The 5 outdated paint colors of 2024 designers loathe — and what they're loving instead

Interior designers spill the outdated paint colors they're glad to see the back of, plus what you can use instead

Outdated paint colors are worth knowing. Here are three pictures with on trend colors - a dining room with terracotta washed walls and a dining table with a green and white cloth, a kitchen with off-white walls, an arched window and a kitchen island, and a living room with mauve pink walls, a white couch and a gold coffee table
(Image credit: Ca' Pietra / Lick / Furniture and Choice)

It's useful to find out the outdated paint colors going out of style if you're getting a little tired of your current paint color and considering a change.

I've asked interior designers what shades they've been swerving this year and the colors they've been reaching for instead. Muted grays and millennial pink are officially out, and instead earthy and rich tones are in.

If you're looking for interior paint color trends for the year, knowing what to avoid is just as important as finding out what to try.

The outdated paint colors designers aren't using in 2024

Utilizing color in your home is one of the most impactful ways to bring fresh interior design trends into your space. I'm feeling so inspired to change up my place after chatting with experts, and I just know you're going to feel the same.

The designers I've spoken to have recommended color alternatives for their loathed outdated ones, which I've curated closely matching picks you can easily shop.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Ditch greige and go for soft terracotta

A dining area with terracotta walls, a green bookshelf with colorful books, a beige cabinet, and a dining table with a green and pink patterned cloth with plates and napkins on and dark wooden chairs

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra)

I’ll be honest — the name of the color greige has never appealed to me, nor has the color itself. So, I’m pleased to see that it’s firmly becoming an outdated paint color  now.

"This is a color that combines the tones of both gray and beige and is pronounced as 'graysh'," explains Priyanshi Jain, interior designer and founder of Pixels & Spaces. "Due to the changes and latest trends in interior design and architecture, greige appears to be one-dimensional and flat in today’s landscape."

Instead, people are now more inclined to try colors that add depth and personality to their homes.

Priyanshi recommends using soft terracotta to add a neutral, calming, and welcoming touch while bringing in a subtle richness. This is also one of my favorite warm kitchen colors that works so well across so many spaces, big and small.

If you want to go for a touch more pigment, try an earthy green such as Lick's Green 18 (available in a handy stick on sample form).

2. Swap Ferrari red for maroon

A living room with maroon patterned wallpaper, a sage green door, a brown leather arm chair with a throw pillow on it and a lamp above it, and a red and black patterned rug underneath it

(Image credit: Mindthegap)

While the unexpected red theory has been one of the biggest TikTok trends this year, using this striking a color in a big way at home has quickly become outdated.

“Truth be told, for me personally, bright primary colors often feel garish and overwhelming. I don't even like them in a daycare center!” says Gaia Guidi Filippi, interior designer and founder of Gaia G Interiors. “They are also particularly un-inventive and flat." 

Instead, Gaia advises going for colors with more depth and subtlety. "Try maroon instead of Ferrari red," she says.

Gaia also recommends trying this approach for other outdated paint colors, such as going for terracotta instead of orange (Benjamin Moore's Baked Terracotta has rosy pink undertones) and sage instead of Kelly green (Farrow and Ball's Vert De Terre responds to light beautifully).

3. Pass on millennial pink and choose mauve pink

A living room with mauve pink walls with mirrors, shelves, and a wall art print on them, a cream Chesterfield couch with throw pillows, and a gold coffee table with pampas grass and a mug on it

(Image credit: Furniture And Choice)

I loved Barbiecore and all the fun Barbie Dreamhouse decor that came with it last year — but this doll-like shade is now on the shelf, much like its plastic namesake.

Gaia says, "Though I've yet to meet a pink I don't love, millennial pink has become overused and less appealing. I'm really into more sophisticated shades, like rose and dusty mauves that offer a refined and mature aesthetic."

According to Gaia, these are also amazing for creating moody rooms that are all the rage at the moment. 

4. Change cool gray for taupe

A white door frame opening up to a bedroom with light taupe walls, a gray upholstered bed with white sheets, a beige crossed throw, and a square orange throw pillow

(Image credit: Lick / @amirahashish / Chris Tubbs)

As well as the darker greige being an outdated color, cool gray has also made its way onto our interior designers’ no thank you list. Instead, they're going for the brown trend that's been making waves recently. 

“Cool grays were definitely overused in the 2010s, especially in builder-grade homes — so we tired of them and now they just feel cold and impersonal,” Gaia says. “My recommendation to replace them is to opt for softer neutrals in the brown family, such as taupe."

Gaia adds that she’s seen shades such as café au lait (Benjamin Moore's Café au Lait is rich and indulgent) and caramel (Farrow and Ball's Sand is a warm neutral with a touch of red) gain popularity for their warm and inviting feel.

5. Stop using beige and try off-white

A kitchen with wooden cabinets and a countertop with a white surface, off-white walls with an arched window and wall art prints on it, and a kitchen island with gray back panels and a white surface with flowers on top

(Image credit: Lick)

I know — beige is always a safe bet. But, if you want to keep your place on trend, you’re going to need move away from this outdated, uninspiring paint color.

“Beige is a color that is somewhat more flat and bland than greige,” says Priyanshi. “It lacks the character and coziness that many people crave. Instead, try picking off-whites with a hint of lavender to add coolness and sophistication to your home."

You can also try off-whites with pink undertones to inject some warmth into your space. If you’re committed to keeping things beige, Priyanshi suggests using it with hints of pink and yellow to keep it subtle and inviting.

For example, in a neutral living area with beige walls, you could add pink throw pillows such as the washable and soft Deconovo Pink Pillow Covers from Walmart

Then, you could layer them with a blanket such as the Dakota Fields Halfeti Knitted Throw from Wayfair that is knitted and lightweight. Hey presto — a cute color scheme with minimal effort.

As well as paying attention to particular colors, it’s also smart to pay attention to the different sheen and finish applications when it comes to paint trends.

“For example, don't just think of a paint color for a bookshelf — consider doing it in high gloss to make it extra,” Gaia finishes by saying.

If you’re looking for shades specifically for apartments or rentals, it’s also worth looking at small space color trends specifically.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.