Behr’s 2024 Color of the Year, Cracked Pepper (PPU18-1), has arrived! Staying on theme with last year’s pick — a versatile off-white shade called Blank Canvas — the popular paint brand has chosen a soft black that is intended to lend character and a modern flair to just about any space, indoors and out.
Behr, which is sold exclusively at The Home Depot, brought its Color of the Year to life outdoors at an intimate media preview at Napa Valley’s Stanly Ranch, a luxury hotel set on 712 picturesque acres. With the property’s ranch land and vineyards as the backdrop, design editors and content creators had the opportunity to explore kitchen, dining room and living room vignettes, all showcasing the beauty of the classic hue. From the kitchen island and cabinets to the walls that framed the outdoor space crafted especially for the event, the beauty of Cracked Pepper was on full display.
“People have been working with light, warm neutrals for the last few years, and Cracked Pepper is a color that can create a comfortable atmosphere,” Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr Paint Company, told Good Housekeeping. “It’s a bold, strong color that is very adaptable and easy to bring into any decor style.”
The evolution of consumers’ personal tastes has a lot to do with this year’s Color of the Year choice, too, according to Sarah Fishburne, The Home Depot’s director of trend and design. “Our research shows that homeowners are more open to darker colors,” Fishburne told Gold Housekeeping. The company’s recent survey revealed that more than half of Americans (57%) believe a darker wall color is design-forward. What’s more, two-thirds of Americans (65%) note that a dark color makes a room feel bold.
But what if you’re more comfortable with lighter paint colors and feel reluctant to take a design risk with Cracked Pepper? Woelfel recommends starting small rather than wrapping all four walls with it. “Paint a piece of furniture, a ceiling, update an island in a white kitchen or use it for interior doors,” she says.
Don’t forget its potential outdoors as well, Fishburne noted. From the exterior of a charming bungalow to a modern setting or coastal property, Cracked Pepper’s warm, organic nature has no bounds. Fishburne even used it for the gutters of her red brick home. “Sometimes white gutters can be very daunting, but this color is very forgiving,” she says.
In other words, the choice is yours!
Senior Home Editor
Monique Valeris is the senior home editor for Good Housekeeping, where she oversees the brand’s home decorating coverage across print and digital. Prior to joining GH in 2020, she was the digital editor at Elle Decor. In her current role, she explores everything from design trends and home tours to lifestyle product recommendations, including writing her monthly column, “What’s in My Cart.”