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The Joy of Almond: Embrace This Decade’s “It” Hue in 12 Delicious Shades

Go nuts for this smooth neutral that’s poised to outpace off-white.
Roxanne Robinson Apr 14, 2021
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Is almond the hue of the 2020s? Each decade has embraced a defining shade: Avocado and olive greens defined the 1970s while golden harvest tones ruled the 1980s. The 1990s leaned toward white minimalism while the 2000s were dominated by deep browns. The 2010s have seen shades of gray prevail. These cycles are the reason that we are ready to welcome a new neutral. Here, we determine 12 key almond colors to guide designers within this au courant palette.

What is Almond Color?

This versatile shade is named for the highly popular nut. Given the recent rise in demand for products like almond milk and almond butter, have our eyes gravitated toward this hue based on our love for the oval-shaped nut? Almond encompasses a range of tones, which are inspired by the nut’s hard shell, meat, and skin. Think of the way that blue ranges from sky to navy. Almond has a similar scope.

Why Almond Colors Are Popular Today

The home colors prominent in previous decades eventually waned in popularity as home interior trends changed. Similar to other aspects of design such as fashion, interior styles evolve and change over time in response to the needs of society.

Keith Recker (editor-in-chief of TABLE magazine and thechromosapien.com and author of True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments) has noted the rise of this warmer shade as an alternative to gray. “Gray was perhaps a little chilly,” he explains. “We’ve come back to beiges, tans, and buffs in a way we haven’t seen since the Gap exhausted khakis through overexposure in the ’90s.”

Recker feels that these colors are comforting and nostalgic, pointing to the sunnier, post-war decade of the 1950s: “Khaki and a dignified camel coat were straightforward, nonchalant factors in clothing.” In the wake of the pandemic, there’s a need for colors that come across as clean and reassuring. “The colors of dust, the colors of tea and coffee stains, the gentle undertones of oxidation,” he adds. “All of these speak to effortless color that places our feet squarely and nicely on the ground.”

How to Style Almond Colors in Your Home

Incorporating this varied shade into any space is relatively intuitive and simple since most shades qualify as neutral tones. Going for a tonal or ombré scheme is an obvious approach that works with several styles. Almond can be applied to walls, flooring, and upholstery in a variety of interiors ranging from the traditional and formal to the sparse and modern. It is  especially suited for warm, earthy, and casual homes that boast a touch of boho. 

Recker suggests that using almond as an accent could be the best route. “Incorporating almond colors into home styling is done best when their nonchalance comes forward,” he advises. “The relentlessly monochromatic approach taken by modern designers with gray shouldn’t be replicated.” He recommends pairing almond with pops of color: “Toss in a strand of avocado-pit pink and a stripe of gilet jaune neon yellow. Work in a bit of azure and a patch of celadon and a lovely bit of chocolate. Be colorful in your neutrality. Let the warmth of the almond colors relax you into worrying less about style and more about pleasure and comfort.”

How to Identify 12 Perfect Almond Colors

Discover your own “almond joy” in this curated list from Nest Casa’s founder Sara Colombo, who believes that almond colors are satisfying and versatile. These shades have been culled from the Pantone library and are referred to by color code. 

7527 C

This light almond is reminiscent of another popular neutral: taupe. (Indeed, taupe has also been popular in the last ten years.) This shade also resembles the new furniture shade from affordable design giant IKEA. It also resembles this Farrow and Ball shade in particular light and pairs well with this Dedar bouclé fabric.

2309 C

This shade is also closely related to Farrow and Ball’s California paint color Sand.

726 C

This hue is slightly more profound and yellow in tone.

4267 C

If you’re a fan of the almond milk brand Califia Farms, this color will undoubtedly appeal to you. Its smooth, rich hue is reminiscent of this popular almond milk’s coloring. The Farrow and Ball paint color Jitney is a close cousin.

4269 C

Moving down the intensity scale is this rich shade of almond. It almost tastes like almond butter—or, black tea blended with smooth cream.

2312 C

Even deeper in hue is 2312C, which pairs well with shades of cream and brown. These wooden walls and ceiling are made with stained wood for an antique finish that showcases the color nicely.

2311 C

Similar in mood to 2312C but with more red. The natural shade is popularly found in fine woods or antique leathers, like this stunning butterfly chair.

2316 C

Remember those brown paper bags that transported your school lunches? This hue is reminiscent of those—or, of the hard, dotted nutshell that protects the almond.

2317 C

An almond’s taste intensifies when toasted. 2317C corresponds nicely with the Sherwin-Williams paint color, Toasted Almond. Or this cozy velvet sofa made from Pierre Frey Paris’s Teddy Mohair fabric built by Pierre Augustin Rose.

2319 C

This profuse shade of almond is sure to please caramel lovers with its lush medium yellow-brown hue.

4272 C

This shade of almond could be mocha’s close cousin: a deep brown with a tinge of taupe.

7532 C

Pantone 7532C is almond at its darkest and smoothest. It’s a deep brown shade, but it could never be confused with chocolate as it maintains its gentle, chalk-like essence.

Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in Forbes.com, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter, CRFashionbook.com, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and Editorialist.com among others.
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