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10 Ways to Use Classic Blue, Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year

10 Ways to Use Classic Blue, Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith,” says Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a release announcing the company’s 2020 Color of the Year. “It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.” Eiseman goes on to explain that Pantone’s selection is aimed at challenging us to “think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

That’s a tall order for a color, but it seems the folks at the color management company feel what the world needs most in 2020 is a reassuring pat on the back, and this is the color to make that pitch.

Classic Blue is a deep “true” blue color in that it doesn’t veer green or violet. It’s lighter than navy but darker than sky blue, making it a “Goldilocks” hue — it’s just right. I liken it to blue denim jeans that you can pair with a shirt of any other color. It’s an easy hue to work into a home, because it plays so well with other colors and can be used in and on any style of home, from traditional to contemporary.

If you’re a fan of this dashing choice, let’s explore the various ways you can bring it into your home.

1. Kitchen Cabinets

Navy blue has been a popular kitchen cabinet color lately, but I think slightly lighter and bolder Classic Blue and similar hues could give navy a run for its money. Here the blue adds depth and richness to an otherwise white-and-wood kitchen.

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If you prefer keeping the kitchen a bit lighter and brighter, try using this blue only on your base cabinets, or just on the island, as shown here. You get a splash of color while maintaining a clean white vibe.

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2. Appliances

Colorful kitchen appliances have been another recent kitchen trend on the rise. The beautiful blue range and matching hood seen here are simply stunning. Colorful appliances, especially the higher-end brands, do not come cheap. They should therefore be used as a focal point, as they are in this open-plan kitchen.

3. Backsplash

You can also go for a blue backsplash. This can be a more wallet-friendly way to introduce the color in your kitchen, especially if your backsplash is relatively small.

Here’s a painted blue backsplash wall that’s cleverly covered in glass where needed, to protect the wall from heat and from food and grease spatters.

4. Bathroom

Of course the kitchen shouldn’t get all of the color fun. Check out the dazzling blue tile in this gorgeous bathroom.

Blue is a smart color selection for a bathroom, because we tend to associate it with the sea and the sky. If you want to channel a resort vacation — or pretend you are perpetually on one — blue is your hue.

5. Laundry Room

Most of us have a strong dislike for doing laundry, but if you can make the space as inviting as this one, I think the chore would be much more tolerable.

If you are unsure about bringing such a bold blue into your kitchen or bathroom, maybe go for it in the laundry room instead. Unlike a kitchen, it’s not a room you spend loads of time in (unless of course you have lots of loads to do). Either way, it adds a fun touch of color to a room that’s not necessarily a public space that gets seen by many.

6. Bedroom

If you tend to feel frazzled and stressed out at the end of the day, blue might be the right hue for your bedroom. Cool colors tend to make us feel calmer, making blue a good choice to chill out with.

I like this wallcovering not just for the color but also for the texture it brings. A blue painted wall might feel a bit flat, especially if the paint has a matte finish and the wall is left unadorned. A wallcovering like this adds an interesting texture that can stand on its own.

7. Accent Wall

Because it’s rather dark, I think Classic Blue works best in relatively small doses, such as on an accent wall. Keep in mind that cool colors visually recede, so painting a wall blue is a good trick for making a small room appear larger.

8. Furniture and Decor

You can add it in even smaller doses, such as through furniture, artwork and decorative accessories. This is one of the easiest and low-commitment ways to add color to a home. If you enjoy constantly changing the look and feel of your home, and playing with the latest trends, think about employing trendy color via decorative accessories.

Here’s another example of bringing color into a home in small decorative doses. This abstract painting features a Classic Blue-like hue, and it really dresses up this home’s entry. It’s simple, elegant and very stylish.

9. Flooring

It’s important to mention that you should never pick a color to decorate with just because it’s trendy. That being said, if you like a color that has been deemed a Color of the Year, then it’s a good time to shop for furnishings and materials in that hue, because they’ll likely be easier to find.

Take your flooring. This is not something you are going to change out every time Pantone or your favorite paint brand announces a new Color of the Year. So make sure you truly love it, and then go for it.

Of course, a less permanent way to bring in color on the floor is with an area rug. This beautiful carpet plays off the colors in the painting nicely. And if you grow tired of the hue you’ve chosen, it’s relatively easy to change it.

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10. Exterior

One of my favorite ways to design with blue hues is to take them outside. When I glance at this row of townhomes, it’s the building clad in a Classic Blue-like hue that most catches my eye.

And, as I mentioned in the introduction, this color works on any style of home, from traditional — as in the previous example, to contemporary — as shown here. It’s a color that feels at home outside, because it conjures natural elements such as water and sky.

It also makes a nice backdrop for lush landscaping. Blue and green are analogous colors, meaning they sit right next to each other on the color wheel. They have a harmonious feel when used together, since they don’t contrast each other the way colors opposite on the color wheel do.

A little bit of bold blue goes a long way, so if you favor a subtler approach with this color, limit it to the shutters or another small accent on your home.

As you can see here, it makes a fetching front door color. I recommend this hue for those who like black or navy front doors but want something a bit more welcoming. It looks great against just about any light-colored siding and won’t feel dated as quickly as a less classic hue.

Of course it’s worth noting that darker, bolder colors fade faster in the sun than lighter and more neutral shades. Western and southern exposures especially can cause paint colors to fade to a less desirable hue. Consult your paint retailer or a painting contractor if you have concerns about how a particular paint color you are considering will stand up to sun exposure.

Your turn: What do you think about Pantone’s 2020 pick? Have you used a similar color in or on your home? Tell us in the Comments.

By Jennifer Ott via