Behr’s 2024 Color of the Year Is a Bold Pick That’s Surprisingly Versatile

published Aug 15, 2023
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various bright colored paints in different sizes shot overhead. a can opener and a stirring stick in photo
Credit: Sarah Crowley

From the bubblegum pink hues of Barbiecore to the orangey-reds of “tomato girl summer,” this year has seen a diverse palette of trending colors — and it still has five months to go! But paint companies are already looking past 2023 and into 2024, selecting colors they’re calling the next big thing in interiors. The latest comes from Behr. Today, the Home Depot-exclusive paint color announced its 2024 Color of the Year, and it’s the grounding hue homes need right now: Cracked Pepper, a soft black that you can welcome into any room. 

While inkier blacks may feel more austere, this muted version is warm and cozy while still feeling sophisticated and modern. “As we look into 2024, creating a sense of comfort and belonging will continue to drive design decisions — but now, as life returns to its more familiar rhythms, it’s time to allow our senses to come alive,” says Erika Woelfel, Vice President of Color and Creative Services at Behr Paint Company, in a press release. “From heightening the aromas of a dining room to feeling the softness of a living area, Cracked Pepper enhances the natural expression in any space.”

Credit: Courtesy of Behr

The dark pick agrees with the results of a July 2023 survey Behr conducted, which revealed that more than half of the people surveyed (57 percent) said that painting a wall a dark(er) color gives the room a designer aesthetic and half (50 percent) said a dark color on the walls creates a sense of comfort.

“We know one of the reasons people are looking for a new paint color is because they’re trying to change the mood in a space,” Woelfel tells Apartment Therapy. “So this color delivers on a lot of different levels.” Painted on all four walls and paired with gold accessories, Cracked Pepper can feel opulent and like a cutting-edge designer color; on kitchen cabinets, and surrounded with natural wood tones, it can take on a warm, comforting vibe. This softer black shade has enough subtlety to help it adapt to different styles, and tends to shift moods throughout the day.

Credit: Courtesy of Behr

“The color changes in the light, and it’s very charismatic,” Woelfel says. “It’s uplifting, and that can mean a meditative feeling, a tranquil feeling, or a composed feeling. I think people are looking for that when they end the day, or even start the day.”

And if you already went all in on Behr 2023 COTY, Blank Canvas, fret not: This soft black is the perfect complement, says Sarah Fishburne, The Home Depot’s director of trend and design. “I love [Cracked Pepper] with soft colors because it ground them. If you’re using light on light on light, you need that anchor,” she tells Apartment Therapy.

Credit: Courtesy of Behr

Though Behr reps say they don’t choose COTYs specifically to all live in the same universe or palette, this year’s soft black is a natural fit with last year’s off-white. Plus, Fishburne notes, Cracked Pepper would also go beautifully with Breezeway, 2022’s silvery green pick, or Back to Nature, 2020’s yellow-green hue. “This is truly a universal color,” Fishburne says. 

When picking a Color of the Year, “we want it to be universally applicable,” Woelfel says. “We want it to fit different decor styles or any room in the home. It needs to be really user-friendly — an easy go-to color that people can use for any project or vision of home that they may have.”

Credit: Courtesy of Behr

Whether painting your front door (this color works just as well outside as it does inside) or revamping your bedroom, the cozy look of this hue makes it a color you can instantly feel good about bringing into your home. Ready to try it out? You can shop Behr’s Cracked Pepper paint exclusively at The Home Depot stores nationwide, and peep some more inspo on Behr’s website.