Paint trends 2022 – key colours and paint effects setting the tone for homes

We talk to industry colour experts to highlight the key trends setting the scene for decorating this coming year

Looking to spruce up your home with a fresh new lick of paint in the new year? Giving walls, woodwork or even ceilings a coat of fresh colour can totally transform any living space. We explore the key paint trends that industry experts predict to be the most beneficial for our homes in 2022.

A simple paint shade can have an immense affect on our emotions, happiness and well-being. Getting the colour scheme right has never been more key for creating a contented happy home. Our homes are our own personal sanctuary, a space where we want to feel safe, comforted and – above all else – happy.

These are the trending colours to embrace for any DIY and decorating for the year ahead. As well as the latest colours our colour and paint experts explore the latest trends in how to use paint within our living spaces.

Paint colours play such a huge role in how we live within our homes. The colours we thoughtfully select for our walls serves as the backdrop to our everyday lives, which has never been more important than right now. More than purely decorative, colour is highly emotive meaning it can change how we feel in our own personal sanctuary, which is key to making a house feel like a home.

As we move into 2022 we're seeing a trend for stronger, more saturated colours dominating the colour palette for interiors. We're also seeing braver new ways of using paint to greater effect. Without further ado, here's what's in store for next year...

1. Calming chalky greens

Living room with grey walls and green L shaped sofa

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

Is green the new grey? It's everywhere in interiors right now. It's synonymous with nature and calming qualities, which could explain its popularity for creating a contented home. But for those that can't let go of grey, there's a colour palette to suit.

Crown have identified a trend called 'Liminal' which features a colour palette of chalky aqua shades that are an ode to the natural world. The use of subtle chalky tones and soft grey blues help to create the perfect gentle background to build a furnishing scheme on top of.

'An appreciation of the natural world, Liminal showcases modern minimalism, with beautifully crafted furnishings and a quiet palette of neutral tonal colour' explains Kathryn Lloyd, Crown Colour Consultant. 'Homeowners are now wisely considering exactly what they place in a room – so much so that a space becomes carefully curated. The result is a retreat consisting of dry, chalky, comforting textures and single use, easy on the eye, colour.'

2. Welcoming bright skies inside

Living room with light blue walls and a cream sofa and wooden coffee table

Bright Skies on living room walls

(Image credit: Dulux)

'Bright Skies' has been chosen as the Dulux Colour of the Year 2022. The shade of uplifting light blue offers a much-needed invigorating breath of fresh air our homes, offering a soothing effect in the home despite the cooler undertones. Reminiscent of a clear sky, filled with promise, the gentle blue colour reminds us to 'look up' and feel optimistic as we emerge from the darkness of the last year.

'Right now, people want to feel revitalised and enjoy the freedoms that are returning to them, to look out and bring in new ideas. What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us?'' says Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux UK.

'In the living room, consider using Bright Skies in places you would love more natural light. In small or narrow spaces it will make them feel more spacious, and blue aids concentration so it’s also one to consider for a home office.

3. Colour drenching

Living room with a green fireplace, walls and windows and a pink armchair

(Image credit: Paint and Paper Library)

Paint trends also apply to the ways in whihc we use paint, not just the colours we use. An emerging paint trend right now, set to become bigger in 2022 is 'colour drenching'. 'Colour confidence and the move away from white woodwork and skirting sees the Colour Drenching trend continue' says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director Little Greene (opens in new tab).

So what is colour drenching? Ruth explains, 'With the use of mid-strength tones, in one or closely related colours being used to create considered, cohesive enveloping interiors that elongate spaces, allowing the colour to remain the focal point and creating a strong design statement.

This green living room idea is a fine example of colour drenching, with all surfaces painted in the same cohesive shade.

4. Luscious tones of forest green

Green panelled kitchen walls, with a white counter top

(Image credit: Crown Paints )

Use your walls like a landscape of surrounding lush forestry. Whether you live in the country or aspire to call it home, painting walls in lush green is a step closer to feeling at one with nature. All of the paint experts are in agreement that are homes will be embracing green more than ever next year.

Bringing any elements of the natural world into our interiors evokes a feeling of calm, one we associate with being outdoors – reinforcing our connection to nature. Especially richer shades of green that feel reminiscent of trees and lush foliage.

‘Green is quite simply luscious in the truest sense of the word’ exclaims David Mottershead, MD of Little Greene. ’From velvety dark greens to the light and uplifting tones, greens can be used all over the home and have a powerful, restorative quality. Used in home offices, green shades aid contemplation and deep thought.

Green is a particularly popular choice to breathe new life into living room ideas and create a feeling of tranquility with green bedroom decorating ideas.

5. Harmonious hues of pink

Walls with a various shades of pink patterns on the wall

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

Pink is going to be big news for 2022, in all its glory. Particularly shades of muted pink that lend a sophisticated approach to decorating with pink. Moving on from the more sugary tones of Millennial Pink the pink shades dominating for 2022 are earthier, with matt pigments that welcome an elegant finish to the look.

'Romantic hues of blush rose and raspberry swirl and layer colour upon colour' says Jemma Saunders, Crown Colour Specialist. 'Inspiration is drawn from the free-flowing Surrealism art movement and the cute, stylised culture of Kawaii'.

6. Soothing shades of sea blue

Living room with wooden floors, floor to ceiling windows and blue walls

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

Always a popular choice for decorating, blue is a calming colour that pays homage to the nature world – with its watery influence instantly feeling restorative. This watery marine shade helps to add a serenity to any room. Deeper shades like that of so

'Immersing ourselves in the big blue with all our senses can have therapeutic properties' says Justyna Korczynska, Crown Colour Consultant. 'Use this calming colour palette of soothing blues and gentle warm neutrals to reset yourself back to balance.'

7. Cocooning with saturated colour

Cream carpeted bedroom with a double bed and blue walls

walls in 'Kigali'

(Image credit: Paint & Paper Library)

'Rather than a trend for a particular colour in 2022 at Paint & Paper Library (opens in new tab) we are seeing a move towards deep, saturated shades, darker tones that create a sense of intimacy and comfort' explains Andy Greenall Head of Design, Paint & Paper Library.

'This move to a cocooning, sheltered warm feeling sees colours such as blackened denim ‘Kigali', mid tone 'BTWN Dog & Wolf', Deep and warm ‘Muga', charcoal toned blue 'Squid Ink', tranquil 'The Botanist' and rich and welcoming brownish red ‘Masai' rising to the for, and being embraced not only on walls, but on ceilings and woodwork too.'

8. Uplifting shades of optimism

Tiled Kitchen with green skirting boards and light yellow walls

(Image credit: Little Greene )

'As we move towards 2022 the desire for warm, welcoming and optimistic shades continues,' says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director Little Greene. 'With customer confidence in colour reflected in the rise of joyful shades such as 'Indian Yellow' and ‘Giallo’ as well as the move from greys and whites into warmer, richer natural stone and sandy hues.

9. Going for full gloss finishes

Blue door and door frame

School House White walls; Stone Blue full Gloss on the door

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball )

As trends evolve in how we decorate our homes so do the trends on paint finishes. From flat matt to high-shine gloss the finish ultimate determines the end result. Farrow & Ball's (opens in new tab) colour curator Joa Studholme is predicting a resurgence in 2022 of glossy paint effects.

'The traditional values of Full Gloss are perfect for use in homes in 2022 and can be introduced sparingly and in surprising ways. Perhaps on a door or a kitchen unit' Joa suggests. Explaining how the use of gloss paint, ' adds a modern feel with a suitably vintage flavour.'

10. Painted ceilings

Dinning room table in front of a large window with blue painted ceilings

(Image credit: Dulux)

Call it the fifth wall, 2022 is set to be the year we include the ceiling in all paint ideas. 'Bright Skies works perfectly in all rooms, especially ones in which you want to feel uplifted and energised' says Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux.

'It has a magical effect when used on the ceiling by visually melting it away and connecting with the sky itself. Bring the colour down on to the walls by about 20-30cm too to enhance the feeling of airy summer freshness.'

11. Comforting colour

Vinyl kitchen floors, with a counter against a pink and navy wall

Family Tree (Green); Cushion Craze (peachy tan)

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

We're still craving comforting colours for our homes, shades that make us feel grounded and safe in our own sanctuaries we call 'home'. A palette of comforting colours inspired by rural landscapes – as we dream of escapism. One of the key colours is tan, a peachy earthy tone that feels bold but balanced.

Crown have called this the ‘Integrity' trend. For which Justyna Korczynska, from the Crown Design Studio, says, ‘Social and environmental consciousness has become an important factor in our lives, and it influences the choices we make. Products that are locally sourced, carefully crafted and made of natural materials are becoming more sought after. Those products and materials bring their own colour palette with them. Those colours, mostly inspired by nature and natural materials create calm and harmonious spaces.'

12. Restorative new neutrals

Neutral kitchen with partial white brickwall

(Image credit: Little Greene)

There's been a resurgence in recent years of more milky and almond toned neutrals, as opposed to the colder tones feature on the grey scale. 'I see 2021 as being a year of creating cocooning, cosy spaces, there will be a shift away from the cooler greys, and warm neutrals such as ‘Oak Apple’, ‘Mushroom’ and ‘Bath Stone’ will become the go-to tones,' explains Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director Little Greene.

'These colours are perfect for creating restful living spaces that bring a sense of comfort to the home. These more neutral tones work fantastically as a base from which to introduce a colour highlight on the skirting boards or a door.

Open kitchen with white walls and blue stools and storage units

Threadneedle No.262 on walls by Mylands

(Image credit: Herringbone Kitchens)

'Pure White is always on our bestsellers list but it’s been really interesting to see some newcomers which are full of confident colour.' says Dominic Myland, CEO at Mylands paint. 'Threadneedle No.262 brings a subtle hint of colour'.

This light, fresh and welcoming neutral is a happy neutral compromise to all white walls. It is a refined and subtle pale pink, white with a hint of orange and umber – the perfect colour to make other shades pop whilst adding a hint of rosy warmth in the process.

13. Calm inducing grounded tones

Living room with wood flooring and neutrally painted walls

Brave Ground

(Image credit: Dulux)

Dulux's Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground was carefully selected to neutralise our homes throughout 2021 and beyond. This warm neutral feels both comforting and grounding. It’s not a 'wow' shade, but that’s the beauty of this neutral hue – it's the understated allure which we are being inspired to draw upon. Plus it pairs beautifully with so many different colour palettes, adapting to its surroundings.

This earthy shade aims to create a safe space in which we can take comfort from the changing world outside. The paint experts at Dulux have identified the warm and grounding neutral shade as 'the colour that will enable people to draw upon the strength of nature to help them find the courage to embrace the future.'

This warm and earthy shade is perfect for creating a chic and contemporary scheme with homes for the year ahead. The delicately light brown matches perfectly with sleek modern furnishings, gold fixtures and green accessories to achieve a sophisticated elegance.

'We're constantly battling being busy in all aspects of life and more and more we’re seeking respite from stress with products, tools and services that balance our fast-paced lifestyles' Sue Kim, Valspar’s Senior Design Expert.  'Creating a welcoming interior to come home to will reduce feelings of anxiety to allow you to really enjoy the space you’re in.'

14. Notes of delicious Olive green

Living room with green living room, and grey sofa

Bancha

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Our style team have been noting the abundance of Olive green springing up in new season trend collections. And here are what the experts say on the shade...

‘In the bedroom olive green can help to create a serene environment,’ says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball. ‘lt’s also suited to rooms that overlook nature. The colours from the great outdoors will further enhance the green tones of the walls and create a relaxing outdoor feel in your home.’

‘Olive green is a great colour for east-facing rooms,’ says Cathryn Helsby, marketing manager and colour expert at Earthborn. ‘These spaces often have green/blue undertones and it’s best to play to this. Similarly, olive would also work well in north-facing rooms: instead of competing with the lack of light, we recommend embracing it.’

15. Backdrops of beige

Living room with wood flooring and a fire place with two yellow armchairs

Crocky Road

(Image credit: Earthborn)

It's been noted that the new neutrals are harking back to beiges of days gone by. Remember 'Natural Hessian' and 'Calico'of the 2000s? They are back but with new names and shades, as we welcome neutrals with a warmer undertone to that of greys.

Perfectly timed for the rise of the new neutrals is a new shade at Earthborn. Launched as part of new ‘Earth Collection’, Crocky Road is predicted to be one of the most coveted tones of 2021.
'Our brand-new colour Crocky Road is set to be a hugely popular shade in interiors this year and next' says Cathryn Helsby, Head of Creative Marketing, Earthborn (opens in new tab).

'This natural, cool beige with a faint green undertone carries a calming, easy- going, earthy quality. A perfect colour to live with in both a modern and traditional home, and wonderful to pair with pops of bright accessories.' We love the imaginative living paint idea using a contracting colour as a border as a picture rail.

Room with wooden flooring, and neutral painted walls

Crocky 

(Image credit: Earthborn)

A neutral wall colour can go a long way to creating a soft and warming interior space. A strong neutral provides the perfect backdrop to compliment trendy darker hues or statement furniture pieces.

16. Warming reds tones

Bedroom with four poster bed and a richly painted walls

(Image credit: Little Greene )

In times of uncertainty we often crave warmer tones, ones that will enrich our homes and create a cocooning sanctuary to shut ourselves away. Moving away from charcoal greys and navy blues, with a colder outlook, this year we're steering towards the warmer tones of reds and plum. These rich saturated hues are effortlessly chic by day and cosy by night, welcoming a grounded but luxurious atmosphere to any room.

'Bold yet natural pairings are also on trend, with strong greens being paired with striking tones such as 'Chocolate Colour', or rich ‘Baked Cherry’ in combination with 'Invisible Green' to create dramatic yet intimate and inviting interiors' explains Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director Little Greene.

What colours will trend in 2022?

Colour expert  Natasha Bradley, Lick’s (opens in new tab) Colour Psychologist, predicts the colours that will trend in 2022; 'As we head into 2022, I predict a much softer palette, with more delicate tones coming in. The first colour group Lick has pulled together is a ‘care and connect’ palette which features soft pinks, beiges, terracotta red. A collection of natural, very earthy, grounded tones - a development on the 2021 trends.'

'These colours all speak to our desire to slow down and take care of ourselves. All colours mentioned in the ‘Care and Connect’ palette have warm tones which are perfect for creating calm in any room.'

Natasha explains the inspiration behind this; 'Over the last 18 months, there has been a huge amount of anxiety for a lot of people, and the instant change of lifestyle meant that our homes suddenly became places that we demanded a lot from.'

Lick’s second palette, ‘Connect with nature’ - earthy greens, which lean into biophilic design trends, which is anticipated to be huge in the next year.' Natasha explains the inspiration; Not only is climate change drastically changing the face of our planet, but it’s directly impacting seasons globally. These changes are being felt worldwide, sustainability is a prominent issue on everybody’s mind

'Lick’s third colour palette for 2022 includes grey blues, which the brand anticipates will be huge for 2022. Blue is the colour of the mind, and this relaxing hue represents ‘trust and loyalty’ something consumers are craving following a turbulent two years.'

With so many glorious paint trends, there's never been a better time to embrace a fresh new colour for walls.

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.