I haven’t really looked at the Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 much as I’m never really sure how relevant it is, but given that I came across some lovely dark blue rooms this week and the chosen shade is called Classic Blue “suggestive of the sky at dusk” I thought we’d dive in a bit further. Pun partially intended.
Blue is always top of the list for the world’s favourite colour and so when it was selected by Pantone there was a small collective groan as it didn’t seem very exciting as a choice. That said there was a larger grown when they came up with Rose Quartz and an audible hiss for ultra violet. But, unlike Dulux, who are suggesting a palette of colours that you might want to decorate with, Pantone is more about a collective mood that, they suggest, will spread across fashion, furniture, advertising and packaging. And this year, apparently, it’s about stepping over the threshold into a new era.
It’s about collecting our thoughts, peace and tranquility and laser like clarity. All of which mightn’t be a bad thing for 2020. But leaving all the explanations aside what about it for the walls?
While the paler blues can be hard to get right – like grey they change enormously depending on the light from deep sky to cold grey and it can be hard to find what you want in a room that has to function well in both electric and natural light. Navy blue, however, is much much easier. Whether you go for a more greeny based shade or one with a cool dollop of grey it will create a cocooning effect.
So you can take inspiration from the top image and paint everything. This is a really restful way to use a colour as there’s no distraction created by contrasting woodwork. Yes blue and white can look smart but it’s also a bit nautical. And if you paint out the doors then the space is automatically more relaxing.
If that isn’t your vibe, and look at the second picture to see how painting out the background allows the books, ornaments and furniture to really stand out, then rather than white, which might be too high contrast, pick either a paler shade of blue or a contrasting colour for the woodwork, perhaps a soft ecru or milk shade rather than hard white.
In the next two images, the designers have picked a contrasting shade to pop against the navy blue. A mint green stool provides the disrupting colour in the kitchen while this pink painted table is a stronger, brighter version of the curtains. And here, the cornice has been painted white to create a breather between the green ceiling and blue walls. The white also ties in the light and the tiles. The green brings an unexpected touch and stops it all feeling too co-ordinated, which more pink might have done. At that point it becomes contrived rather than considered.
Finally, navy blue in pattern. Actually the tablecloth above might be sliding slightly towards green but it’s pretty and it’s the same principle so it’s staying. While below the wallpaper, which is quite traditional in style, has been given a modern feel by painting the woodwork blue and black. White woodwork would have been very traditional, this pale blue gives it a totally modern feel.
These days I think I would only suggest using white on woodwork if it matches the walls. And I do have plenty of off white walls and doors but if you don’t then think about a contrasting, toning or matching colour for a more contemporary look.
And is anyone sold on navy blue? I have a navy blue bathroom in the loft but that’s as far as I’ve gone with it in this house.