Matte paint

Photo: Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

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From honed countertops to flat finishes on the walls, the matte look is spreading to all areas of the home, says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. High-gloss and polished surfaces can feel overly formal, like you can't relax in your own home, which is why some people are gravitating to the softer, unvarnished look matte provides, she explains. New paint technology makes the chalkier finish just as durable—try Sherwin-Williams' Emerald line or Benjamin Moore's Aura collection—and the overall effect is less stuffy than shiny, high-gloss alternatives.