The color gods have spoken. Sherwin-Williams has released its long-awaited 2024 Colormix Forecast, a collection of four palettes made up of 48 colors that tap into the pulse of global events, design, and pop-culture trends. This year, the chosen colors are a high-contrast series of vibrant pinks and moody blacks that tap into our current mindset in a very real way.
The Cleveland-based paint powerhouse’s forecast—based on micro and macro trends as varied as political campaigns and what’s hitting the box office—is riding on the heels of the oh-so-present Barbenheimer internet phenomenon, a series of pink-and-black jokes, memes, and mashup pairings that are circulating social media and becoming more than just a Hollywood moment. It’s a mood. A vibe. And, if Sherwin-Williams’s crystal ball is accurate, a cue for forthcoming design trends.
“This Barbie pop-culture moment is not showing any signs of slowing down, and in the color direction too the temperature is really warming up,” Sue Wadden, the color marketing director at Sherwin-Williams, tells ELLE DECOR. “But at the same time, the world is in a bit of turmoil, politically and economically, and when that happens at a macro level, tones in design darken. Color is becoming a big part of this dualistic conversation.”
This year, the paint company is doing things a little differently, releasing a biennial forecast comprised of more colors for more big-picture thinking. This forecast type will be released every other year, alternating with the regular forecast. “It’s more of a guide,” Wadden explains “I wanted to take a step back and think about what we really want to talk about, and that’s pure color. So we broke the stories down into color families. And I think that will tell a better story to designers.”
Read on for the paint palettes that will be everywhere in 2024.
Red, Berry, and Pink
The complete forecast features a display of nostalgic hues—from sultry red tones to fizzy magentas and berry-colored purples. “There has been a lot of discussion about how we’re using these warm colors to present ourselves to the world,” Wadden explains. Reds, too, are seeing a long-awaited resurgence in the collection. “We haven’t seen red be an important color family since the ’90s, and we’re here for it,” Wadden adds.
Barely There Tints
Another palette features a lineup of airy off-whites and soft tints that are balanced by warm and cool undertones. Think gray-tinted ivories, stone-colored white, or an understated green-gray silver. “We need to break from white so that’s where this palette comes in, a spectrum of delicate white tints that can be accentuated with texture for a sophisticated look,” Wadden says. “We believe that these tinted neutrals are going to be strong throughout the rest of this decade.”
Deep, Deep, Darks
The remainder of the collection—what Wadden calls “a gathering of dramatic deeps and darks”—takes a marked 180-degree tonal shift. “Next year is going to be a political year, especially in North America, where it’s anybody’s guess what will happen,” Wadden explains. “And when that happens at a macro level, colors darken.” The palette contains a range of anchored dark colors like bottomless blacks, rich saturated greens, and varying browns (one is literally called Rock Bottom).
Blues and Greens
Its sister palette is a fusion of blues and greens that feel as evergreen as the colors themselves. “For the first four years coming out of the pandemic, everybody forecast green,” Wadden explains. “And that’s going to continue, but in light of massive water conservation efforts and climate-change awareness, blue will emerge as the color of choice come 2025.” This palette features everything from natural gray-blues to invigorating teals, a color story that the paint company predicts we’ll see emerge from this trend.
“These palettes express the yin and yang of color,” Wadden explains. “We’ve got all this warmth and energy in one palette, and maybe we need something starkly different to harmonize with that.”
Assistant Digital Editor
Rachel Silva, the Assistant Digital Editor at ELLE DECOR, covers design, architecture, trends, and anything to do with haute couture. She has previously written for Time, The Wall Street Journal, and Citywire.