Behr goes “moody and versatile” with their 2024 color of the year.

Think of all the colors, any color, and we doubt you’d be thinking about Behr’s, Cracked Pepper. Or would you?

Cracked pepper is a neutral tone that packs a punch.” Similar to its namesake, the soft black has the makings to accentuate things with just a touch or completely invigorate the senses as a statement flavor.

The hue is a “timeless and modern hue that awakens the senses and exudes confidence on every scale,” describes Behr.

“As we look into 2024, creating a sense of comfort and belonging will continue to drive design decisions—but now, as life returns to its more familiar rhythms, it’s time to allow our senses to come alive,” comments Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr Paint Company. “From heightening the aromas of a dining room to feeling the softness of a living area, Cracked Pepper enhances the natural expression in any space.”

So, the A-Team perused our recent 2023 ARDA winners to see if our judges were unknowingly swayed by Cracked Pepper’s “aromas” and “natural expressions.” What we found surprised us.

Hidden Creek Residence, Designed by Mathison|Mathison Architects in Grand Rapids, MI, won a GRAND ARDA in the Custom Homes category and was chosen by the jury for the overall Best in Show award.

It’s impossible to tell from the photographs, but we couldn’t help but notice that the color of the roof, overhangs, and exposed metal all seem to resemble a shade of soft black. We’ve added the Behr swatch to the image for your own comparison.

The soft black accents, natural wood, and “whipped cream” colored walls extend throughout the home’s interior. According to its designers, “The homeowners wanted an elegant yet informal home where they could decompress…

Cracked Pepper pairs tastefully with other swatches in Behr’s new 2024 color trends palette, which consists of bold and earthy choices such as Whipped Cream, Malted, Tranquil Gray, Amber Brew, Orange Flambe, Provence Blue, and Mountain Olive.

The A-Team further investigated our Global Choice Award winner by AIS Designs Co. in Houston, TX. A carefully selected jury of professionals doesn’t choose the Global Choice. Instead, the people chose Grand Ranch Estate as their favorite among four other entries in the category.

Also, utilizing exposed wood, natural stone, and off-white walls, we did a double-take when we came across the expansive outdoor living area and noticed the distinctive color choice for the ceiling – Cracked Pepper or something very close. Again, we’ve added the Behr color swatch for your comparison.

That was enough to convince us that Behr may be on to something. Jodi Allen, the company’s global chief marketing officer, says that they recognize the growing desire for using darker colors throughout spaces and that “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.”

There’s one thing we’re confident of, it was a colorful week in design this week. In addition to Behr, the HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams released their 2024 Color Collection of the Year. The one that may be a competitor, Cyberspace. “If you build it, they will come. And if you carve out that space in a deep charcoal and envelope it in a rich burgundy, they will gather.” Says Sherwin-Williams.

We invite you to take a moment to explore the official website of the American Residential Design Awards (ARDA) to learn more about the winners and their exceptional designs. You will discover a wealth of inspiration and creativity from the industry’s top talents there.

The ARDA is a prestigious competition recognizing excellence in residential design across various categories. From stunning architectural achievements to innovative interior spaces, the awards highlight professionalism in the field of residential architecture.

If you’re an aspiring homeowner, designer, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful design, I encourage you to visit the ARDA website and indulge in the remarkable works of art that have garnered recognition from our esteemed organization.

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