Behr Announced Its 2024 Color Of The Year & Here Is How You Can Use It

The right color on the walls can transform a space. From cozy and relaxing shades that help soothe you to sleep to energetic colors that brighten your day, there's a world of options when it comes to paint colors. It's no wonder paint trends have a major effect on the current interior design styles. In recent years, darker paint shades have taken over the bright and white aesthetic that has been dominating interiors. So when Behr Paint Company announced Cracked Pepper as its Color of the Year for 2024, the shade made perfect sense for the direction contemporary design is moving.

The hue is a soft black that is "a timeless and modern hue that awakens the senses and exudes confidence on every scale," according to Behr. The color works well as both a statement and an accent, adding a bit of sophistication to any room. "We recognize the growing desire for using darker colors throughout spaces," Jodi Allen, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Behr Paint Company, explains in the announcement. "Adding a soft black like Cracked Pepper evokes a sense of confidence and individuality that we want all of our customers to feel after completing a project."

Painting the room black

Darker paints have become more prevalent in recent years as more homeowners are embracing deeper shades of red, blue, and green, as well as darker shades of gray and, of course, black. Being surrounded by darker walls can evoke a cozy feeling, enveloping the room in a rich shade that can often feel as comforting as it is edgy. Yes, painting a room black does take some fearlessness. It feels like a much more daunting color than any other shade and much more frightening than the classic white. However, that risk can pay off when it comes to design.

Though white has the reputation of creating a larger space, black can accomplish the same in a different way. Darker colors can give the appearance that the walls are receding or further away and, therefore, can visually enlarge a space. This is especially true of accent walls and ceilings, which can trick the eye into seeing a larger room or taller ceiling. That also means you don't have to shy away from using dark colors in small spaces. Powder rooms and home offices can be ideal canvases for black paint.

The other consideration is choosing the right paint finish, which can affect the depth of color. Matte and satin finishes can make darker paints like black look like velvet, which can have a very luxurious and chic look. Semi- and high-gloss is more light reflecting, which can often feel sleeker and more modern.

Using Cracked Pepper

Behr designed their 2024 Color of the Year, Cracked Pepper, to fit any interior style. "The deep and dynamic hue transcends design styles from modern, classic, casual, retro and more, while pairing seamlessly with other colors, finishes, patterns, and textures," the company's announcement reads. The soft shade of black will work well throughout the home, creating both cozy atmospheres for bedrooms and dining rooms and sophisticated details in home offices, living rooms, and kitchens.

Cracked Pepper pairs well with light- and medium-toned wood as they bring out the depth and have a nice contrast that makes one pop against the other. As for metallic finishes, brass and gold stand out against the dark backdrop. For coordinating colors, Behr suggests blues, Glass Sapphire and Monet, warm yellows, Crepe and Ginger Jar, and muted pink, Cherry Juice. Warm and creamy whites, browns, and soft greens will also make a stylish color scheme.

When it comes to the actual placement of Cracked Pepper in a room, the paint is made to be both an accent and a statement. As an accent, it would look stunning as a feature wall behind the living room sofa or a bed. And, painted built-in bookcases would look elegant and chic covered in the intense hue. Or choose a bolder design and try color drenching, a technique that has all major elements like walls, ceilings, and trim, painted in a single color. If not color drenching, consider enveloping the room by painting a wall and carrying the color to the ceiling as well.