The 2020 Color of the Year: A Rich Navy Hue with a Hint of Opulence

Sherwin-Williams has announced its 2020 Color of the Year: Naval SW 6244 (253-C6), a rich navy hue taking cues from the Roaring 1920s.

Naval fuses the striking and bold opulence of Art Deco with the awe-inspiring power of nature – from the infinite night sky to the mysterious depths of the sea.

This deep shade evokes a prominent sense of confidence that fuses timeless color with a fresh mix of natural materials and textures that bring navy blue into a new era.

“We’re predicting that the next decade in color is going to be bold,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “This year we saw the return of the ’70s, and next year we think the vibrant energy and luxurious design of speakeasies will make a comeback. Naval merges the desire for rich, inspiring color with our yearning for relaxation and retreat. In the next 10 years, we’ll continue to move away from omnipresent neutrals and design will feel more personal again.”

Trends in interior paint colors

The use of paint color in interior design is also changing, Wadden says.

“It’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but how it makes you feel,” she says. “People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Naval is reminiscent of the night sky, which people have looked to for centuries for guidance, as a muse and as a reminder to live more mindfully.”

Naval in residential spaces

A versatile neutral, Naval doesn’t conform to one style. From boho to traditional, coastal to contemporary, Naval can either fade into the background or play a starring role. A room painted in Naval creates a grounded space that ushers restfulness and tranquility into the home.

“Pair Naval with natural materials, such as warm leather tones, vibrant greenery and woven fiber rugs, to create a calming oasis in your home,” recommends Wadden. “Furniture and décor can be mixed and layered to build a look as minimalist or maximalist as you like.”

Burnished golds such as Tarnished Trumpet SW 9026 (142-C3), and biophilic greens such as Ripe Olive SW 6209 (217-C7) complement the richness of Naval, while crisp neutrals such as Snowbound SW 7004 (256-C2) and Touch of Sand SW 9085 (199-C1) make up a more traditional color palette and allow Naval to stand out.

Naval in commercial properties

On its own, Naval creates a sense of depth, which brings mindfulness and energized calm to gathering spaces, offices, hotel rooms and restaurants, Wadden says.

“Naval can easily play into any mood you’re trying to create, whether it’s lively energy for a restaurant, or calm serenity in a hotel room,” she says. “It’s a truly versatile color that will be on-trend and appealing for years to come.”

About Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

The Sherwin-Williams global color and design team travels the world to research and identify key trends that influence the way we interact with color. From those findings, the team turns emerging themes into the annual Colormix Forecast and zeroes in on a Color of the Year. The 2020 selection marks the 10th straight year that Sherwin-Williams has named an official Color of the Year. The list of previously selected colors includes:

“In the past 10 years, we’ve seen color evolve from beiges to cool grays and now back to warmer neutrals,” says Wadden. “And while greens and blues are always popular, how we’re using them in design is changing. In the coming decade, key combinations will include black, white and navy for a timeless look, or navy and jewel tones for a nod to Art Deco.”

A condensed version of this article was originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of PPC magazine. Get more color tips and tools at the Sherwin-Williams contractor website.