Revealed: The exact colors filling homes in America's 5 most desirable cities

Chic, cool, and contemporary – and we're only talking about the paint. Here's what people are picking up in the trendiest cities

Gray painted wall in neutral living room with white furnishings
(Image credit: Gray Stone by Glidden)

It's no secret that cities have the power to set trends worldwide. We're talking about London, Paris, New York City… and Boulder, Colorado. Yes, really. 

A recent U.S. News report* has revealed the 25 best places to live this year, and their results are already resetting design ideas in the interiors world. 

Following the study, paint manufacturers Glidden investigated the exact paint colors that are in the most demand in the top five trending cities: Boulder, Raleigh and Durham, Huntsville, Fayetteville, and Austin. That's right; we're stealing paint ideas from the trend-capitals of the future – you heard it here first. 

Here are shades that are setting tones in these sought-after postcodes… 

Dark blue painted walls paired with cream tones

(Image credit: Admiralty by Glidden)

1. Boulder, Colorado 

It is only inevitable that we begin with Boulder, the most desirable city to live in the U.S. Here, homeowners are embracing conventional (but no less chic) shades of white and gray – the color of the year. 

Glidden's Commercial White (opens in new tab) is the best-selling shade in the city, whilst Gray Stone (opens in new tab) came in second place, and Early Evening's (opens in new tab) dark blue tones followed closely behind. The latter has filled us with moody hallway paint ideas we never knew we needed until now. 

White painted bathroom with monochromatic features

(Image credit: Commercial White by Glidden)

2. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina 

Boulder may have introduced us to a rich blue-gray, but Raleigh and Durham are reminding us just how good this power-combo looks. Whilst also indulging in minimalist neutral tones, Seriously Sand (opens in new tab) stole the crown with Arctic Cotton (opens in new tab) and Antique Silver (opens in new tab) also in the top three. 

Meanwhile, the gray tones of Mirror Mirror (opens in new tab) (also in the top five) is the perfect bedroom paint alternative for a therapeutic space in this happy city. 

3. Huntsville, Alabama 

While whites, grays, and blues have dominated this list, Alabama is also excited by tanned hues – with Pony Tail (opens in new tab) topping its lust list. Similarly, Focus' (opens in new tab) creamy tones are a stylish off-white alternative to a conventional palette that will maintain a minimalist scheme in every room of your home. 

Meanwhile, in third place, Stone's Throw's (opens in new tab) dirty gray aesthetic is a daring nod to the color of 2021 – making it the perfect feature wall idea

Gray painted living room space with black unit and storage

(Image credit: Early Evening by Glidden)

4. Fayetteville, Arkansas 

Moving ever-so-slightly North West to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the conventional beige palette is interrupted by a bold red hue. 

While Early Evening (opens in new tab) comes in the first place, the crimson tones of Brick Dust (opens in new tab) sits amongst Arkansas's top five paint picks. This may be The Natural State, but Arkansas' scheme is far from neutral. 

Neutral painted bedroom by Glidden

(Image credit: Tornado by Glidden)

5. Austin, Texas 

Setting the tone in Texas, Whirlwind (opens in new tab) is another contemporary gray that pays homage to one of the biggest interior design color trends of the season, if not the decade. Similarly, Gray Shadows (opens in new tab) came in second, while Lazy Afternoon (opens in new tab) completes the Holy Trinity of gray living room paint ideas.

However, Texans also love the organic look of Light Sage (opens in new tab), a meadow-inspired shade that punctuates the predominantly gray top five. Can we expect to see Fashion Week land in these cities anytime soon? Only time will tell. 

*Study by U.S. News (opens in new tab)

Megan Slack