Year in Review: The Standout Colors of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, ESTATENVY is breaking down this year’s hottest hues and dishing you the inside scoop on which fresh colors everyone will be coating their walls in.

In the words of Ralph Lauren, “fashion is transient—trends come and go.” The same holds true for interior design. This year was filled with some of the most innovative and groundbreaking interior styles to date. From palm-patterned everything, to mixing metals, to luxe velvet furnishings, 2019 was an iconic year for the chic home.

Perhaps one of the most important design elements in any home is the color. Colors can evoke emotion and even make you relive in a specific memory. We often associate colors with a meaning—for example, when many see purple, they may associate the shade with “royalty.” It’s safe to say that color is an important (if not the single-most important) part of interior design.
Maria Killam, Color Expert and Founder of the System for Specifying Colour: Understanding Undertones, works with an abundance of clients with different design and color preferences. Killam says that most of her clients this year requested a shade of white for their walls—but are we surprised? Neturals have taken over 2019 and while some may argue that white isn’t a color, it has certainly dominated the rest of the rainbow.
“My clients have overwhelmingly been looking for white walls,” said Killam. “People are looking for creamy light neutrals and whites for walls—they want light and fresh.”
For some, white walls may be too plain or bright for their taste. This is where neutrals—such as beige, ivory or brown—come in handy.
“White walls don’t work in every home,” said Killam. “If you have earthy granite and tile, your walls will just look unpainted in a white or off-white. I most often steer my clients towards a pale and fresh version of the correct neutral undertone to relate to their finishes. This gives them a current and updated look that is not too stark.”
Let’s step on the other side of the color spectrum, shall we? From moody blues and greens to even a jet black, Killam shares that earthy tones are some of the most popular colors of 2019—except for grey. In previous years, grey was the go-to color choice for walls and furnishings, but according to Killam, that trend is so 2018.
“I’ve seen a steep incline in grey walls—that trend is over,” said Killam. “Instead, there has been an interest in deep moody blues, greens and black in spaces like bedrooms, powder rooms and dining rooms. In accents and decorating, I’ve been specifying lots of pale pinks, jade, forest green and cool blues.”
As Killam looks to the future of color in the interior, she predicts that green will be the most favored color in 2020. While Killam believes that “neutral rooms will always have a broad appeal to those who are timid about color,” she is excited to see fresh greens, blues and pinks next year.
“I think we will see a lot of grounded, natural yet happy greens,” said Killam. “Dramatic forest green is going to be a strong color as well as sage greens that are a bit cooler and fresher than the swampy ones used in the 90s. Cool muted blues, like slate, have broad appeal and are relatively easy to work with. Pink is also a trend with more staying power than I would have predicted when it arrived on the scene years ago.”
Picking the perfect color scheme for any space is a big decision (and commitment). But, Killam’s No. 1 tip is to choose a color that’s your first choice, not the majority’s favorite.
“I always say that decorating with your favorite color is more timeless than buying everything in the trendy neutral of the moment,” said Killam.