Behr Paint’s Color of the Year 2023 Is ‘Blank Canvas’

Move over purples and blues, this warm and welcoming white is what everyone wants right now.

When color expert and standard-bearer Pantone began releasing a Color of the Year in 2000, the world sat up and took notice. Other color-focused companies followed suit, and these colors of the year have become a quick way for DIYers and others to learn what’s hot and what’s not.

Paint companies are advising on color, too. And after years of bright and bold choices, Behr delivered what some considered a curveball by choosing a white, Blank Canvas, as its 2023 Color of the Year. Experts, however, weren’t surprised, calling Blank Canvas simply a warm, neutral white.

“When we think about lifestyle and design trends in 2023, people are looking for versatility and comfort,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and services at Behr Paint Company.

“After years of uncertainty, we wanted to deliver a color that would provide a sense of renewal. Blank Canvas is the ultimate color of renewal and fresh starts, with transformative power that clears the air and provides a clean background for endless design and decor possibilities for 2023.”

Why Is Blank Canvas the Color for 2023?

When the thought is more-is-more, design aesthetics like cluttercore and bolder nature-based hues like green and blue dominate headlines. Today, interior designers, painters and Behr say they’re hearing people crave tranquility and a sense of cleanliness.

A survey conducted by Behr Paint shows 92 percent of U.S. homeowners want their home to be a space where they can unwind. The data also reveals:

  • Seventy-seven percent of homeowners agree the color white makes them feel positive and 71 percent said it lowers their stress.
  • More than 70 percent agree white promotes relaxation, creates a sense of calm and renewal and makes them feel focused.
  • And 63 percent agree white boosts their mood.

Woelfel says Behr also turned to the practical: What are the company’s top-selling colors? Whites continue to top the list.

“With so many options to choose from, we wanted to spotlight the most versatile shade of white for any project, and Blank Canvas was an easy decision,” Woelfel says. “Blank Canvas is a go-to white for countless projects for homeowners, professional painters, designers and more.”

This warm white feels different from the stark, icy gallery whites that once dominated home color palettes. Blank Canvas has natural warmth and feels welcoming.

Why We Love Blank Canvas

Woelfel says Behr loves Blank Canvas because it pairs well with other colors and allows designers and DIYers to really express their creativity. Also, it’s likely to appeal to people who feel overwhelmed by coordinating more complicated color palettes. And many people simply prefer neutrals.

“With this warm white, it’s easy to fold in other colors, textures, patterns, and materials to create individualized designs,” Woelfel says. “The versatile white shade allows shapes, form and other colors to stand as the focal point in any room, truly serving the role it was named for: a blank canvas.”

Interior designer Heather Mastrangeli of Innovatus Design says precisely because people have been surrounded by color for so long, the world now craves simplicity. And even though it’s neutral, it’s not bland.

“It also provides a clean feeling in the home, which is especially important right now when we’re more concerned about germs than ever before,” says Mastrangeli. “There are warm undertones to this paint color that brings warmth and a feeling of safety.”

Can’t-Miss Ways to Use Blank Canvas In Your Home

Blank Canvas is a great neutral. It’s a natural background for any home project, from a bedroom refresh to a kitchen remodel. “The transformative power of this white shade can be leveraged on its own to create monochromatic looks in kitchens or baths, or can be paired with pops of color to personalize any space,” says Woelfel.

These are Woelfel’s top color pairings:

  • Blank Canvas combined with a dark green-gray like Conifer Green, or with a quiet blue-gray like Half Sea Fog. The warmth of Blank Canvas combined with these cool tones creates balance in restful spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms, or a home office where the goal is work and focus. (Behr has complied a list of paints that work beautifully with Blank Canvas.)
  • Blank Canvas, as a supporting neutral to light and dark colors like Smokey Pink and Vermillion, creates two distinctive moods.
  • When combined with other neutrals like Perfect Taupe, Blank Canvas delivers a cozy and comforting feel to any room.

Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy Painters Chicago, says Blank Canvas pairs nicely with lots of colors and patterns but can also stand on its own.

Because his clients continue to embrace minimalist style, he says “pairing it with a white couch and all-natural wooden furniture is a great way to use the color with the space. Pairing it with a colorful curtain or piece of artwork allows for the color to pop without distracting from the overall vibe of the room.”

To add a feeling of “ultimate luxury,” Mastrangeli suggests matching your room’s fabrics, bedding and towels to Blank Canvas on the walls. The resulting monochromatic look will feel like a five-star spa or hotel.

Popular Videos

Katie Dohman
Katie Dohman is an award-winning freelance writer who has written about home, design, and lifestyle topics for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured in Artful Living, Midwest Home, Star Tribune, and Teen Vogue, among many others. She is currently living her own how-to story as she and her husband work through a complete gut remodel on their 1921 home—while parenting three tiny tots and dodging their dog and cat, who always seem to be underfoot.