The colour of the 12 months will get a lift from Chef Curtis Stone

And the color of the year is … a salad?

Well, no, it’s actually a green space, which we’ll get to in a moment. But first that: when the Behr Paint marketing team emailed that the company would announce its color of the year (known as COTY in design circles) and the palette to go with it via a virtual cooking class with a celebrity chef, I was intrigued. (Palette, palate, understand?)

Food and design: talk about a perfect pairing.

Like most large paint manufacturers, Behr announces its COTY annually after its color experts have predicted what the “in” color will be for the coming year. As artificial as these announcements are, I always look the way I read my horoscope.

The chef’s point of view, though a bit far-fetched, has given a yawning story a new twist. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone virtually ran a group of design reporters on how to make a salad while talking about color.

I ran to the supermarket to get the ingredients. I had never heard a few (watermelon radish, pickled mustard seeds). I had never bought a few (fennel bulb, edible arugula flowers).

When Stone led the group through a demonstration of how to make a 15-ingredient salad that included basil-pistachio vinaigrette dressing and grilled stecca bread croutons, it quickly became clear why we weren’t food reporters. I can’t speak for the others during the call because I’ve been too busy not to keep up. While I was cutting a watermelon radish into wafer-thin circles, Stone was three steps ahead and was heating olive oil in a saucepan to 295 degrees. Long after he sifted off the basil oil, I was still knocking my kitchen over in search of a cheesecloth.

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But I heard him say, “As cooks, we think about color all the time. When we see a multitude of colors on a plate, it screams, ‘Fresh!’ ”At the end of the demo, Chef Stone’s ornate salad was gaudily tossed into a camera-ready masterpiece while my ingredients weren’t even in the same bowl.

Everything so that I could experience the color of the year. So what is it Well it’s a bunch of mixed greens. Several companies have announced their COTY 2022 in the past few weeks, and while their selections are unique, they each come up with cool, soft shades of green.

Behr, a brand sold exclusively at The Home Depot, chose Breezeway (MQ3-21), “a silvery green shade with cool undertones,” according to the press materials. “Breezeway evokes feelings of coolness and peace, while also representing a desire to move forward and discover newfound passions. The color leads you from one place to the next, attracts your attention and is an open invitation to experience the world from a new perspective … “

Sounds more like a cruise ship than a paint chipped off.

PPG's color of the year is Olive Sprig,

PPG, a leading paint company based in Pittsburgh, called Olive Sprig (PPG1125-4), “an elegant, grounded, versatile and very adaptable gray-green, this color represents regrowth in a post-pandemic world and mimics nature’s resilience” said PPG spokeswoman Amy Donato in a statement. “With our society in a state of thought, hope, and optimism, consumers tend to choose more colorful choices like Olive Sprig.”

In its forecast for 2022, Farrow & Ball, a more expensive UK color brand, marked Breakfast Room Green (# 81), which is actually close to the color of my basil-pistachio vinaigrette.

Noteworthy: each of these brands combine their chosen green with shades of creamy beige and retro brick red. Behr shows Breezeway next to Whisper White (HDC-MD-08) and Perfect Penny (S180-6). Farrow & Ball with School House White (# 291) and Incarnadine, a rich purple (# 248).

So what should we think of these trends and why should we care?

• Where do color trends come from? While this COTY deal seems like a marketing gimmick, the predictions don’t come out of nowhere. Color researchers from around the world meet annually to discuss what is going on in the world socially, artistically, and politically, and then to predict what hues consumers will wear, drive, and live with. This helps designers and manufacturers stay in step and make products that fit together. This is how you can find a bath mat that goes with your hot pads and your handbag if you need it.

• Does the market anticipate what we want or do we want what is in the market? I do not know it either. It’s a chicken and egg puzzle. What I know is that these color campaigns are meant to get consumers to think about painting or repainting their homes. And I’m glad they do. How boring would life be if color didn’t cycle through fashion, home and, yes, food? (Despite the beets’ unfortunate comeback.)

• They are just trends. Don’t rush to redesign your home the color of the year unless you are planning a remodel and you love the new color. Being aware of the COTYs is like seeing a fashion show on the catwalk. Just because the models wear fur-trimmed neon hot pants with suspenders doesn’t mean you have to. A color only makes sense if it works for you.

• Look beyond the paint on the palette. Just as certain wines go well with certain foods, the color depends on the society that fosters them. Color companies are exceptionally good at creating palettes, clusters of colors that work together to bring out the best in themselves. Note which paint companies recommend you for their feature paints. As with a good salad, there is a successful color in the mix.

• Once you see it, you cannot hide it. By adjusting to color trends, you can better observe how color moves in the world. Regard. The same phenomenon that psychologists call frequency illusion that happens when you get a new car and see it everywhere, if you know the colors. Trust me. That color, or versions of it, will pop up everywhere.

Marni Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books, including Downsizing the Family Home – What to Save, What to Letting Go, Downsizing the Blended Home – When Two Households Become One and What To Do With Everything You Own leave the legacy you want. You can reach them at

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