If You Never Warmed to Minimalism, then Fall’s Biggest Trend is Perfect for You

published Sep 13, 2020
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I was perusing Sherwin-Williams’ 2021 Colormix Forecast recently (because I’m over 2020), and their Sanctuary color palette beckoned me in. And it’s no surprise: The paint company lists “warm minimalism” and “nesting” among its inspiration for this palette, which features 1970s-inspired shades like ochre, terracotta, moss, and cream, among others.

If this year has taught me anything, it’s that a home that soothes you after a tough day is crucial. The color experts at Sherwin-Williams have definitely captured that sense of calm throughout the four palettes that make up their predictions for next year’s color trends, and the Sanctuary colors are a standout in this regard. So I asked Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, why she thinks these subtle earth tones have begun to surge in popularity again.

“Sanctuary’s palette of earthy neutrals cultivates wellness and calm within the home,” says Wadden. “During these unprecedented times, we’re experiencing a pause that’s called us to be mindful of how we’re living. Now, the focus is to build sustainable sanctuaries and breathe new life into spaces, which is easily done with these earth tones that make us feel grounded and secure.”

According to Wadden, warm neutrals and natural tones embody a sense of nurturing no matter how they are used. So here’s the thing: If you never took to minimalism because you thought it was too cold or the tones felt off-putting to you, then “warm minimalism” might be the trend that’ll make you a believer that less can actually be more. If you want to work the magic of warm minimalism in your space, these six simple shifts will help you bring those soothing vibes home.

Up your textile game

A new throw pillow is hands down the easiest way to refresh a space. Urban Outfitters just released these sweet tasseled cushions, and each colorway is kind of perfect, depending on how sunny and saturated you want to go with your living room or bedroom textiles.

Buy: Savannah Round Throw Pillow, $39 from Urban Outfitters

Credit: East Fork

Swap in warm-toned dinnerware

Leave it to the folks at East Fork Pottery to come up with the most gorgeous shades of glazes to ever grace your cabinets. This cult-favorite dinnerware company is prepared to add two new colors to its lineup—Amaro, the reddish terracotta pictured above, and Panna Cotta, a warm white. East Fork has moved to a pre-order model in response to COVID-19-related production limitations, so you’ll want to be ready to order at noon ET today (Sept. 13). This will be your first opportunity to score pottery in these two new glazes, with another chance coming later this fall.

Buy: The Mug, $36 from East Fork Pottery

Just add earthy paint

One of the most impactful ways to change up the look of your space is to paint something, whether you’re adorning a whole room in a new shade or adding a painted arch or a mural to even just one wall. “The monochromatic look of painting the walls, trim, and even the ceiling all in one color, such as Oakmoss (SW 6180) or Messenger Bag (SW 7740), would modernize a space and create a cocoon of calm, ” she says. “Be a bit more playful with your sanctuary space by using multiple, complementary colors. I love the combination of Bona Fide Beige (SW 6065) on walls, creating a focal ceiling with Canyon Clay (SW 6054), and quieting the space with Pure White (SW 7005) on all trim and architectural accents.” A focal ceiling? Sign me up!

Buy: Sanctuary palette colors, Prices vary per quart and gallon from Sherwin-Williams

Credit: CB2

Think about touches of subtle texture

Of course, layered textures have a massive impact on the way a space feels. This coffee table from CB2 is more of an investment piece, but the creamy textured linen makes it look timeless. Add one to your living room, and it will serve you well through 2021 and beyond. 

Credit: Coyuchi

Sleep on the sunniest sheets

Never discount the power of a fresh set of sheets. Coyuchi’s organic percale sheets come in several gorgeous colorways, including this warm ginger hue. Paired with a crisp white duvet, you might just wake up feeling like sunshine. 

Buy: Organic Crinkled Percale Sheet Set, $198 for Queen from Coyuchi

Credit: Minted

Swap out your art 

One of the best parts of my IKEA RIBBA frames is that they make it super easy to swap in new art. Try adding in a fresh print, like these limited edition, warm-toned geometric prints from Minted. This particular print comes in three variations, meaning it would make for a great triptych over a bed or sofa.

Buy: Rustic Geometry 2, Starting at $24.00 for a 5″ x 7″ unframed print from Minted