Cool gray has had its day. Get ready for the age of beige.

That’s the color forecast from Mia Hannom, an interior designer and decorator with In Form Design of Seattle.

Hannom has made a career of advising clients on remodeling projects and steering them through what can be a labyrinthine process that entails architects, contractors, permits, inspections and more.

According to Hannom, color trends last about 10 years. She says 2010 to 2020 will be known as the gray years, when cool shades such as slate-gray and purple-gray dominated the design landscape. Europe and the East Coast have now entered the age of beige, and the rest of the country will follow.

And that’s what contractors and DIYers should keep in mind, she says.

“I advise my clients to select colors on the safe side, because within two or three years the other colors won’t be so popular anymore,” she says.


Once her clients have committed to a base color, Hannom advises them to express themselves more freely in the details, such as accent colors, light fixtures and hardware.

Is it time to look into a new bathroom mirror?

“That’s where you have a lot more freedom to play and wake up the senses — but don’t overdo it,” she says.

Beyond color, she also stresses the importance of creating continuity in design style, even though the right contrasting note can be effective if done properly.

“If everything is just contemporary it can become very bland, but adding something like a single antique mirror can be very striking,” she says. “I love putting those two styles together, but it must be done very precisely and on purpose.”