Behr's 2021 Color of the Year Is Inspired by Nature — But in a Subtle Way

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Just ahead of your annual spring refresh, paint company Behr has announced its 2021 Color of the Year: a warm, soothing neutral called Canyon Dusk.

Somewhere in between a rich terra cotta and a quiet beige, Canyon Dusk is designed to fit seamlessly into a variety of settings, from bedroom walls to painted doors.

"It's such a grounded, versatile color," Behr global chief marketing officer Jodi Allen said during a press conference. "And we really feel like it's fresh, and it really fits with this new year. People are looking for something new and versatile that will fit with their home but will be calming and relaxing."

The inspiration for the color came from taking joy in the small things we encounter in our everyday lives, whether that's a sunset over red canyons or freshly baked cinnamon buns.

"So 2020's Color of the Year, Back to Nature, was a green hue that was inspired by the great outdoors and the world around us," said Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. "Taking that theme to the next level, this year we're asking people to connect with the world around them in an even more personal and unique way."

With the announcement of Canyon Dusk as Color of the Year, Behr is also launching a photography competition. Entrants are asked to share their images of Canyon Dusk (not necessarily the paint on their walls, but where they find the color in their lives), and a panel of judges will select five winners. Winning photographs will be released as Behr's first-ever limited-edition gallery wall collection; winners will receive the framed photos and a $1,000 Home Depot certificate.

Behr has also released its 2021 Color Trend Palette, which includes both bold hues like Euphoric Magenta and subtle ones like Almond Wisp. The 21 colors in the collection are divided into six subcategories, from the spirited Optimistic View to the soothing Calm Zone.

Check out the full list of trending colors here.


Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.

View Work