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Colours of the Year: Real People & Real Homes

Posted on November 2, 2017 by KylieMawdsley


Kylie M’s Colours of the Year – FOR THE REAL PEEPS!

So, how do you feel about the ‘colours of the year’ for 2018?  Ya, me too. While I can see some of them working, there’s others that I just don’t get.

The colour of the year should be something that people are inspired to USE. It should be a colour that talks to people (mind you, every colour talks to me after a few glasses of wine) and a colour that you can say ‘you know what, maybe I’ll step outside of my comfort zone and give it a try’. And while red and bright teal are certainly outside MOST people’s comfort zones, I don’t see a LOT of us committing to them on a scale larger than a front door or a fresh pair of undies.

Let’s look at the 4 main brands and their 2018 Colours of the year…

Paint colours of the year. Kylie M E-design

Behr Quiet Moments  /  Benjamin Moore Caliente Sherwin Williams Oceanside  /  PPG Black Flame

Behr Quiet Moments. Nicely done, I can see a lot of us biting on this one. (See my Quiet Moments Colour Review)

BM Caliente? Well, of the hundreds of e-designs I’ve done this year alone, only 2 have requested red on a scale larger than their front door.  Nuff said.  (See my Caliente Colour Review)

SW Oceanside. I get it, I really do. But while a lot of my clients are wanting some form of blue/green/gray – it’s more along the lines of Quiet Moments.  I do see the intrigue in this colour, specifically for a front door or accents, but I just don’t see us jumping on the bandwagon.

PPG Black Flame. You’d be SURPRISED at how many of my clients are interested in a colour like this. In smaller rooms, feature walls, cabinets and front doors, these darker moody colours are in it to win it.

So, if I were coming up with the 2018 Colours of the Year (which I am shortly) where would I look? I would look where almost EVERYBODY is looking – Pinterest (you should follow me here – drink the Koolaid, it’s goooood). I sure as heck wouldn’t be looking at airports, Moma (Museum of Modern Art) or fashion runways.

And why does that matter? Because I think that MOST of us aren’t looking in those places. I like to think that I’m a pretty good representation of the everyday person (who likes to drink wine by noon) and while some of these colour trends make sense for magazines or marketing, that doesn’t mean that they make sense for US and how we use colours on a regular basis.

Let’s get this party started…

Colours of the year, 2018. Kylie M Interiors E-design, colour expert and online consultant

Sherwin Williams Cyberspace SW 7076

This is along the same lines as PPG Black Flame (great minds think alike). Cyberspace is a dark charcoal with a decent navy blue undercurrent. It’s striking without being punchy. It can act like a neutral, without being boring or typical.


Family room with stone fireplace, Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, leather, laminate wood flooring, chartreuse chair. Kylie M INteriors E-design and home

A bit more about Cyberspace

Cyberspace is pretty damn dark with an LRV of 6, but the navy will rise-up on the large scale – it’s really a great way to do ‘navy blue’ with committing to the real-deal (for the colour-phobes).

Read more:  The Ultimate Guide to LRV and Choosing Paint Colours

Home bar with wine display and storage, beer and wine fridge. Bianco Drift quart countertop, painted gray cabinets and Sherwin Williams Cyberspace. Kylie M INteriors E-design

Where can you use Cyberspace?

  • On the front door
  • As a feature wall
  • In a small room (like a powder room)
  • In a media room
  • On kitchen cabinets

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW  7029

While we aren’t out of the gray world yet, I find that more and more people are looking for a slightly softer, dare I say WARMER approach to their paint colours and THIS is where Agreeable Gray comes into play. Is it inspiring? No.  Is it titillating (hehe)? No. But it DOES have MASS appeal and would satisfy any NUMBER of rooms and tastes.

gray greige warm agreeable gray

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. farmhouse style, buffetclock with dark trim beams. Kylie M

Kylie M E-Designs & Gingham and Grace

Another good reason it is a good CYOT (colour of the year) is that it’s a stepping stone. There are a lot of my clients who are trying to get out of the beige range, but aren’t quite ready to embrace the traditionally cool-toned gray paint colours. Agreeable Gray is a nod to gray without totally alienating our warmer inclinations – now THAT is inspiring!

Read more:  How to Change from Beige to Gray

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray in living room with gray sectional couch, area rug, fireplace, mirror. KYlie M E-design and Online Color consulting

I think the dog is doing yoga – the downward dog obviously

A bit more about Agreeable Gray

It has an LRV of 60, which is darned close to the MAGIC number for the average homeowner/room. It’s flexible because it isn’t a hardcore gray. And while it’s certainly not WARM, it’s also not a traditionally cold colour as the subtle beige/greige undertone saves the day.

Where can you use Agreeable Gray? 

  • Agreeable Gray will go even MORE gray in a north facing room and can pick up a subtle blueish cast. Is this bad? No, but it is if you’re nervous about cool tones (as shown in the living room above)
  • Agreeable Gray won’t hold itself up AS well in a room without a lot of natural light, it can get a bit muddy/flat as it doesn’t have a lot of ‘colour’ in it – you HAVE to supplement with adequate interior lighting
  • It can be a GREAT transition colour for those of you wanting to flex out of the beige tones without going TOTALLY gray. I also like the light/medium version of Agreeable Gray which is Anew Gray.

E-design, virtual online colour consulting expert. Kylie M Interiors. Paint ideas. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams (4)

Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue HC 147

Woodlawn Blue is the EPITOME of what my clients are asking for when they want a bit of colour (and yes, that is a big word for me). It’s a blue with a vague gray base and a wink o’ green. It hits just the right note, not too boring and not too punchy.woodlawn blue

Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, best blue paint colour. Guest bedroom. antique furniture. Kylie M Interiors E-decor, design and ONline Colour Consulting services

A bit more about Woodlawn Blue

It has an LRV of almost 61, so it’s a pretty ‘average’ depth. If you don’t like green undertones, you’ll probably STILL LIKE this colour as the green is super duper passive and hardly shows up the party (unlike me who shows up with a coconut bra and a tutu).

Where can you use Woodlawn Blue?

  • It’s gorgeous for a master bedroom or a guest bedroom
  • It’s beautiful for a playroom that doubles as a family room!
  • A dining room with wood toned furniture
  • It’s a beautiful complement to wood tones and is great for the country farmhouse or beachy look
  • A great way to add some fresh life to a laundry room or bathroom!

Read more: The 8 Best Blue and Green Paint Colours

Benjamin Moore Stonybrook 1566

Stonybrook is a bit brave, but not so much that it will fall TOTALLY out of your comfort zone. This is a blue/gray blend, pretty well-balanced between the 2 with a subtle green that just stops it from going cold, icy OR purple.Stonybrook benjamin moore best bluegray

Benjamin Moore Sea Pine, Stonybrook. Home office with white wainscoting, country style. Kylie M E-design, online color consulting

A bit more about Stonybrook 

This is a beautiful medium toned blue/gray with a passive green undertone. It’s not rich, it’s not fresh – it’s calm. With an LRV of 28, it’s stormy and moody without being heavy.

Best blue gray paint colour. Benjamin Moore Sea Pine, Stonybrook, Ikea bookshelves and accent chair. Cream white wainscoting. Kylie M E-design

Where can you use Stonybrook?

  • I might hesitate to hit it in a north facing room, simply because it is a bit more of a stormy colour
  • It is great for a reasonably well-lit room
  • It’s a beautiful complement to warm wood tones
  • It’s great for a beachy, but more grounded vibe (not fresh and airy)
  • It’s great for a medium size room or as a feature wall

So what do you think, are there any of these that you find inspiring?

If not, let’s find YOUR perfect colour – check out my affordable and fun E-design and Online Color Consulting Packages

E-design and virtual colour consultations. Online color expert Kylie M INteriors. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams specialist (2)

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign



  1. Hi Kylie!
    After literally putting 13 colors on my wall as samples my favorite color turned out to be Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige. I used Assessible beige in the hall decided it was too light for the other rooms and went with balanced beige. I love how it goes with every one of my rooms and looks more grey in some and more beige in others!!! ❤️

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  2. Kylie – you are so RIGHT ON! THese 4 are much more likely to be the colors of the year than the ones being touted. You are not only a master of colors, you are a master of words. I love reading your articles each month! I learn something new each time. Thanks!

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  3. I love your posts. They’re so educational AND entertaining! What do you think of Stonybrook for kitchen cabinets? And what would you say about Woodlawn blue in an open family room that the kids schlep all their toys into (so it becomoes a playroom) that opens into an eat-in kitchen–too much? It has a ton of warm wood tones in the floors and in some furniture, so I was thinking it met all of the “criteria” so to speak…I just do’nt know if it would be overload….? Thank you!!!

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      Hi Charlotte! Stonybrook would be beautiful on cabinets, just keep in mind that with the subtle increase in sheen the colour can come up a wink more – in the depth of colour I might lean toward the safety of Chelsea Gray (without knowing what your countertops/flooring/lighting area). As for Woodlawn, yes you know, it might be too much. I love it, but I find that it’s easier to tire of a colour on a LARGE scale. I might go to the slightly more subtle BM Beach Glass for something like that… 🙂

  4. Knocking on the door of 60 years old, I often think how predictable I’ve become. (read boring). Which is why I love your take on Caliente. About 10 years ago I painted the walls in a small bedroom with flat, rich Caliente. Everything else in the room is white – trim, bedspread, doors, ceiling etc. Yes it is dark and yes it is small, but I still love the color. Could it be that I’m still a rebel at heart- if only a color rebel? I can live with that just fine.

    . Thank you for writing your blog – I Love, Love, LOVE your posts and always read them hungrily.

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      Ooooo good for you Lisa – i DO think it has it’s place and I bet it looks awesome – look, you were 10 YEARS ahead of the trend 😉


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      I’ve used Cyberspace with SW Creamy to add a bit of soft warmth. You can also look at the gray tones, like SW Big Chill!

      1. How do you think SW Wool Skien would do with an accent wall in Cyberspace? The room is mostly east facing but open to west facing dining room with a covered porch.

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          Hi Kelly, it’s not sitting quite right with me, as Wool Skein can pick up that interesting green undertone and Cyberspace goes nowhere near green – I wouldn’t do it!

  5. I have a foyer/dining area in bm van cortland blue and a hall in BM wilmington tan. what would you recommend for a living room adjacent? I can’t decide if i want to go light or dark. The furniture is neutral and i like black accents throughout the house

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      Hi Janice, thank you for the note! There’s a lot to consider when picking a colour, like what TYPE of neutrla the furniture is, what the exposure is and other things – it’s just not something I can guess at, I’m sorry! I try to give as much complimentary info as I can on my blog and if that doesn’t work, it might be time for a closer look with my E-design – it’s affordable and fun! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/

  6. I was inspired by Cyberspace in your house and used it for an accent wall in my mudroom. I love it! It works perfectly with the slate tiles, cherry bench, and pine ceiling that were already there and pulls everything together really well. It’s such a good mix of cozy and cool/edgy and I wouldn’t have found it if I hadn’t been desperately wandering through your site, so thanks!

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  7. Hi Kylie,
    I really enjoy reading your blogs and they are so informative and helpful!
    I have painted a dining room in Agreeable Gray and am thinking of painting the kitchen Anew Gray or Amazing Gray. I am worried about the green coming thru. Which color Anew Gray or Amazing Gray renders less green and more greige?

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  8. I love the colors you’ve chosen…definitely approachable for us regular people.

    Does Cyberspace seem like a reasonable compromise for a 10 year old boy who wants black walls? I might be able to sway him with that awesome color name! It’s an average size bedroom with south and east facing windows. I’ve got yellow-ish oak floors & his furniture is light wood that reads yellow. I’d probably be better off painting the furniture black and going with lighter walls, but that sounds like a lot of work.


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      Cathy – oh heck yes! And really, I DID paint my 11 year old daughters feature wall in black – so that is an option too 😉 – a great way to give him what he wants and then balance it off with a more neutral main colour! However, if you want to do all of the walls, Cyberspace is WICKED cool, as is the similar BM Gray 2121-10 which has slightly less navy blue in it…

      I hope that helps!


  9. I love your 2018 color picks and am intrigued by Cyberspace – how do you think it compares with SW Grizzle Grey 7068 for an accent wall (where I’d like to place our TV)?

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      Ooo good question Liz, as I’ve lived with both! Grizzle Gray is a dark gray-green. The green is passive, but definitely shows up to the party on the larger scale. The same could be said of Cyberspace, except it’s a gray/navy blend. Cyberspace is also a dark colour, whereas GRizzle is more of a med-dark, so it will hold up a bit better if you don’t have tons of light, whereas in the right (or wrong light), Cyberspace can almost look blackish (but soft blackish with a bit of blue).

  10. Hi Kylie! I just used Cyberspace for our tiny, L shaped, windowless half bath and I am so in love with it, the color is gorgeous. I wanted a slate blue/gray color and was stuck between cyberspace and Ben Moore’s evening dove. Your blog tipped me toward cyberspace and I couldn’t be happier so THANK YOU!!! I already had some dark wood shelves in there that I thought I would be replacing. But now I LOVE how the dark wood tones look with the paint color, it’s so moody and interesting. So now I’m on the hunt for an antique/vintage wood framed mirror above the pedestal sink instead of the modern gold mirror I initially purchased. And don’t even ask about fixtures, I’m completely second guessing all the trendy gold finishes I had intended! I’m tempted to use cyberspace on our fireplace/tv wall as you did, I love it so much. Love your blog, thanks again!

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      Wendi, this is JUST the note I love to get – thank you! I know, I was JUST at a house where we did Cyberspace on the built-ins and it’s just so flippin’ gorgeous – i bet your bathroom looks awesome too 🙂

  11. Just discovered your blog as I search for color for my newly gutted kitchen, dining and hearth rooms. You seem to love all the same colors that I do! I am particularly tickled to see that 2 of your colors of the year for 2018 are the colors I chose for our mudroom- Quiet Moments (both north and south facing as it runs front to back) and the adjacent powder room in Stonybrook (no windows but nice lighting and mid-dark wood vanity). Stonybrook really pops with the white bathroom fixtures.
    I have spent the last 6 hours reading your blog in its entirety! We are now BFFs!

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  12. Love your blog Kylie!!! I did the gold dots that you had a link to in my daughter’s room with rainwashed walls and Gloss hot pink accents and I am in love with it!! I’m now on to painting my kids’ 10 x 10 game room. It is an east facing room with a large window. I want to paint the whole room Cyberspace but am wondering if that’s too dark and if I should go a shade lighter and do web gray instead? Also will the brown carpet be a problem? What are your thoughts? Thanks!!

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