Red Rules as Color of the Year

Dusty red office walls are complemented by wood toned bookshelves

Each year color institutes and paint companies announce a new color of the year or multi-color palettes. Sometimes the colors chosen by these experts are similar, other times not. In 2023, you’ll see powerful and energized reds, a few neutrals, while blues and greens stay popular.

Since 1999, the Pantone Institute, the global authority on color, has been engaging the design community in yearlong conversations about color. Consulting color enthusiasts in the fields of design, art, film, and fashion, the team assesses socio-economic, technological, and cultural influences from sports to social media looking to define an image or feeling in the new color.  In other words, experts sought to find a color that resonates with current world affairs including the war in Ukraine, a lingering pandemic, and global inflation, to name a few.

Pantone chose Viva Magenta, a dusty crimson red which “vibrates with vim and vigor,” to express “a new signal of strength,” and exudes “a joyous and optimistic celebration.” These descriptors fall in line with the psychology of the color red, with thoughts of dominance and motivation.

Sherwin Williams is also promoting a reddish tan, Redend Point, describing it as “soulful yet subtle.”  Two other neutrals from Behr and Dutch Boy debuted for 2023, the off-white Blank Canvas and Rustic Greige, a medium-toned grey/beige with a slight red undertone.

A deep red-coral, Benjamin Moore named Raspberry Blush as their color of the year.  Other colors in their palette include Cinnamon; Conch Shell, a pinky beige; Wenge, a dark chocolate with undertones of purple and black; Savannah Green, a muddy olive; and Starry Night Blue, the deep sky color in the Van Gogh painting of the same name.

Red may be too aggressive for an entire room color. Instead, think small and paint your front door or an accent wall, or head to the store where we will find these colors in home fashions like pillows and table runners.

Remember that trends come and go, and we cannot predict how long these colors will remain in a vogue. So, don’t spend one red cent unless you love the color and can live with it for some time. 

Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates. Learn more about her decorating, downsizing, decluttering and home décor sewing services, decorating workshops, and quilt programs and shows at, and enjoy her art quilts on Instagram @secretaryinteriordecorating. You can reach her at 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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