New Year, New Blue: Using Pantone’s Color of the Year

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WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on January 16, 2020

A new hue for the new year? Not exactly. This year, the Pantone Color Institute chose “Classic Blue” as its shade of 2020. Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 was called ‘Living Coral’, which is vibrant and warm and quite the opposite in tone and temperature to the current color, ‘Classic Blue,’” explains Havenly designer Leah Bopf.  

In some ways, it signals a return to roots—20 years ago in 1999, Pantone selected “Cerulean Blue” a similar hue to ring in the new millennium. As we enter a new decade, this blue reminds us of times that came before, and a return to elements of classic design. 

Classic Blue—called dependable, timeless, and elegant—is easier to incorporate into your home than you think.   

It’s no coincidence that Classic Blue matches perfectly with sustainably dyed indigo. A design trend for the past few years, dyed indigo pillows, wall art, and accents are an easy way to incorporate the color into your space.

A classic and clean combination, classic blue pops when paired with a creamy off-white. Make a statement with bold, minimal wall art in the color combination.

Fearless home decorators could try a timeless blue and white striped accent wall in a room, making a preppy, but bold statement. Looking for something more subtle? Leah loves the look of “Classic Blue throw pillows paired with white in a floral print.”

While the shade is a timeless classic, it works best as a supporting character in your room’s color palette; “I would consider Classic Blue to be an accent color in pretty much any room,” Leah explains. “It’s that perfect ‘pop’ of color that clients are always asking for.”

Try Classic Blue chairs in the dining room or an accent cabinet in your living room. Try a quirky refresh in your powder room design with Classic Blue penny tile. Bottom line? You can work accents of Classic Blue into any room of your home.

It’s easy to bring in Classic Blue to any room, but you’ll want to avoid deploying it as your primary shade, especially when it comes to large portions of a room like carpeting or paint. “This shade of blue is just a little too vibrant for something that would be so large and solid in a space,” Leah explains.

Classic Blue is a rich shade. “Classic blue is considered classic because it is a true and timeless shade of blue. It is found in nature in things like lapis lazuli,” says Leah. Its depth lends itself well to rich fabrics like velvet or velour. “It would be a wonderful shade for a velvet sofa.”

If velvet’s not your speed, check out a textured modern orb chair.

Pantone’s color of the year is fun, accessible, and best of all, timeless instead of trendy. When designing a space, it’s easy to bring in touches of the color to add depth and pops of color. 

Ready for a redesign in 2020 using Pantone’s color of the year? Take Havenly’s style quiz to get started.

Words by Emma Diehl