What color would you select to describe this year?
As 2023 draws to a close, we reflect on the past year, both personally and professionally, and marvel at the transformative trends and major life events that have shaped our lives. This year, we saw a unique thread of color weave through our experiences – the 2023 Color of the Year.
Just as our lives evolve and change, so do the colors that capture the essence of each year. The Color of the Year varies depending on the news source, even further symbolizing our journey through this remarkable, challenging year and how it's up to personal interpretation.
These shades of colors reported as the 2023 Color of the Year have permeated our lives, impacting our homes, fashion choices, and even our moods. Rent.com has rounded up the colors that encapsulated 2023, what they mean, and how we can utilize these colors before the year closes out.
Looking back, 2023 was a year of going bold by combining unconventional shades. Earth tones and cool accents came together with warm and vibrant shades of orange, red, and pink to merge charming and cozy appeal with a joyous and optimistic celebration. We'll look at the colors that shaped the year with both a broad brushstroke and in greater detail.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated choices of the year is the color Pantone picks that set the tone of the year. Starting this list strong, Pantone Color Institute selected Viva Magenta as its color of the year because it's a shade rooted in nature and forwardly expresses a signal of strength. This unconventional shade is bright enough for self-expression, yet muted enough to serve as a soothing shade as well, making it a color for all.
Behr selected Blank Canvas as its color of the year, a creamy eggshell shade that creates the perfect backdrop for any home. Blank Canvas effortlessly offers a neutral base shade for your decorating desires, creating endless opportunities for pops of color. Slightly different than traditional white, Blank Canvas is, for lack of better words, the perfect blank canvas for other paint colors to shine.
Redend Point, Sherwin Williams' color of the year selection, is a mix of blush and beige. This warm shade combines classic neutrals and bolder hues to create a perfect unique neutral for any room. Brown can often be too dark for a room, whereas Redend Point brightens a room with its pink undertones.
Green is not new to design spaces. Krylon's selection of Spanish Moss is a twist on the traditional use of earthy green, that blends cool and warm tones to create a timeless shade. Ashley Banbury, senior color designer at Krylon, explained, "This year's color selection is inspired by the comfort and reassurance found in the past, as we look to find contentment in the future."
If you're a minimalist, you're familiar with the world of neutrals. Rustic Greige was chosen by Dutch Boy because it's a unique neutral with a slight red undertone, serving as a new neutral within the red family many were unaware existed. This color is subtle yet captivating, perfect for traditionalists looking for something slightly more enticing and exciting.
Another shade in the red family, Raspberry Blush, is a shade found in the natural dye family. This pretty reddish-orange will brighten any room and is a brave color choice when selecting paint or various decor. Red and orange hues are known to energize and create a bold statement when used creatively. Just be aware that these shades can induce anxiety in some contexts, so we advise against using them in a room where you plan to decompress.
Mini Wax selected the perfect brown for all your neutral needs with the selection of Aged Barrel. The dark and rich earth tone is reminiscent of nature's shades of brown through wood and other natural materials. This color, when used as a stain, offers a crafty edge through its warmness and ode to natural settings.
Glidden's nature-inspired selection, Vining Ivy, channels nature's gorgeous jewel tones in this blue and green combination. The blue and green color palettes bring color to any room while calming anyone in the color's presence. This soothing blue shade pairs perfectly with different styles, ranging from contemporary to classic while pairing beautifully with neutrals.
After analyzing the selections of colors for 2023, it's easier to understand the overarching trends and themes these selections had encompassed. The colors we utilize and surround ourselves with affect us, whether we realize it or not.
Bold, saturated color and self-expression
These pink and reddish tones, like Viva Magenta, Terra Rosa and Raspberry Blush, are bold and highly saturated. These selections were intentional, to inspire and encourage the use of these bright colors.
Red and pink, and colors within this family, are said to encourage self-expression since using such colors is a brave design choice. Venturing outside of color comfort zones is an exciting journey to take, especially in the world of design and other self-expression choices like clothing and accessories.
Earthy tones, alternatives to black, and embracing nature
Neutrals like earth tones and black have always been in style and will likely never lose popularity due to their versatility. While utilizing earthy tones isn't a new trend, making the connection to nature through these tones is, and adds a more exciting feel to colors otherwise viewed as "boring" or "muted."
Colors like Rustic Greige and Blank Canvas serve as an inviting blank slate for creative decor. These colors are also soothing shades, helping those who utilize such colors to relax and find serenity in these natural-world colors.
As 2024 fast approaches, the reflection on 2023 feels even more pressing. Through life's largest moments down to color trends, what influences and shapes our world is a blend of human creativity, emotions, and societal shifts.
The Colors of the Year in 2023 have not only filled our spaces but have also symbolized the year, representing a blend of bravery, hope, and individual expression. As we speculate about what 2024 may bring, one thing is certain: The colors will continue to tell a story of our shared human experience.