It's time for a bold, moody, versatile—and, dare we say, delicious—color to take center stage: Behr announced Cracked Pepper (PPU18-01) as its Color of the Year for 2024. Part of the paint company's designer collection, the soft black can ground any space—and ensure it remains timeless.

"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," Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, said in a press release. "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."

cracked pepper
Courtesy of Behr

Behr conducted new research that reveals many Americans are ready to embrace black tones and dark hues. Many view the color category—beloved in fashion—as an avenue for making a room feel elevated, fresh, and comfortable. Just like the seasoning it's named after, Cracked Pepper is a staple. In recent years, people have favored mixing elements of various styles instead of committing to one. Cracked Pepper ensures anyone who wants to transition from one style to the next or combine styles can do so without having to completely start fresh with a major makeover. "It's an anchor color that doesn't have to be reinvented," Sarah Fishburne, The Home Depot’s director of trend and design, tells House Beautiful.

With the influx of trending aesthetics, like Barbiecore and coastal cowgirl, Cracked Pepper also offers a reliable backdrop for dabbling in popular styles as they come and go. For some, those rapid cycles have ignited trend fatigue. Fishburne believes that's one of the reasons "we're seeing such an uptick in the return of the traditionalist," which values a classic, grounded look inspired by past decades and features heirloom pieces.

Since Cracked Pepper is not a true black, the color is an approachable segue into the paint dark side as it melds into practically any design style. Cracked Pepper, which is exclusively available at The Home Depot, can be used to cover an entire room for a dramatic look or refinish a piece of furniture to give it new life. The color also makes an excellent exterior paint for a range of architectural styles, from a classic beach house to a midcentury modern escape. Fishburne even has Cracked Pepper incorporated throughout her own brick home on the gutters and the interior doors.

behr color of the year 2024
Kelly Allen

BEHR ULTRA Cracked Pepper Interior Paint & Primer

Cracked Pepper Interior Paint & Primer

BEHR ULTRA Cracked Pepper Interior Paint & Primer

$40 at Home Depot
Credit: Behr

Last year, Behr named Blank Canvas (DC-003), another neutral, as its 2023 Color of the Year. The warm white pairs well with Cracked Pepper, offering a contrasting but not harsh combination for those who gravitate toward modern design. But if you love mixing vibrant colors in your home, the black paint can easily act as a backdrop for patterned fabrics and fun furniture.

To celebrate the announcement, Behr is hosting a sweepstakes on its official Instagram starting August 16. The company is giving away $10,000 prizes to help design fanatics transform their homes with Cracked Pepper. Five winners will be selected, and you learn how to enter on Instagram. Best of luck!

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