2018 Interior Design Colour Trends: All Eyes on Walls

2018 is fast approaching, and it’s time to talk about colour again – because the colour of the year is not small issue and to see what the creative teams of some of the most directional paint companies are highlighting for the upcoming year will influence the whole of interiors. Not to mention that this is also the best way for us to confirm our colour predictions for the seasons to come.

Taking a look in detail at Graham & Brown, Benjamin MooreDunn Edwards, Jotun, PPG Paints, Sherwin-Williams, Dulux by Akzo Nobel and first time joiner Behr, two main directions emerge: the craving for naturality and comfort on one hand, and the readiness to dare with colour on the other. Our forecast themes across A/W 17/18, S/S 18 through to A/W 18/19 confirm both these directions. Subscribers can look to our reports: Slow Futures, The Thinker, Earthed and Human Nature which all celebrate this need to reconnect in more authentic ways with nature through a pigmented, soft and tactile take on neutrals. While we’ve also called out this second, more bold way- subscribers can see this theme playing out in the following reports: Psychotropical, Dark Wonder, Nocturne, Youth Tonic and Worldhood, which have a bold approach to colour at their core – either with daring darks or by experimenting with energetic and vibrant hues that move from feature accents to feature surfaces and rooms.

The most unexpected colour of the year comes from PPG Paints: their Black Flame is a tinted black, softly tinted with blues and purples – sophisticated yet daring. The colour tackles the growing presence of darks across interiors, and speaks of privacy and concentration. Importantly, it can be used just as an accent to define a piece such as a door frame or a kitchen island or even outdoors, as showcased by other PPG brands Glidden and Olympic with Black Onyx and Black Magic.

Tinted darks are definitely here to stay, and we have been tracking this direction and its evolution for quite some time both across seasonal forecasts and inspiration reports.

PPG Paints


Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore both push the boundaries a little further and introduce very vibrant choices as their key colours for 2018 – energy and vitality are to be harnessed in the space, as an enlivening response to the surrounding uncertainty, bringing colour into one’s life helps maintain a positive and confident attitude.

Benjamin Moore moves away from the moody and mysterious Shadow from last year and sees red for 2018 with Caliente. The power of red even just in small touches is well proven, and even when paired with natural neutrals it brings the space to life. Sherwin Williams goes teal instead with Oceanside – bridging the distance between dark and bright, warm and cold, it has a vibrancy and complexity that really takes on different looks according the environment it is placed within.

Both Caliente and Oceanside also have quite a nostalgic quality as well – in fact both hues feature in our InFusion A/W 17/18 palette and remain important through to A/W 18/19 Worldhood.

Benjamin Moore


A more muted approach to colour brings neutrals center stage at Dulux, Behr, Dunn Edwards and Graham & Brown – the soothing, and tactile quality of tinted matte neutrals is key to create environments that are a haven. Dunn Edwards brings green forward in 2018 with The Green Hour, evoking the twilight hour when a greyed hue tints all colors and cafes starts filling up. There is a retro reference here as well, and The Green Hour was actually the name for this late afternoon time in the mid 1800s when absynth was the drink of choice, and the faded quality of the colour reflects that nostalgia.

Dunn Edwards

Heart Wood by Dulux is a greylac that pairs smoothly with both warm and cold complements, referencing the comfort of natural wood, the importance that mindfulness is taking in all aspects of our lives and above all the feeling of home. Similarly, Behr’s In The Moment foam green colour, although cold in the outlook, takes on warmth via matte applications and pairing with luminous, calming naturals. Graham & Brown offers a softer take with a pink hue that moves on from the ever-present Millennial Pink and goes lighter and more grown-up. A tinted neutral that despite the name of Penelope wants is graduating away from feminine references.

All these are colours that take on personality while remaining understated in the look, colours that speak of authenticity and of comfort – all key concepts to our Design Matters, Slow Futures and The Thinker themes, while their more pigmented, natural and earthy qualities are referenced in Earthed A/W 17/18 through to Human Nature A/W 18/19 – and will continue to take an increasingly central role in the palette in the seasons to come as well.

Dulux by Akzo Nobel


Graham & Brown

Jotun has not highlighted a key colour, however their chart for 2018 is very much in line with all the directions highlighted here – a strong focus on tactile neutrals drives the palette, the softness of the hues speaks of slowness, calm and comfort, eponymously called ‘Rhythm of Life’. Furthermore, the beautiful and considerate simplicity of the styling by Oslo creative duo Kråkvik & D’Orazio is a work of art, bringing to life the three directions with materials and domestic objects that look natural and perfectly at ease – spaces you just want to move into…




Keen to find out more? All our comprehensive colour forecasts and design directions are available on the platform through to S/S 19 and beyond, and our Key Trends for 2018 reports across colour, print & pattern, interior style and many more categories will be waiting for you in early January just in time to kick off the new year. Want in? Join here.

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