2020 Color Camps: A Professional Analysis

Three local design professionals weigh in on 2020 color selections from Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pantone

Photos courtesy Adobe Stock

Accent wall reminiscent of Pantone’s “Flaming Scarlet.”

Sherwin-Williams picked “Naval” as its 2020 Color of the Year, calling it “a rich navy that creates a calm and grounding environment infused with quiet confidence.” Benjamin Moore selected “First Light,” described as “a soft, rosy hue blooming with potential … the backdrop for a bright new decade.” Then came the Spring/Summer 2020 New York Fashion Week’s “Flame Scarlet” by Pantone—its fiery resonance exudes confidence and determination.

What, homeowners may ask, are we to do with all that? Relax, says Lisa Peck, ASID, principal designer and co-founder of LiLu Interiors in Minneapolis. Having just returned from High Point Market, where she was selected to participate in the Design Bloggers Tour, Peck says “those color selections are very real and related to what happening in American culture.”

Peck also saw a “strong dichotomy in color palettes at High Point,” she says, “although they were a little dustier. There was the rich jewel-tone, deep-color moody camp, and then an array of soft pastels. There wasn’t much in the middle.”

“Naval,” she continues is “about stability and grounding.” The pastels are “about peace and serenity. The two color camps are really about the same thing: Home as a retreat, as respite from the world. Both color palettes are reassuring.”

Sherwin-William’s navy “isn’t new,” adds Kristen Koroloff, an Allied ASID designer of K2 Interior Designs in Wayzata. “We’ve been seeing navy used in interiors for several years now. It’s a great color.” Benjamin Moore’s blush “is lighter than millennial pink, not as saturated.”

Koroloff adds that “Thunder” is her new favorite from Benjamin Moore. She predicts “we’re going to be seeing more of these warm neutrals with some taupe-like undertones. Thunder’s a great one. That color plays well with a lot of other colors; it’s a bit more timeless.” She also believes “green is making huge resurgence.”

“In our homes, we need to unwind, unplug, reconnect, and create interior environments that are nurturing and soothing,” she explains. “The warm, grayish taupes and greens are coming on strong. Green comes in so many ranges you can work with. It can be soothing and calm, cool, or warm.” Her current favorite? Benjamin Moore’s “Cushing Green.”

An accent throw ushers in shades similar to “Cushing Green” by Benjamin Moore.

Kim Tucker, Allied ASID, agrees and loves the “moss green” that’s coming back. Tucker, principal designer at Tucker Thomas Interior Design in Wayzata, also visited High Point this fall and noticed “a lot of mauve, more pink than purple, and dusty.” She also saw a few

“Flame Scarlet” by Pantone

“pops of red” there. She suggests integrating “Flame Scarlet”-colored accessories into your space, or going bold with a whole sofa in a similar red. “Updates brighten a room, and this new red feels random in a fun way.”

Peck adds that a bit of “Flame Scarlet” throughout a room “adds a boost of energy. The other 2020 color selections are so grounded or serene. A red or red-orange will make sure interiors based on ‘Naval’ or ‘First Light’ will come alive.”


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