This just in – Sherwin-Williams, the American paint company, has revealed its annual Colormix Forecast for 2021. “Before we start working on the forecast, each one of us has spent months researching and gathering inspiration around colour, design, and pop culture trends across the world,” Sue Wadden, the brand’s director of colour marketing, explains to AD of her team’s process. While the end results are different every year, the prediction for 2021 consists of 40 distinct paint shades across four colour palettes: Sanctuary, Encounter, Continuum, and Tapestry.
The word sanctuary likely resonates with many individuals nowadays, in light of the ongoing global pandemic. The hues included in this palette are inspired by nature and biophilia, as well as the concept of nesting and the paler tones that are often associated with Scandinavian design. For instance, the quietness of Pure White (SW 7005) is designed to encourage slowing down and taking respite, while Oakmoss (SW 6180) and Urbane Bronze (SW 7048) are warm and inviting. “The Sanctuary palette is about being rooted in peace, so it’s the ideal palette to help create a safe haven at home,” Wadden notes. “During this unprecedented time, less is more. We’re experiencing a pause that’s called us to be mindful of how we’re living.”
While there isn’t one standout colour, the earthy hues of Rosemary (SW 6187) and Reddened Earth (SW 6053) in the Encounter palette are more personal, in a nod to the potential for connection in one’s surroundings. Java (SW 6090), for instance, can bring to mind images of coffee (a necessity during the shutdown, with cold brews and whipped coffee seemingly in the news more than ever). The colour is also a much richer shade of brown than Sandbank (SW 6052) and Canyon Clay (SW 6054), two paints from the Sherwin-Williams 2020 Colormix.
As Wadden explains, last year’s selections were “inspired by the concept of wellness, while opening the door for colour exploration.” In a way, they helped people feel grounded as they headed into a new decade. 2021 is about finding peace and slowing down.
The shift is also reflective of technology. The Continuum palette ties into how people live, and how colours like Novel Lilac (SW 6836) and inky hues such as Commodore (SW 6524) can help us gain a forward-thinking lifestyle. What is more, although the Colormix forecast features several calming colours, it also has peppy, upbeat ones (after all, we need some energy if we’re spending all this time indoors). For the more adventurous, vibrant colours like Jaipur Pink (SW 6577), Alexandrite (SW 0060), and Perfect Periwinkle (SW 9065) in the Tapestry palette signal joy and sensory exploration. “Now, the focus is to build sustainable sanctuaries and breathe new life into spaces,” Wadden says. We’ll second that.