These Are the Least Popular Colors to Decorate With Right Now

Green and orange room

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Picking paint colors or a palette for a space is a very personal process. But if trends are especially of interest to you, or you can't seem to find a shade that suits the bare walls in a particular room, it's often worth knowing which tones are making a splash in the interior design world, and which—to be frank—aren't.

Of course, trends are ever-changing, but there are a few select colors, such as orange and purple, that haven't been as popular as the neutral beiges and forest greens currently gracing the living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms of designers and design enthusiasts. But that being said, even neutrals have turned slightly stale and are in need of a little creativity to make rooms shine rather than fall into the mainstream.

While there's nothing wrong with embellishing a room with decorative objects or furniture in these colors or simply adoring how it translates when painted on, several experts laid out the reasoning behind why they haven't quite made the cut in homes as of late. And these colors aren't being banished completely; in fact, several professionals have even offered suggestions for making these underdog palettes work in a room.

Overused Neutrals

Don't fret—they're not out completely—but the way neutrals have been used over the last couple of years needs an update. As interior designer Karen Gutierrez at Mackenzie Collier Interiors describes, neutrals have had a long time in the limelight and experimentation is becoming a more enticing option for those redecorating their spaces.

Neutrals can come in different shades and even if you're spicing things up, Gutierrez says neutrals serve "as a great option to keep in a color palette to balance out any other colors you plan to add in."

"Instead, opt to use the new neutrals like blues, greens, or muted tones, which add more personality to any aesthetic, keeping any space clean, open, and fresh," she explains. "By expanding your color palette to include these other neutral colors it can work great with bolder accents as you wish to increase colors throughout your home. I see this trend growing in popularity next year. "

A neutral bedroom

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Andre Kazimierski, the CEO of Improovy Painters Ann Arbor, noted that orange and pink both haven't been seeing an influx in popularity recently. "It’s likely due to the fact that the color is associated with things that demand attention—think traffic cones, construction signs, etc," he explains. "With so many people spending more time at home, it’s no surprise that we don’t want more things demanding our attention than already do. Orange is also strongly tied to trends in the ‘70s and ‘80s, which can create an outdated feeling in the homes of today."

For a fresh take, burnt orange or brown-tinged versions of the color are great ideas as they lean more towards a neutral than something that's highlighter-inspired.

A bright orange kitchen

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Similar to orange, pink can also be loud and attention-grabbing and has not quite met the mark for trendy hues this year, with several experts naming it as a shade that people have lost excitement for. "Pink has been popular for a few years, but the pastel color can come across as childish and can easily overpower a room," says KD Reid of KD Reid Interiors.

This atmosphere and feeling pink provokes is seemingly the opposite of what many people are aiming to achieve in their spaces these days. Reid adds, "The vivid tone has a lot of energy and isn't relaxing or peaceful, which is what we're looking for these days."

To give pink another chance in a space, it might work wonders as an accent color rather than being the main attraction (sorry, Millennial Pink).

A pale pink room with plants

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Another color in question? Yellow. But if blowing off this sunny shade doesn't feel quite right, there are ways of decorating or painting with it that will reinvigorate the hue.

"Yellow is a very classical color in many respects, but of course the shade and application matter greatly," says Lacy Hughes of Julian Design. "You want to make sure you account for the overall design and mood of the space to ensure you are using the proper shade and application of yellow."

Hughes recommends opting for pale shades in spaces like living rooms and kitchens and having a plan of how you'll break up the color with other objects and decor.

"If you're looking to paint a smaller space, say a powder room or mudroom, then you can likely get away with a brighter shade that injects some vibrancy into the room but is not too overwhelming given the smaller footprint."

In short, Hughes says "treating yellow as a neutral of sorts" will keep the balance in any room you decide to incorporate it.

A modern bedroom with a yellow accent wall

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With so many shades and hues, and a good portion of them being deep, dark, or wildly bright, it's understandable why purple hasn't earned hype from decorators and painters. It can be a difficult color to squeeze into a space and often feels too eclectic for the modern and minimalist rooms that have been of interest in recent years.

That being said, with Pantone announcing a periwinkle shade as its 2022 Color of the Year, things might be looking up for purple. Eleanor Trepte of Dekay and Tate notes that there's no reason to be shy around the shade.

"Don’t be afraid of purple—do something bold and fun with it, like putting it on your ceiling," she suggests. "Purple and its various shades are actually very calming and can add a lot of serenity and interest to a room when done right. If you're not ready to take the plunge and paint all four walls of your room purple, we recommend painting your ceiling or even just an accent wall as a way to bring in the color without overwhelming."

Whether you decide to make purple the focus of a room or blend it in gently through throw pillows or curtains, don't wave it away altogether as a group. "I wouldn't outlaw any shades of purple, it's more how you use the shades," says Trepte. "A very deep aubergine would likely work beautifully in a dining room or as an accent wall, whereas a lilac might be sweet in a nursery or bedroom."

A historic home with modern purple furniture

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