Text by Porcelanosa

Twenty-two years ago, the Pantone Color Institute did something that it had never tried before: after gathering its color experts from around the world for a secret meeting, the institute declared cerulean blue to represent the new millennium. The organization has been picking a color of the year ever since, while multiple brands have launched their own annual color announcements in tandem. Trend forecasting was once an arcane, behind-the-scenes job. But it has become so mainstream in the past two decades that Saturday Night Live stars Aidy Bryant and Bowen Yang can now skewer the profession on “Weekend Update” without explanation.

When you’re not laughing at a comedic takedown, you might be gripped by some anxiety. Color trends are changing on a dime, and there are even competing color forecasts in the same year. How can you prevent your space from immediately seeming dated?

Neutrals offer a safe harbor from this tumult of tones. Black, white, gray, and brown, not to mention all the muted versions in between, can be layered into compositions that are timeless. Neutrals can also serve as the foundation on which more vibrant colors are cycled in and out.

Shown: Deco Hannover with Hannover Topo, and Linz Antracita with Deco Linz

Porcelanosa’s new products for 2022 offer a wealth of neutrals that classically minded purchasers may combine into an enduring look. The Hannover collection of floor and wall tiles, for example, includes mottled, striped, and encaustic patterns that mix and match into looks that range from minimal to rustic. The possibilities are equally endless with Linz. While rhythmic stripes also appear in this grouping of grays and greiges, Linz includes a linen-like background tile as well as its kilim-inspired Deco pattern.

Shown: Elegant Bone & Elegant Grey

Another lesson of the Hannover and Linz collections is that neutrals are anything but staid. Additional Porcelanosa introductions for 2022 include the Elegant collection, whose bookmatch tile bears a resemblance to damasks.

Shown: Aston Classico, Lucerna Silver, and Treviso Arena with Treviso Beige

Products from the Aston and Lucerna collections meanwhile sport bold veining, and the five-color Treviso collection bears a striking resemblance to pebbly terrazzo.

Shown: Steel Antracita & Steel Bone

For those homeowners and designers who prefer to follow trends, there are new Porcelanosa neutrals that lend themselves to color pairings. Thanks to its oxide tones, for instance, Porcelanosa’s Steel tiles are a fitting backdrop to the saffrons, paprikas, and russets that have accented hip interiors for the past several years.

Shown: Classic 1L Chevron Ceniza, Adda Silver, and Bianca Pulido

The Classic collection of natural wood complements both warm and cool colors deftly. Neutrals that have little underlying tonality, like the Adda and Bianca collections, accommodate saturated colors.

Shown: Brick Vetri Blu, Granada Sky and Hypno Hope

Porcelanosa’s product launches for 2022 don’t entirely fit the traditional parameters of neutral. The Vetri, Granada, and Hypno collections feature evocative blues and greens. These inclusions show that biophilic design— the notion that rooms incorporating natural elements improve the well-being of their occupants—is becoming increasingly accepted as an interiors strategy. Perhaps more important, they suggest that the definition of “neutral” itself is expanding. The term has begun to refer to visual calm and a tranquil state of mind in equal measure. Or, as the Pantone Color Institute said of cerulean so many years ago, the colors of the landscape enjoy “associations with restful, peaceful, relaxing times…[and] a presence in our lives every day.”