As the predictions for the 2023 color of the year rolled in at the close of 2022, we loved seeing an obvious shift in tones predicted to dominate the new year. While 2022 was all about green, 2023 is leaning warmer—and after years of neutrals and cool earth tones, it's been thrilling to watch. Everyone from Sherwin-Williams to Pantone estimates that varying shades of pink are about to dominate our lives this year.
We turned to the experts to ask why this is, and how we should be thinking pink for the months ahead.
Meet the Expert
Warm Colors Are Joyous and Energizing
Becca Stern, the co-founder of Mustard Made, is all about enhancing a room with a bright pop of color. She believes this is the key to understanding why warm tones, like reds and pinks, are trending in 2023.
“In 2023 we're going to see a resurgence of joyous, playful colors—basically anything that makes you feel good—with warmer tones really leading the way,” Stern shares. “The past two years leaned towards cooler, calming colors to create a sense of sanctuary. Now, as we open up, we're ready to liven up our interior palettes as well.”
Rising Trends, Like Barbiecore, Gave Us Our First Taste
Stern notes that these warmer tones are just a more practical take on trends we’ve already seen.
“This is being influenced by some of the pop-culture microtrends we saw through 2022,” she says. “Especially Barbiecore. The rise of all warm tones gives us permission to move beyond millennial pink and embrace our love of pink in all shades.”
Warmer Colors Enhance What We Already Have
Kelly Simpson of Budget Blinds tells us that warmer tones are the perfect way to enhance our previously on-trend neutral spaces.
“Over the years, we’ve seen minimalism trending within the home,” Simpson says. “Warmer tones are a beautiful complement to the minimalism design aesthetic, and we’re currently seeing bolder warm hues rise in popularity as accent colors that liven up an otherwise neutral home.”
As an example, Simpson notes Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year, Redend Point. “Redend Point is a soulful yet subtle neutral," she explains. "In previous years, homeowners have been opting for warmer whites, beiges, pinks, and browns, and the warm and elegant mauve hue of Redend Point is a perfect addition to this array of warm neutral tones.”
Brighter, Redder Tones Add a Cheerful Pop
While some warmer tones skew neutral, Simpson noted that others are bright, bold, and daring—and that’s exactly the point.
“Benjamin Moore picked a more vibrant shade with Raspberry Blush, an orangey-red hue,” she says. “Raspberry Blush complements neutral rooms quite well by adding a bright pop of color that is anything but subtle. It pairs well with soft shades of gray, white, and beige, as these shades help to balance out the bright hue.”
Stern agrees, noting her top tip for introducing any new color into a room is to start with one feature piece. “It can be something as simple as a cushion or it can be a bold statement piece of furniture, and build your space from there," she says. "Don't be afraid to experiment and try different color combinations. Decor doesn’t have to be serious, have some fun."
Don't be afraid to experiment and try different color combinations. Decor doesn’t have to be serious, have some fun.
Incorporate Warm Tones Relative to Your Space
When it comes to picking which warm tone you’ll use, Simpson warns that the size of your space is important to consider.
“Warm colors can bring a sense of happiness to a room, but at the same time, can cause rooms to appear smaller than desired. When using warm colors, it’s important to plan ahead, especially with small rooms, to avoid creating rooms that appear too tiny,” she tells.
The same applies to oversized spaces. “Large rooms that appear cold and distant are best suited for darker, warmer colors,” Simpson explains. “Tinges of deep orange, reds, and browns are beautiful in larger roomers and help create a cozier atmosphere.”
Warm Tones Require Balance
While monochromatic rooms can be done well, Simpson says that in most cases, it’s best not to have one color throughout the room, but instead to have a balancing act with two or three colors. If you’re painting your walls a warm red or pink, balance it out in other ways. "Neutrals pair well with warm colors and can help balance out the depths of the warmer shade,” Simpson says.
If you’re already straight with a warm neutral base, then Simpson suggests working in more earth tones. “Build on its earthiness. Layering shades of terra-cotta will pair well to create more of a desert theme within the home,” she says.
Don’t Be Afraid to Surprise
If you’re really leaning into the bold shades of pink and red, then Stern suggests going all in.
“One of my favorite ways to style these colors is an ombre look, moving through a gradient of blush, to berry, to red,” she says. “For those who might be newer to bright, colorful decor, I find that this is a fantastic way to introduce color and joy into a space.”
If you’re already on board to go bold, then Stern says you can amp it up even further. “For those more adventurous with color, there are some beautiful and surprising color combinations that I'm loving, like poppy red and lilac or a more floral palette of berry, mustard, and poppy red.”