Although the exact color forecasts form the major industry prognosticators don’t exactly match, they do all agree that natural hues will dominate color trends in design next year. Predictions from ocean blue to aloe to emerald green and even a touch of lemon sorbet as an accent tone all reinforce that colors from places where people feel relaxed or a sense of calm are topping all lists. Color prediction experts also attribute the trend to heightened global concern about conserving key elements such as water or trees. 

The two primary forecasts come from The Color Marketing Group (CMG) and Pantone. CMG is a nonprofit organization that hosts color forecast gatherings around the world then translates that data into marketable hues for manufacturers. Its team envisions a rebirth of the use of blue in home interiors and other spaces for the next few years. CMG’s selection of a mid-range blue reminiscent of a clear sky or tropical sea exudes a stable and restorative vibe, according to the company. “This fresh, true blue can be as energizing as it can be soothing,” says CMG’s president, Mark Woodman, in the forecast announcement. 

Pantone provides a corporate view on color trends and looks to fashion and beauty trends as well as home furnishings and paint colors. For 2013, it designated emerald green as the go-to color that will show up on runways, fingernails, and accent walls. Pantone’s color gurus picked a rich jewel-tone that’s universally appealing and “brings a sense of clarity, renewal, and rejuvenation,” states executive director Leatrice Eiseman in the color forecast. 

In addition to the trend-spotting groups, paint manufacturers also hire marketing teams to foretell the future for popular color palettes. Sherwin-Williams selected a pastel green-blue called aloe as its color of the year. Aloe harkens back to the comforting, mid-century modern pastels that were in fashion after WWII, but the company touts its version as having edgier tones. Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing, describes the hue as “no ordinary pastel–aloe is funky and glamorous, demure and free-spirited.”

Benjamin Moore offers myriad shades of blue-grays in its palette prophecies for 2013, but opted for a contrasting lemon sorbet as its color of the year. The company recommend the pale yellow as an ideal color to bring together all of the minty pastels and saturated blues that will be appearing in home furnishing products next year. Benjamin Moore’s announcement states that lemon sorbet “complements almost any color palette and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces.”