Sage is in for 2022!

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Sage is all the rage, at least for the year ahead. That is, according to paint brands and their teams of color experts, who are speculating that the chromatic powers of this precise shade of green — which calms, nurtures, and generates a peaceful sense of place — will continue to resonate with consumers in their living spaces.

© Sherwin-WilliamsSherwin-Williams's "Evergreen Fog."

In times past, annual color selections from competing paint companies often meant consumers were presented with a diverse and sometimes perplexing mix of colors to inform their design decisions.

About one year ago, Pantone Color Institute, a global color authority and provider of professional color language standards and digital solutions used by industries across the world, selected two colors for 2021: a lively yellow and a mid-tone gray to reflect a message of resilience and hope amid the COVID-19 crisis. Other hues that were proposed by brands for the masses last year included bronze, teal, and terra cotta — to name a few.

The year before that was brimming with an impressive array of blues, and the year prior to that saw cameos by a strong, energetic shade of red and various versions of black. And no one will ever forget the conspicuous purple with very rock ’n’ roll vibes that was Pantone’s “it” color for 2018. Now, Pantone is promoting Very Peri, a dynamic periwinkle blue newly created for the year ahead.

Green hasn’t been completely absent from color announcements in the recent past, yet the nearly unified nomination of sage-centric shades for 2022 undeniably speaks to cozying up the home while setting intentions for positive, nurturing things.

October Mist” by Benjamin Moore evokes “the silver-green stem of a flower,” according to a brand statement announcing the paint brand’s “it” color for next year.

It’s a new neutral, said Cindy Rinfret, a designer from Greenwich, Conn., who calls the color tranquil and understatedly compelling. “It’s serene and earthy, but also flexible.”

Yet its power to draw attention might be in its ability to couple with other colors. “It would come alive in an unexpected way when combined with turquoise, speaking to a summery or Southern aesthetic,” Rinfret said. “I also love the idea of it being paired with russet and other spice colors or with any blonde neutral for a spa-like feel.”

Paint brand PPG chose “Olive Sprig,” a medium sage green, and Behr paint brand opted for a similar light sage hue named “Breezeway.”

Chicago artist Kristi Kohut finds sage-oriented wall colors soothing and versatile and a fitting backdrop for colorful artwork. “Don’t worry about making the art and walls match perfectly,” said Kohut, who recommended pieces with yellow or pinks, from a soft blush to a vibrant magenta. Alternatively, artwork featuring shapes in dusty blues, like a soft violet or sky blue, invites a cooler, unconventional palette on top of sage green walls.

Evergreen Fog,” a sage green with a tinge of gray, is the color of the year from Sherwin-Williams. According to a brand statement, the shade represents revitalization and growth, and is ushering in a “new era of nostalgic mid-tones.”

“It is warm enough to evoke a feeling of harmony and comfort, yet neutral enough to work well as a backdrop for many design styles,” said Connecticut-based designer Georgia Zikas, noting that the color succeeds in a biophilic way, by bringing the feeling of the outdoors in.


“I think this would work beautifully with many other warm neutrals, such as ivories, caramels, or ecru, but also just as beautifully with contrasting shades of lilac, navy, or espresso,” Zikas said.

Dunn-Edwards endorsed “Art and Craft” as its 2022 color of the year, citing it as a new take on a historic hue that embodies nature, sophistication, and health and wellness. Art and Craft is also an earthy neutral, described by the brand as a “plush, tactile brown that is rugged and strong.”

Rozit Arditi, a designer from New York, said this particular shade would work well in a cozy reading room, library, or family room. “Design is gravitating more to earth tones and using Mother Nature as our inspiration,” said Arditi, adding that this trend of embracing earthy colors is a reaction to the world shifting toward sustainability. Arditi recommended pairing it with other neutral tones or contrasting it with deep navy blues. Sage green, she said, could work well, too.

Online paint company Backdrop doesn’t believe in designating a singular color for the year ahead. Indeed, it recently launched three distinct new colors into its catalog, including “Earthly Delights,” a shade of light peach; “Gin Blossoms,” a warm lilac; and a slate blue-gray called “Silver Lake Dad.”

For those looking beyond paint, another option is to introduce the favored sage-like hues via furniture, textiles, and accessories. Tiles from Heath Ceramics in Meadow Green can enrich the look of floors and backsplashes and level up the look of bathrooms. Patterned wallpaper, like the Warri Palms print in dried basil from Chasing Paper, takes the sage vibe to an entirely funky and fun level. It’s just one pattern from the company’s latest collection, created in collaboration with New York-based designer and artist Shadé Akanbi.

The simplest method these days for evaluating how a fresh coat of color may look in living spaces doesn’t even require picking up a paintbrush. Peel-and-stick paint swatches, like those from Samplize, Backdrop, and Clare paint, which offers a Dream Greens swatch kit with seven shades of nature-inspired hues for $14, can be easily moved between walls and rooms, so you can see where the “it” colors, or any color that speaks to you, truly flourish.


Article courtesy of Christina Poletto Boston Globe December 12, 2021