2020's Pantone Color of the Year Is Making Us Anything but Blue

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Every December, we wait with bated breath to see what the next Pantone Color of the Year will be. In previous years, we've seen the eggplant-like Ultra Violet, the tropical-inspired Living Coral, and for 2020, it's a hue that's equal parts traditional and soothing: Classic Blue.

Last December, the company unveiled the blue shade, that's definitely brighter and happier than navy and can work with virtually any design style. Pantone colors are the perfect place to start when gathering color ideas, and we think it doesn't get much better than Classic Blue.

From cabinets and walls to furniture and decor, here are eight ways you can rock the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year in your own home.

1. Create texture and dimension.

Yes, Classic Blue is a no-brainer for accent walls. But, to kick things up a small notch, we recommend adding some geometric detailing to incorporate additional visual interest. For instance, Karen of I Guess This Is Growing Up added honeycomb wall panels to give an extra punch to this vibrant blue wall.

2. Paint a simple shelf.

To dip your toe into the Pantone color waters, consider simply painting a shelving unit in Classic Blue. It's sure to stand out against a white wall, as proven in this space spotlighted on The Design Files and designed by Flack Studio. A matching blue lounge chair doesn't hurt either.

3. Make an entryway shine.

There are tons of color ideas we adore for an entryway, but these days, Classic Blue is pretty high on our list. Look how it makes this foyer by Megan of M Pettipoole look equal parts cool and preppy. It happens to look great with a red front door, too.

4. Weave it in with decorative accents.

You don't always need to turn to a can of paint to bring Pantone colors into your space. You can incorporate them with decorative accents, like throw pillows and vintage finds, as seen in this living room belonging to Kim of Tidbits & Twine.

5. Pair it with brass.

If you're searching for color ideas to pair with Classic Blue, consider anything in gold or brass. Whether it's kitchen hardware, picture frames, or a swanky bar cart, as seen in this space styled by Carole of Dear Designer's Blog, the color combo will always look classy and sophisticated.

6. It’s a home run for kitchen cabinets.

When it comes to Pantone colors, there are few that are better for kitchen cabinets than Classic Blue. They happen to look amazing when paired with white upper cabinets, creating a trend-proof, eye-pleasing design, as witnessed in this cook space by Garrett and Cathy of The Grit and Polish.

7. Represent with furniture.

If you already have a colorful space, but you still want to include a pop or two of Classic Blue, consider bringing it in with the help of your furniture. For example, in this office belonging to Kelly of Studio DIY, the Classic Blue channel-tufted chairs stand out amid pinks, yellows, and greens.

8. Use it as an anchoring hue.

Classic Blue has this uncanny ability to bring focus to a room. Select an anchoring piece of furniture or decor in the shade, like a sofa, and partner it with other colors that will be complementary. In the case of this playroom designed by Emily Henderson, a blue sofa seamlessly pulls together a palette of whites, natural finishes, and varying levels of blue.


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.

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