When the announcement came in this last month, that the Pantone Color of the Year 2020 is Classic Blue, it was met with surprise and (to be honest) some derision. There was a lot of commentary around how the Classic Blue selection was staid (and ahem! a little boring), especially seen in comparison to Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year – Living Coral.
But the release was accompanied with this poignant message: “When we look at the world around us, we know that we’re living with a lot of unrest, where some days we don’t feel quite as secure. Blue, from an emotional, psychological standpoint, has always represented a certain amount of calm and dependability. It’s a colour that you can rely on.” Pantone felt that the colour highlighted dependability, trustworthiness, credibility, and constancy, all traits that are valued in the fast-paced, high-stress situations of the current world.
And philosophy aside, designers world over are finding ways to bring the traditional with the modern, playing with what gives people a sense of nostalgia of good times and the richness of heritage, coupled with the excitement of what the future holds. And Classic Blue is universally seen as both genderless + seasonless and therefore is a colour that designers across different genres use lavishly. Additionally, its indigo shade can be achieved naturally from plants and dyes, making it a colour that aligns well with the sustainability movement.
This is a major boon to interior designers, who sometimes struggle to match exotic shades that see limited interpretations in the form of accents and decor from the textile, crafts, fashion and product industries. In an interior project, used either as a backdrop or as an accent, this familiar, calming shade of azure (one of the 3 primary colours) lends itself to a wide range of interpretations that will delight each and every designer.
So how do I see this colour being used?
- For those bold souls who look forward to the new decade with enthusiasm and passion, think no further than playing this colour out on ALL the walls of a Living room. The sheer feeling that this envelope generates is akin to Zen transcendance. Additionally, the trend of using a single bold colour on all walls, rather than just a focal wall will regain favour this year. This colour works best when the furniture within this room is kept either neutral or within the same colour family, with maybe one contrast piece as an accent.
- The colour can be used as a backdrop on a focal wall, if you are still trepidatious of seeing colour on all your walls. Now you can broaden the spectrum of colours used, and can use a primary piece in a contrast colour and complete the setup with neutral pieces/ pieces in the same family of colours.
- Classic Blue is a favoured colour in Kitchens (I’ll let you into a small secret, it’s the colour in my own kitchen :), and will only see a higher level of interest this year.
- Classic Blue was always a huge hit in bedrooms, where a sense of equanimity and calmness was sought. With possible uses in upholstery, loose furniture and accents, this room will find a lot of interpretation in bedrooms.
- Classic Blue is also a favourite for accent chairs/ sofas and with innovative tanneries bringing out wonderful natural shades in blue in leather, this colour is extending across couches, sofas and lounge/ accent chairs across fabrics and materials.
- The percentage of decor, knickknacks and tchotchkes you will find in Classic Blue will, I’m confident, overtake that in any other colour. From glass artefacts to painted pieces, the colour is a universal favourite and a designer will easily find the right pieces to complete the desired styling.
- The colour has always been a high-selling mainstay of the textile industry, and therefore there is plentiful variety of rugs and carpets in this commanding colour, in a variety of types.
This article has been authored by Ms. Gita Ramanan, CEO and Co-founder of Design Café