Every year, the powers that be in the paint industry reveal their selections for Color of the Year, and homeowners the world over ponder how to incorporate shades like blue-green “Oceanside” (Sherwin-Williams’ 2018 pick) or spicy-red “Caliente” (Benjamin Moore’s 2018 choice) into their décor.

So this year, now that the trendsetting colors have been revealed, we thought we’d put that question to one of the pros: interior designer Joyce Clegg, principal of Dream Homes Inc., who has been picking colors for Colorado homes for two decades. (Clegg’s firm offers the full array of design and project-management services for residential clients in metro Denver, Winter Park, and Summit County.)

“Color of the Year is always an overall barometer for what’s happening in the economy and in society,” says Clegg, who notes that in times of uncertainty, we tend to see brighter, more cheerful colors. “In the past, we’ve seen all the paint companies move in one direction—a few years ago it was all different tones of purple or blue—but this year, everybody is all over the board,” she says. “It’s a year of bold color.”

Which is just fine with Clegg, who encourages her clients to move beyond their comfort zones when making color choices. “In 20 years, I’ve seen an awful lot of white homes,” she says. “Paint is only $60 a gallon; it’s the least expensive way to take a risk. Just do it, and if you don’t like it, change it next year.”

Ready to take the plunge? Here, Clegg shares her take on the colors of the year from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, Behr, and PPG—plus tips for incorporating them into Colorado homes.

Benjamin Moore Color of the Year: Metropolitan AF-690

Benjamin Moore’s sophisticated Metropolitan paint color plays well with Caribbean-blue-green, icy blue, and dusty rose hues. Photo courtesy of Dream Homes Incorporated

How to use it: “Metropolitan is a color that works with anything,” Clegg says of the chalky-gray neutral. “White makes it pop, so it’s easy to pair Metropolitan with white trim.” Or bring in some bold accent colors, especially with home accessories. Try a sofa in a hue inspired by Benjamin Moore’s Blue Lagoon, or even colorful frames (with a matte finish) for your black-and-white photos.
Pair it with:
1. Benjamin Moore’s Blue Lagoon 2054-40
2. Benjamin Moore’s Constellation AF-540
3. Benjamin Moore’s Monet 1243

Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year: Cavern Clay SW 7701

Clegg likes Sherwin-Williams’ Cavern Clay with other Southwest-inspired hues: sky blues and quiet creams and “grieges”. Photo courtesy of Dream Homes Incorporated

How to use it: “This is an example of the new Southwest; I think it’s a more subdued Southwest,” Clegg says. “I like this for a mountain-modern look; it’s a nice earth tone that works with blues and creams—and even works with Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan.” (And no, there’s nothing wrong with mixing brands, Clegg assures us.) Try it on a wall, and pair with cool blue accessories and cream-colored trim.
Pair it with:
1. Sherwin-Williams’ Flyway SW 6794
2. Sherwin-Williams’ Crisp Linen SW 6378
3. Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan AF-690

Behr’s Color of the Year: Blueprint S470-5

Try pairing Behr’s country-blue Blueprint hue with classic navy, one of Clegg’s favorite colors for 2019. Photo courtesy of Dream Homes Incorporated

How to use it: “This is an homage to the French Country inspiration that’s so popular right now,” Clegg says. Try it as an accent color, as shown here, or add it in furnishings and accessories and pair with pops of dark navy.
Pair it with:
1. Behr’s Dark Navy S530-7
2. Behr’s Polar Bear 75
3. Sherwin-Williams’ Acanthus SW 0029

PPG’s Color of the Year: Night Watch PPG1145-7

PPG’s dramatic Night Watch looks great with a burst of zesty yellow—or, for the less adventurous, brushed-brass finishes. Photo courtesy of Dream Homes Incorporated

How to use it: This bold teal works well as a wall color in large rooms with lots of natural light. Offset the drama with a clean white trim color, and add bursts of bright color—Lemon Meringue, perhaps?—in an area rug or artwork.
Pair it with:
1. Benjamin Moore’s Powder Sand 2151-70
2. Benjamin Moore’s Lemon Meringue 2023-50
3. Sherwin-Williams’ Heron Plume SW 6070