We’re Calling It: 7 Color Trends for Summer

These unexpected shades epitomize warm-weather chic.
Ingrao Inc.
Vladamir Kagan sofas adorn a West Village apartment designed by Ingrao Inc. overlooking the Hudson River. Photo by Nikolas Koenig

Although some prefer to wait for paint brands to announce their much-anticipated colors of the year, our designers — of interiors and furniture — have already predicted summer’s biggest color trends, and they aren’t what you’d expect.

Summer hues are generally bright and sunny: canary yellow or watermelon pink. This year, however, we’re seeing a more toned-down palette, reminiscent of Beverly Hills in the 1950s — think burnt orange, powder blue and vintage linen. Here, we present the inside scoop on which seven shades are heating up this season.

Moss Green

Moss green
Clockwise from top left: Peggy Hunt silk dress, 1950s; Bretby Ceramics Majolica ewer, 19th century; Rain Forest-1, 2009, by Carlos Nariño; Danish lounge chair, 1940s; Open House 2, 2002, by Anita Thacher; hanging pendant, 1960s.

Somewhere between a jewel tone and a pastel, this gentle shade with subtle yellow undertones can almost work as a neutral. Green, which represents life, nature and energy, is also associated with growth and harmony. Why not bring ultrapositive moss green into your home?

Buttercream Yellow

buttercream yellow
Clockwise from top left: Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell FL/Y pendan, new; Greta Magnusson-Grossman Grasshopper floor lamp, new; Hermès Kelly Pochette bag, new; Heavyweight, 2013, by James Oliver; Tommi Parzinger for Charak Modern cabinet, 1950s.

Cheerful yellow stands for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity and optimism. Using the hue in accents here and there can brighten a room and your mood. Yellow can be a bit aggressive, however, so go for a rich yet subtle buttercream shade.

Pale Lilac

Clockwise from top left: Sofina Boutique Kitzbühel crystal lantern, new; Lightness of Being Crystal Edition (Queen Elizabeth II), 2018, by Chris Levine; Veritas glass vide poche, new; Atacama outdoor chair, new; Jerszy Seymour Proto Squiggle coat hanger, new; Masquespacio Wink floor lamp, new; Fernando Mastrangelo Fade drum, new.

As experts in the language of flowers well know, the bloom that lends its name to this soft purple hue symbolizes first love. Perfect for the summer months, pale lilac is as tranquil as it is welcoming.

Burnt Orange

Clockwise from top left: Patricia Urquiola for Editions Milano Piani side table, new; Hermès Bolide bag, new; Souda Kreten side table, new; Ben Medansky terracotta wall sculpture, new; Emilio Pucci blouse, 1960s; Finn Juhl Pelican chair, new; Eny Lee Parker table lamp, new; ceramic bull sculpture, 1960s.

Pure orange may be a bit bold, but toned down, it makes a chic design statement — especially in a slightly burnt shade. The color combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow, so a few burnt orange moments in your home and closet makes for seriously good vibes.

Overcast Gray

Clockwise from top left: Pablo Designs Bola Felt pendant. new; Tapis Rouge Atelier Multani Clay rug, new; Prada Saffiano Lux Galleria Granito tote, new; Andrea Tognon T_wabi chair, new; set of eight Carrara marble dinner plates, new; Gianni Versace fox-fur scarf, new.

During the summer we may worship the sun, but there’s something soothing about a cloudy day. The shade of neutrality and balance, overcast gray is subtly powerful.

Powder Blue

Clockwise from top left: Niche Terra sapphire pendant, new; Zieta Plopp stool, new; Pieces Court Series net rug, new; Tolix K17 low round table 80, new; Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte mirror, 1958; Brabbu Oreas sofa, new.

Blue is a perennial favorite. This unique shade, however, is strictly for summer. Powder blue, the color of the sky and sea, radiates serenity. For that reason, it’s typically associated with depth and stability — two things we could all use in our lives!

Vintage Linen

Clockwise from top left: Seduction F, 2018, by Najla El Zein; Louis Poulsen Ph 4/3 lamp, ca. 1970; Admiral Byrd, 2004, by Shelter Serra; Moses Nadel studded ottoman, new; Bakelite table phone, 1960s; Maiden Dance (Chicks and Chicks), 2017, by Stefanie Schneider; Chanel Le Boy Reverso bag, ca. 2014; Lara Bohinc Apollo loveseat, new.

White is associated with light, goodness, innocence and purity, but designers are branding the slightly sepia shade known as vintage linen as more worldly and stylish. Pairing beautifully with warm metal accents, this creamy color is a go-to for any beach house.

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