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Pantone’s Color of the Year is Classic Blue: Here’s How to Embrace it at Home

Use in paint, fabrics, and accessories for very different effects.


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Jan 30, 2020

For the last 20 years, Pantone has named a Color of the Year, influencing design trends in furnishings, fashion, tech, and beyond. Each color is carefully selected to reflect our attitudes and emotions of the times, and in this start of both a new year and decade, the choice makes an especially strong social statement. This year’s pick, Classic Blue, may seem a safe choice at first from such a highly regarded design authority, but it’s the intention behind the color that we can’t get enough of. 

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.” Eiseman compares the color to “a boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky… [that] encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.” Craving that sense of calm and depth in your own home life? We break down how to adopt the trending color in ways both bold and soothing.

Willow Sweatshirt in Dusty Blue | ALIGN : RIGHT

1. Add it to your wardrobe

We’re firm believers that the closet is where your palette starts, and this universally flattering color has the faded comfort of an old college crewneck. Speaking of which, our fleece Willow Sweatshirt looks just the right amount of vintage and refined

2. Paint your walls

Incorporate just a touch of blue with an accent wall, or go all-out and cover every surface; the near-indigo color will add a warmth to large rooms, and makes small rooms feel larger, because walls recede when painted dark. If you want to be daring, try painting the ceiling a high-gloss version of the color. Some of our favorite near matches: Benjamin Moore’s Blue Suede Shoes; Sherwin Williams’ Blue Blood; and Behr’s Dark Cobalt Blue

Cashmere and Lambswool Throw in Blue | ALIGN : LEFT

3. Refresh your bedding

Gender-neutral and appropriate for any season, bedding in this chic hue looks sophisticated but snuggle-worthy. Incorporate with our Linen Sheet Bundle and top with a white duvet for a dapper look, or use our Cashmere and Lambswool Throw  to add a relaxed layer to any color scheme.

4. Incorporate in a large piece of furniture 

A dark, dusky blue like this will actually feel like a neutral when used on a large piece. Think of it like a classic navy suit, acting like a base for the shirt, shoes, and tie of your choice (aka, the accent colors in your room). This year, Pantone partnered with The Inside to develop a custom fabric in the COTY that works on bedframes, benches, and sofas. Our favorite from the collection is their Mid-Century Sofa; it can pair with any style from traditional to coastal—plus, the deep hue will hide stains.

Spaces by Brooklinen | ALIGN : RIGHT

5. Hang new art

Blue is associated with so much of our natural world; icy glaciers, a cloudy sky, the sparkling ocean. Channel that organic beauty with a piece of art that speaks to your favorite element associated with the color, like Molly Frances’ Cumulus No. 3 abstract print

6. Look beyond the visual 

Color is a visceral experience that’s more than just something we see. It’s emotional, and is often associated with smells, memories, sounds, and texture. Light our Nightcap candle at home for a bluesy glow that reminds us of winter evenings and Hot Toddies.


Written by Mallory Abreu

Mallory is a writer currently based in Des Moines, Iowa, where she works as a home design editor for Better Homes & Gardens. This New England native began her career at the Boston Globe covering music and arts beats, and has since had her work featured in Boston Magazine, Magnolia Journal, BH&G, and other national publications. Catch her playing piano and ogling old homes in her free time. View her portfolio at www.malloryabreu.com and follow her on IG at @mal.abreu.

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