Feature image via: Design Monarchy Interior Design Studio
by Marica Fick
Happy 2020 folks! 2020… can you believe?! It sounds very sci-fi. I hope you all had a lovely, rest-filled festive break and are all geared for the new year?
I’m sure by now you have all noticed a certain colour trend flooding your Pinterest, Instagram and blog feeds? You know the colour I’m referring to – it is a bold, almost primary blue… a kind of “delft-meets-school-uniform”. Well, however you choose to describe it, it is called CLASSIC BLUE and it is Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020.
I know I mention this every year, but I was once again surprised by Pantone’s selection for Colour of the Year – it is never what I expect it to be. Not that I am going to complain because I just so happen to be a blue-girl. While Classic Blue is a tiny bit on the strong and bright side for me, I generally love all shades and hues of blue.
Thinking back on Pantone’s previous selections for COTY, it does seem that they prefer bold and bright above muted and soft. With the exclusion of 2015’s dusky Marsala and 2016’s soft pastel duo, Rose Quartz & Serenity, the last ten years have been pretty bold and punchy. Think last year’s Living Coral, 2018’s Ultra Violet, and 2013’s Emerald.
The selection of Classic Blue as Pantone’s Colour of the Year also came as a surprise to a good few trend-watchers and forecasters who anticipated a shade of green to win out. Plascon, for example, reflected this in their choice for Hue of 2020, Mulberry Leaf, a gorgeous moody green.
Some trend observers are of the opinion that Pantone was playing it rather “safe” by selecting a generally liked colour like blue.
In an article written for Dezeen, design consultant Michelle Ogundehin stated that in choosing a democratic colour like blue, Pantone played it safe and still missed the mark:
“… seeing as blue is routinely cited as one of the Western world’s eternally favourite colours – no doubt because it instantly recalls cloudless summer skies and warm calm seas – it couldn’t go wrong with such an inoffensive pick. Or could it?”
Michelle went on to say that this rather safe choice is a result of the backlash and criticism surrounding last year’s COTY, Living Coral. Design commentators and critics felt the inspiration behind the colour and name selection was an insensitive choice considering the rapidly dwindling amount of coral left in our oceans.
Here is what Pantone had to say about their colour choice for 2020, I have extracted a few (somewhat wordy) key phrases:
CLASSIC BLUE is…
“A timeless and enduring blue hue, Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
“Imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour, Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser-like clarity. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.”
“As technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colours that are honest and offer the promise of protection. Non-aggressive and easily relatable, the trusted Classic Blue lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favourite is comfortably embraced.”
“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection…”
How to use CLASSIC BLUE in your home or interior:
Like every year, Pantone has put together 5 colour schemes each incorporating Classic Blue. These palettes are a lovely collection of colours that illustrates how you can complement and harmonize Classic Blue with other colours in your home or interior. My favourite scheme would have to be “Exotic Tastes” – an “adventurous” palette “reflective of natural seasonings and condiments”. It consists of muted jewel-tone colours including lovely honey, berry, and teal hues. You can view these palettes on the Pantone website: HERE.
Pairing Classic Blue with cool greys will convey a sense of contemporary sophistication. For a fresh and bright look use Classic Blue as a vivid contrasting pop against a crisp white background (think Delft). Classic Blue harmonizes well with bold colours of a similar hue. Using it with a daring yellow like mustard or ochre is an especially winning combination.
When using a strong colour like classic Blue in an interior space it is vital to then find the correct balance. One can choose to be daring and go for bold or opt for a more understated look. Before hitting the shops, determine where on the “blue sliding scale” you feel most comfortable. Opting for bold means incorporating Classic Blue onto larger pieces such as a statement-making sofa, an eye-catching accent wall, or fitted cabinetry. An understated look can be created by using blue on small items and decorative accents – a bright splash of colour without dominating the space. For those who find the idea of decorating their home with a bold colour like Classic Blue daunting – a couple of scatter cushions and a few decorative accessories is more than enough.
And, of course, we can’t sign off without showing you those Classic Blue-inspired interiors images I mentioned earlier!