Did you know the average person can see about a million different colors?

No wonder it’s so hard to decide what color to paint your living room. Fortunately, there’s help close at hand. Each year, Sherwin-Williams forecasts color trends and selects their Color of the Year — complete with color-pairing suggestions. This year’s choice, Cavern Clay, is a warm terra-cotta color that is both casual and refined.

Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, leads the global color and design team that chooses the Color of the Year. She says they start by researching the trends that influence how people interact with color. “Every year, the color marketing team and I discuss what we’re seeing in global trends, not just in interior design, but in fashion, food, travel, and society,” Wadden says. “Then we decide what colors will be the most prominent next year, which makes up our Colormix® forecast. One color from that forecast gets chosen as the Color of the Year.”
“Fashion and interior design play a significant role in choosing the Color of the Year,” Wadden adds. “For example, we saw the cowgirl-chic aesthetic on French runways everywhere. These runway trends then get translated into the home and interior design. Other societal and global trends come into consideration as well.”

Whether you’re using it as an accent color or to cover an entire room, Cavern Clay adds sun-washed warmth and earthy tones to your home. Complement it with other neutrals like warm gray or deep brown and with materials like leather, simple woodgrains, bright tiles, warm stone, or sculptural greenery. Or try contrasting it with a dusty denim blue or an avocado green. 

Sherwin-Williams Color Pairings

Cavern Clay
Baked Cookie
Origami White
Dark Clove
“You can use it in so many different ways!” says Wadden. “I personally painted a console table Cavern Clay. It’s a great accent to bring a pop of color, and it coordinates really well with grays, bone whites, and creamy whites. It’s not quite as intense as yellow and red — it’s softer. I like it in the kitchen on an island. I also love it on the exterior because it warms up a space as you walk into it.”

There’s no wrong way to Cavern Clay.

However you bring the 2019 Color of the Year into your home, it will combine a touch of midcentury modern with the spirit of the Southwest, transforming your space into what Sherwin-Williams calls a desert modern aesthetic. Test it out in your own space with the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer.