2021 Color of the Year

2021 Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore recently released their 2021 Color of the Year.  In the Interior Design world, the large paint companies like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore releasing their Color of the year and the color trends for the upcoming year is a big deal.  They are setting the stage for what trends in styling, colors, patterns, and materials will be coming down the path. When Sherwin Williams released Urbane Bronze as their Color of the year, I was intrigued by their choice and started doing some research. 

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

With design trends moving away from cool hues and simple statements and moving more towards earth tones, nature, and bold textures, it is not a surprise that Sherwin Williams would develop a bold color such as Urbane Bronze

You might be wondering why anyone would paint a wall or a room so dark – that is where the psychology and perception of color comes into play.  

Perception of dark colors has mostly been associated to gloomy, deep, and depressing feelings.  But, combining it with the right complimenting colors and styles, it can be quite light and warm feeling.  The other myth is that dark colors make a room appear smaller – again this is not true.  It’s only true when a room is not properly designed or styled for that color.  Having dark colors in a room can, in fact, make it appear larger and generates a warm cocoon feel.

As you can see from the Sherwin William photos, the rooms are warm and inviting – this is due to the contrasting and complimentary colors and accessories that were used.  The eye moves to see the complete space as a whole – it does not focus on the wall color.  The wall color helps build up the entire room feel that the eye focuses on. 

As I became more intrigued with this color choice, I wanted to do my own experiment.  I did a quick rending of my own bedroom in its current color of a light, pale blue.  Then I changed only the wall color to the Urbane Bronze.  You can see how just changing the wall color the feel is different – but it seemed a little too dark.   So, I decided to change out the furnishings and drapes to a lighter color and add bedding that complimented the wall color.  It started to brighten up a bit with those small changes.

Bedroom Rendering

In my final design render, I added in items that compliment the dark color and adds contrast and light balance.  I added mirrors behind my end table lights to help reflect light into the room and I added additional throw pillows in various colors and patters to add another layer and depth. 

Urbane Bronze Rendering

I also rendered my bedroom with Benjamin Moore’s Color of the year – Aegean Teal.  They chose the cooler side of the color wheel, but it is still a bold color.  

You can see by this exercise, that color can create different senses and illusions. Since dark colors blur the edges of walls, they can create the illusion of more space and a feel of warmth and relaxed when complimenting furnishings and accessories are used.  Cooler colors create a feel of fresh and bright with more natural light balance.  

When painting a room, It’s important to recognize the feel that you want it to provide and select the right paint that achieves it.  I hope this has inspired you to think outside of the normal box when choosing a paint color.


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