Sherwin-Williams 2020 Color of the Year Is Timeless, Bold

09/23/2019 By Valerie Dennis Craven

Big news in the interior design world: The Sherwin-Williams 2020 Color of the Year is Naval SW 6244—a navy that is both a timeless neutral and an impact color that can deliver a bold statement.

2020 shows a shift back into color, and navy is “always timeless” according to Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. As such, Naval can be a starting point shifting from the neutral tones that have dominated the past decade.

Sherwin-Williams Color of 2020 Naval - Hospitality hallway

The Sherwin-Williams global color and design team creates the annual Colormix Forecast—a trends report that reflects how we interact with color—and chooses a Color of the Year from the report.

Naval is part of the “Alive” Colormix Forecast palette, one of five palettes Sherwin-Williams has created for 2020, meant to “bring joy, serenity and focus to the mind, body and spirit,” according the website.

For 2020, the forecast is about wellness, explains Wadden. “Navy is having a moment, and Naval SW 6244 is rooted in nature, especially the sea and night sky. It’s an incredibly grounded color.”

How Can You Incorporate Naval in Commercial Designs?

The Sherwin-Williams color of the year is a versatile shade that can pair with or be accented by a number of colors, materials and finishes. It works with:

  • Neutral colors. “It goes great with grays, whites and taupes,” she explains.
  • Jewel tones for a more dynamic color.
  • Materials and finishes like marble, silver, gold and dark metals.
  • Natural textiles and costal décor to play off the sea and night sky.

Wadden encourages designers to bring bold colors into the commercial space, and Naval fits into that. “I can see it everywhere—in an office as an accent wall, throughout hospitality, on exteriors.”

Sherwin-Williams Color of 2020 - Naval - used in an office with wooden floors

She suggests using it in smaller amounts in a room on an accent wall, on furniture, or in accessories and other decorative details.

Sherwin-Williams Naval - Color of 2020“Bring it into a space in small doses,” she recommends, noting that its biophilic roots in the sea and night sky can promote of soothing feeling in the space.

It might be intimidating for a client to embrace the color after a decade of grays and whites, Wadden acknowledges. But as a trained interior designer herself, she considers Naval the new neutral.

“It transcends millennial pinks; it’s always timeless,” she explains. “People are looking toward color, and 2020 shows that we are getting back into color.”

Read next: Another Color of the Year 2020