Sherwin-Williams Unveils Calming, Sophisticated 2021 Color of the Year

11/11/2020 By Janelle Penny

After a tumultuous year, people are seeking calm in every area of their lives, says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.

Sherwin-Williams’ color of the year—a rich, warm brown named Urbane Bronze—reflects that need for sanctuary and balance.

Sherwin-Williams Bedroom
“The focus in design and color has shifted to building relaxing sanctuaries within our existing spaces,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “Interior paint colors can help accomplish this feeling.” Credit: Sherwin-Williams

Urbane Bronze“The pandemic has caused us to seek comfort in our surroundings and be mindful of how we’re living,” says Wadden. “As a result, the focus in design and color has shifted to building relaxing sanctuaries within our existing spaces and interior paint colors can help accomplish this feeling. Urbane Bronze creates a sense of calm while making us feel safe and secure.” 

(Photo: The nature-inspired Urbane Bronze was chosen from the Sanctuary palette in Sherwin-Williams’ annual Colormix forecast. Sanctuary is a collection of earthy neutrals that can make spaces feel more grounded. Credit: Sherwin-Williams)

Urbane Bronze is a departure from the cool neutrals of the 2010s, Wadden adds. It was chosen from the Sanctuary palette, a collection of earthy neutrals that make spaces feel grounded, in Sherwin-Williams’ annual Colormix forecast.

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It’s ideal for anywhere that requires a sense of comfort, whether that’s a residential or commercial space. “It can be used in a variety of interior and exterior spaces, including hotels, restaurants and hospitals,” Wadden says. “It looks great as an accent wall in a hotel lobby, on the restaurant bar or in a meeting room.”

Sherwin-Williams Living Room
Wadden recommends pairing Urbane Bronze with “contrasting shades of beige, parchment and mushroom,” as well as wood species like ash and accents like copper or woven wool rugs. Credit: Sherwin-Williams

Nature-inspired colors like the Sanctuary palette are also perfect for spaces that draw on biophilic design, Wadden adds.

She recommends pairing it with “contrasting shades of beige, parchment and mushroom, such as Modern Gray SW 7632 or Messenger Bag SW 7740. In addition, wood species like ash, woven wool rugs and copper help play up the rich hue and complement it beautifully.”

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