Color Trends Throughout the Decades

Color Trends Throughout the Decades

Color Trends Throughout the Decades

In 2015, Sherwin Williams introduced Coral Reef as the color of the year! As designers, we are intrigued by color trends and what is behind these shifts in the popularity of colors.  Yes, everyone has definite personal preferences but it is fascinating how a combination of politics, technology and economic factors in the U.S. all influence our choices.     

For example, the aesthetic in the 1920’s became utilitarian, pure and rational in reaction to the excesses of the previous eras and the war.  Crisp, clean white was a popular color choice back then for walls and woodwork. 

On the other hand, the 1950’s gave way to an era of hope and optimism.  People were riding around in pastel cars and trying to live the American dream!  Mint greens, turquoises and cheerful, creamy yellows filled homes.   

The 1960’s brought about another turbulent era and the color choices reflected that in loud, unconventional hues of neon pinks and acid oranges!


We may want to forget about the 1980’s decor but it really was driven by an economic boom! This led to a lot of floral prints and vibrant color combinations such as teal and peach.

As we went through the new millennium and another recession, we saw the color trend go towards more muted and subdued hues of relaxing blues and greens.  Furniture and homes became smaller; design was more minimal, individualized and filled with technology.


(Erin Rose Photography)

Change is coming once again with a renewed optimism in this new decade.  We saw colors such as Tangerine Tango in 2012 and Emerald in 2013 influenced by this new upbeat revitalization.  The trend continues as Jackie Jordan, Sherwin Williams director of color marketing explains, “Coral Reef embodies a cheerful approach to design that we’re seeing for the coming year. Its unexpected versatility brings life to a range of design aesthetics, whether traditional, vintage, cottage or contemporary.”


(Sherwin Williams)

This color’s cheerfulness would be great on an accent wall, painted on a door or a piece of furniture.  Here are some great coordinating colors in order to further energize or relax this vibrant color of the year.


(Sherwin Williams)


So don’t be afraid to add some color to your life and to your home!

Happy Designing – By Design Interiors

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