When Christine and Robert Casanova moved into a century-old Victorian side hall in New Orleans in 2017, the home’s central, windowless room was a blank slate, a design challenge and a point of contention.
Robert wanted a “warm, dark, cocoon-y” library with heavily saturated blue walls. Christine believed the hue would be intense and claustrophobic.
“I thought it would be too much of a contrast, like it didn’t belong in the house,” Christine Casanova said.
The couple hired interior designers Penny Francis and Casi St. Julian, of Eclectic Home, to build out the space with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a rope-wrapped chandelier and a grass cloth wallpaper accent wall. The result is a snug, intimate room where guests inevitably congregate during parties.
“I had trepidation about the bright, clean, crisp house and the dark, intense room,” Christine Casanova said. “But the dark, intense room is the place everyone wants to be because it feels cozy and safe.”
Francis says the Casanovas are among many clients who are making bolder decisions when it comes to color. “People have finally opened up to the richness of color and are not as afraid,” she said.
Bold colors are trending
Sherwin-Williams’ 2021 paint trend predictions include intense blues, muted greens and reds, vibrant pinks and warm whites. Jewel tones like emerald greens and cobalts continue to be a mainstay.
“Emerald green was Pantone’s color of the year in 2013,” said interior designer Maureen Stevens. “Ever since, it has that longevity. People are saying it’s a classic now. It’s considered neutral to do a blue wall — I think emerald is as well.”
While blush or “millennial pink” was ubiquitous in recent years, designers say this trend has given way to more saturated versions of the color.
“Sherwin-Williams came out with Jaipur Pink, which … is very reminiscent of Old World architecture. It’s definitely deeper than a blush,” Stevens said. “Millennial pink is out because it is a more muted pink. Now people are like, ‘Let’s embrace pink for its entirety.’”
Beige and gray are out
According to interior designer Nomita Joshi-Gupta, the more time people spend quarantined in their homes, the more they long for color. Although white walls remain soothing to the eye, there’s a movement away from neutral palettes of beige, white and gray.
“Your eye needs stimulation,” Joshi-Gupta said. “Just like one needs different tastes in food, your eye also needs visual cues and excitement.”
“Gray was a mainstay for a long time, but now grays and gray taupes are on the way out,” Stevens said. “People are opting for a clean slate of white or something more bold as far as more jewel tones and going crazier.”
Back to black
Once considered the ultimate signifier of teenage rebellion, black walls are a valid design choice — and one that’s trending. Black can make a room feel intimate and expansive because