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Color Through the Decades

Our homes reflect our personal style. And there’s no better way to add some drama than a fresh coat of paint. In celebration of Sherwin-Williams’ 150th anniversary, browse by decade to see curated color collections from existing palettes and historical color collections. Our design team reflects on their favorite decade; What era do you relate to?


The graying of America begins in full force. Stainless steel appliances are the norm and we now opt for gray on our walls rather than beige. Whites, black and off-black become popular wall colors as and blush tones are starting to make their way into interiors.

2010s: Johnyne, Designer

“The personal colors I relate to today for my own home are the gray colors of the 2010s collections. The grays are neutral so I have lots of room to add splashes of bright purple and yellows from the 60s. I had a bedroom in the 60s with bright yellow carpet and yellow dressers.  I also like to accent with the turquoise aqua color of the 50s; it reminds me of my early childhood with aqua plumbing fixtures and refrigerators.  My home today has the background to be able to accent my early childhood memories!”

2010s: Alicia, Marketing Manager

“I’ve never met a gray I didn’t like. I’m drawn to gray walls against crisp pops of white. I’ve been collecting timeless pieces that are neutral in color but have structural details such as tufted upholstery and mid-century elements. I like to add color through textiles, accessories and artwork that can be switched out to create a layered look.”


McMansions and Tuscan style influences begin on the west coast and make their way to the southwest, south and midwest. Beige dominates, rustic golds, terra cotta, putty, sage, earthy reds are plentiful.

Blend of 1990s and 2000s: Jean, Designer

“I love color, and I actually enjoy painting and changing my ‘backdrop’ in my home every few years just to refresh and update. My current color scheme relates mostly to a blend of the 2000s and 90s but I have some punch colors reminiscent of the 30-40s era. The latter has to do with needing a bit of impact now and then, that together with my wall art and or décor can easily be achieved. Color is personal, it’s fun – and so easy to change.”


Earth tones dominate in this era as the “earth movement” begins in earnest in 1970 with the first Earth Day. Beige, rust, avocado, harvest gold, mustard yellow, earthy brown play together in patterns and solids. Appliances take on these colors as well.

1970s: Heather, Designer

“Hands down, I am a product of the 70s. The earthy colors, green, golds and rusts, speak to me.  Green being my favorite color (yes, even avocado) reminds me of our majestic NW. The warm harvest gold is the color of our appliances growing up.  Rich terra cotta colors always have a place in my decorating.  I can’t decorate without a touch of bohemian patterns reminiscent of my teenage years.  Put me in an Anthropologie store, and I’m all smiles.”


The Jazz Age — wall colors were generally light neutrals and greys with accessories and accents in vibrant colors like Chinese Red and Blue Peacock.

1920s: Sierra, Designer
“If I were to choose a color decade, it would be the 1920s. I love the Sherwin-Williams color, Blue Peacock!”


What decade do you find yourself gravitating toward?



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