Commercial Painting Trends For 2021

Commercial Painting Trends For 2021

Every year, a new palette of color trends hits catalogs, showrooms, and design mags. And every year, those colors end up influencing millions–at least in subtle ways. It’s not news that color can impact the mood (and even the spending proclivity) of those in a space. Everyone–from apartment-dwellers designing their spaces to executives marketing their brands–uses color to add beauty and balance and to create the atmosphere they want.

And in 2021, the design gods (and the masses) seem to have spoken loud and clear. What we need is a boost of expectation and hope–and any colors that might nudge those sentiments along.

Sherwin Williams 2021 Rhythm Of Color

According to Sherwin Williams Professional Paint Color Trends analysis, this year is going to be all about balance, near-neutral tones: reinvented pastels and the blues and greens that speak peace and confidence into professional spaces. Under the shadow of COVID-19, pretty much every professional space could use some more of that. Browsing Sherwin Williams selections for the year feels a bit like taking a walk through the picturesque coastal New England village of your choice: dusty pinks, seafoam blues and greens, maritime blues, and shades of mocha and sand that can only be described as cozy and refreshing. Which makes sense–that’s exactly the vibe society needs, after all, we went through in 2020.

Pantone: A Ray of Sunshine through the Clouds

Pantone’s colors of the year follow the same pattern of hopefulness and calm, though they’re a bit bolder than the Behr design team’s picks. Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2021 is Illuminating, a sunshiny yellow that’s not bright enough to be irritating, and Ultimate Gray, an effortless complement. Pantone’s design team sums it up beautifully: “A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter.”

Yes. Yes, we do.

Bursts of color like Illuminating have been popular in contemporary commercial spaces for several years. Unfortunately, some designers shy away from the color yellow–but that’s their mistake. A great shade of yellow (something that’s not too in-your-face) is a safe, undeniably cheerful bet. Especially when offset by a gorgeous neutral like Ultimate Gray.

How to Use These Trending Colors in Your Commercial Building

Consulting 2021’s painting trends before adding some new color to your commercial building? Our advice probably isn’t the most popular, but nevertheless, here it is: Play it safe. Don’t go overboard with color when making over your building.

Some smaller storefronts can handle a good deal of bright colors. For retail shops, restaurants, and niche shops in otherwise colorful areas, you might be able to get away with painting the entire building with Illuminating. But for most commercial buildings, a subdued, neutral exterior choice is usually the safer option. That doesn’t mean it has to look boring, though. Set off a carefully-chosen neutral with accents in a bolder color, and you’ll have an eye-catching exterior that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Behr’s colors of the year–though less bold and memorable than Pantones and some design firms–offer professionals with a powerful palette for exterior and interior paint colors. This is also a palette that works well throughout most of Massachusetts and New England. Bolder colors can be ideal for interior spaces; just how bold and playful should be determined, of course, by the tone you intend to set in your store, office, or warehouse.