Gray Is Out and Beige Is Back, According to This Survey of Designers

updated Oct 8, 2019
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Credit: Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

The reports are in: Gray is out and beige is back. That’s according to a just-released survey by Sherwin-Williams. The paint company polled 265 professional designers, who shared their observations and trend predictions for the coming year. While gray and beige are both neutrals, their versatility belies their divisiveness. We’d bet that most of us who love design strongly prefer one or the other. Does a beige future sound warm and cozy to you, or just blah?

Sherwin-Williams’ 2019 Designer Panel revealed a bunch of other polarizing finds. The survey report claims that other trends due to die in 2020 include “all white/gray walls, farmhouse and shiplap accents, and accent walls.” Does that mean the Magnolia era is over or that Chip and Joanna Gaines will have to evolve their look? Or did this survey just end up with a bunch of contrarians?

Credit: Minette Hand

Now onto the trends on their way up. Along with beige, other “new neutrals” on the rise include black, sage green, and navy blue, which were considered neutrals by 66%, 44%, and 42%, respectively, of the designers surveyed. One absence the report noted: millennial pink, which only 35% of designers surveyed considered a neutral.

Speaking of millennials, they’re not the youngest adults on the home design market anymore. The oldest members of Gen Z are now 24, and they’re influencing color trends as they set out on their own. While interior designers are still getting a read on Gen Z, 26% of those surveyed said this age group was “most likely to request yellow and orange hues in their designs.” Millennials also like bold colors, but they’re more likely to go for blue and purple, and overall, they still prefer neutrals, just like the generations before them.

As for how adventurous people of all ages are with color, 71% of designers surveyed said their clients were most willing to try navy blue compared to other trendy colors. It’s easiest to take a small risk, which is likely why designers said people were most likely to try trendy colors in their bathrooms first, compared to living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms.

So how does this design future sound to you? Will you embrace the beige?