With Q4 of 2021 almost upon us, we’ve entered the heart of 2022 Color of the Year season. In a typical year we might see paint brands offer up a relative rainbow of shades, spanning from subtly intriguing neutrals to maximalist hues, each offering its own explanation of the aesthetic zeitgeist.
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But 2021 is no typical year. As a result there’s been quite the convergence around neutral-inflected shades of green for brands looking to define the palette of the coming year. From Behr’s Breezeway to PPG’s Olive Sprig and even Glidden’s Avocado, there seems to be consensus around the idea of rebirth as we head into 2022.
Sherwin-Williams, a brand whose annual selection carries weight in the industry, has now joined that chorus. For its Color of the Year, the company has chosen Evergreen Fog, a shade of gray-green that Sue Wadden, in-house director of color, believes symbolizes “growth, rebirth, and joy.” That marks a major departure from the cocoon-like qualities of Urbane Bronze, Sherwin Williams’s 2021 choice.
A member of the Method palette, which was unveiled last month as part of the brand’s 2022 Colormix Forecast, Evergreen Fog fits within a broader dialogue about organic modernism that began with Frank Lloyd Wright, continued through the midcentury period, and remains relevant in the present. Fittingly, Wadden sees this grayish-green as possessing a certain nostalgia that can be tied back to “the ephemera from midcentury styling,” with bold-but-not-blinding ’70s interiors as a point of reference.
At the same time, the selection of Evergreen Fog for 2022 Color of the Year speaks to the shade’s ability to mesh with current trends, including cottagecore and farmhouse style. As a “universally accepted, super-versatile” color, it also squares nicely with the broader movement toward more color on walls, cabinets, and front doors.
As for just how exactly the entire world of paint landed on green for 2022, Wadden has some ideas.
“From a color psychology standpoint, [green] is a color of nature and revitalization, new beginnings and growth,” she says. “As we emerge into whatever this new space is, green is emblematic of that newness.”
That newness involves rethinking how commercial spaces look and feel. With mindfulness and wellness now a much greater consideration in interior design, Evergreen Fog is poised to support environments where people will actually want to spend their time (and/or money).
“Whether it’s in a health care environment or a workspace, if you can find ways to bring those natural elements, like plants, green space, or the color green, I think the psychological association within those commercial environments is just much better,” Wadden posits.
So if every space seems to be sporting a subdued shade of green next year, know that there’s some sound thinking and legitimate seals of approval behind them. At the very least it’s a welcome and refreshing break from the neutrals of old as we (hopefully) move toward a brighter future.