ready to bathe in nature—without having to leave your living room, that is.
1. Olive green
Photo by Rachel Loewen Photography
Olive, a combination of dark yellow and green, has a very warm and natural feel to it, Brana says.
“Olive is warm, and it looks fabulous—so it makes sense to bring it home, especially for the fall,” she says.
In fact, we’re already seeing this trend come to life in the wild: A light olive color, “Back to Nature,” was recently named Behr’s color of the year for 2020. The paint company calls it a “new neutral,” meant to bring the soothing feelings of the outdoors into interior spaces.
Olive pairs especially well with warm gray tones. Try an olive sofa in your living room. Alternatively, paint your bathroom vanity or kitchen cabinets olive for a touch of nature wherever you go.
This season, Brana’s also seeing olive and other green tones used for murals with nature motifs, from leaves to entire forest scenery. You could paint one yourself, or use wallpaper for the same effect.
2. Bright orange
Photo by PACS Architecture
It wouldn’t be PSL season without some orange sprinkled in. And this year, the brighter, the better, says Erin Davis, lead designer at Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, OR.
“This year, bright orange lends a modern twist to interiors—more so than the more muted orange tones we often see in fall,” she says. “Bright orange paint can be a bit bold for some, so integrate this color with accessories and artwork.”
She recommends vibrant orange textural pillows or throws, a lamp, or a potted plant in the living room or bedroom. In the kitchen, put bright orange vases or candles on display—bonus points if you have orange shelving. Or, just in time for the holidays: Try putting out a glass bowl of persimmons on your kitchen island.
3. Porcelain blue
If you’re into bold hues, “Chinese Porcelain Blue” will be your new favorite. It’s appearing on cars, clothing, electronics, and in homes, of course. In fact, PPG Paints recently named it its color of the year for 2020.
“This shade is a blend of cobalt and moody ink blue that imparts calmness and restful sleep, while also offering the spirit of hopefulness—a precious commodity in a restless world,” says Dee Schlotter, senior color manager of PPG.
She recommends using it as a feature color in a bedroom, with crisp white bedding and crown molding as accents. Or, try it in your living room, layered with blue tufted or velvet furniture, or with metallic finishes.
Photo by Suzie Parkinson SÜZA DESIGN
Beige may be over, but only to make room for its chicer cousin: Greige—a warm combination of grey and beige. It’s a fine base for just about everything in the home, suggests Kasey Clark, an interior designer at Clark Designs.
“We’re seeing the former popular grays being warmed up for fall, with undertones of browns, creating a beautiful combination of gray and beige,” she says. “It’s sophisticated, modern, and complements so many of this season’s accent colors, like navy blue, hunter green, bold reds, and peachy pinks.”
Combine your greige paint with natural wood finishes with clear stains, like light oak and walnut, Clark recommends. Pair this combination with patterned Persian rugs with blue and red tones, to add a sophisticated warmth to any room.
5. Wooden textures
Photo by Altereco Design
We know wood isn’t technically a color, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out natural wood as a potential wall treatment, notes Jake Lizarraga, a blogger at interiorcharm.com.
“This year, we’re seeing a lot of bold colors and patterns, but wooden textures are reigning supreme,” he says.
Use wooden textures to create a unique accent wall behind your television or bed, on the ceiling in a hall or entry, or use wallpaper instead. Each gives your home the comforting feel of an indoor forest.