Colour Trends for 2018

Colour Trends for 2018

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Colour Trends for 2018

by Samantha Sannella

Colour is light, travelling to us in waves. When light strikes any object, the object will absorb only the wavelengths that exactly match its own atomic structure and reflect the rest — which is what we see. As such, colour is inescapable.

Science has always recognized the link between colour and human behaviour and there are numerous studies that detail the subject, but many are inconclusive. It is important to understand that there is a great difference between colour psychology and colour symbolism. As well, cultural differences can effect how people determine their reactions to colour.

There are positive and negative associations with all colours. The slightest changes in tone and hue can greatly determine how colour is perceived. For example, gray can be neutral and calming, but also depressing. White can represent purity and cleanliness, but also sterility and coldness. Red can be seen as aggressive, but warm.

For 2018, colour trends from premier paint companies are inspired by nature, modernism and metallic sheens.

Beauti-Tone "Green Peace"
Beauti-Tone “Green Peace”

Beauti-Tone has chosen Green Peace as their colour of the year. A colour strongly rooted in nature, Green Peace is an interesting blend of an earthy camouflage green and a soft botanical green.

“As humans, we crave nature. It is there that we slow down, feel connection — become stronger,” said Bev Bell, creative director, Beauti-Tone Paint and Home Products Division, Home Hardware Stores Limited. “Since we can’t always get outside, the solution is to bring aspects of nature into our home to improve our well-being, productivity and creativity.”

PPG Voice of Colour "Black Flame"
PPG Voice of Colour “Black Flame”

PPG unveiled Black Flame as their 2018 choice.

“It acts like a black curtain, allowing your other decor elements to take centre stage,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG senior colour marketing manager. “It’s a fantastic blend of black and indigo, two classic hues. Black creates the silence we crave in an information-heavy world, while the indigo offers possibility and a deep hopefulness. The blend of two colours makes it incredibly versatile — use it on a statement wall, with a matte finish on a ceiling, with high gloss on a naturally-lit staircase, on cabinets, interior and exterior doors and in many more places. The versatile hue can also provide strength and a modern luxe vibe to spaces with a lot of whites, blush pinks and soft pastels.”


According to the colour experts at Pantone, intense colours are back and there are eight palettes that will inspire 2018.

  • VERDURE: Vegetal colours like celery are combined with berry-infused purples and eggshell blue, symbolic of health, in this palette.
  • PLAYFUL: Think Minions. Bright yellow, lime popsicle and all other things fun come together for this colour scheme. “People need to stop and smile,” said Pantone Colour Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.
  • DISCRETION: Playful’s alter ego. Subtle hues such as elderberry and hawthorne rose offer a new sense of strength. “Pink has developed more power than ever before,” Eiseman said.
  • FAR-FETCHED: With warm, earthy hues such as corn silk yellow blending with rosy tones, this palette embraces many different cultures.
  • INTRICACY: A palette of neutral metallics (the new neutrals) with accents of dramatic holly berry red and yellow sulfur.
  • INTENSITY: This is an eclectic mix of colours that evokes a sense of strength, power and sophistication, all balanced with black and gold.
  • TECH-NIQUE: Bright turquoise, pink and purple colours anchored with brilliant white and frosted almond are a nod to technology.


Benjamin Moore "Caliente"
Benjamin Moore “Caliente”

Benjamin Moore declared its Colour of the Year 2018 as Caliente, a vibrant, charismatic shade of red.

“Strong, radiant and full of energy, Caliente is total confidence. It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like ‘red carpet treatment,’ said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore director of strategic design intelligence. “Whether used as one note or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads, signalling surprise and adventure. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes.”

Sherwin Williams "Oceanside"
Sherwin Williams “Oceanside”

Sherwin Williams has focused on a relaxing shade of teal for their colour of the year. Oceanside is inspired by travel and the blue-green hue will add an air of mystery and elegance to any space.

“People today have a growing sense of adventure, and it is making its way into even the coziest corners of our homes. We are craving things that remind us of bright folklore, like mermaids and expeditions across continents,” said Sue Wadden, director of colour marketing. “Oceanside is the colour of wanderlust right in our own homes.”

For the past few years, whites and neutrals have ruled the world of paint colour. Behr isn’t one to follow the lead, which is why they named In the Moment as its first-ever Colour of the Year. In it, spruce blue, soft gray and lush green coalesce to evoke a sense of sanctuary and relaxation.

In The Moment speaks to our society’s desire to disconnect and be present,” said Erika Woelfel, vice president of colour and creative services at Behr. “It crosses multiple design styles — global, coastal, modern — and pairs well with other subdued colours to create harmony for interiors or exteriors.”

SAMANTHA SANNELLA, BFA ID, M ARCH, is a designer, educator and principal at Urban Retreat Homes.

She is an expert in the field of design and construction and is a columnist for RENO & DECOR and editor of the Ontario Design Trade Sourcebook.


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