Look To The Skies: Sherwin-Williams Naval to Guide Next Decade of Design

Rich and calming navy hue is Sherwin-Williams 2020 Color of the Year


CLEVELAND (Sept. 23, 2019) – Sherwin-Williams is announcing the 2020 Color of the Year: Naval SW 6244, a rich navy hue that strikes a balance between calm and confident. Naval is where the glamour of Art Deco meets the serenity of a yoga studio, pairing the contemporary desire to treat ourselves with the practice of self-care.

“The use of color in interior design is changing. It’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but how it makes you feel,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Naval is reminiscent of the night sky, which people have looked to for centuries for guidance, as a muse and as a reminder to live more mindfully.”

Taking cues from the Roaring 1920s, Naval pairs well with luxurious finishes, such as marble and mixed metallics, and can help highlight items of exquisite craftsmanship. Designers and homeowners alike are embracing statement-making décor, and Naval is the new, approachable neutral that goes with everything.

“We’re predicting that the next decade in color is going to be bold. This year we saw the return of the ‘70s, and next year we think the vibrant energy and luxurious design of speakeasies will make a comeback,” said Wadden. “Naval merges the desire for rich, inspiring color with our yearning for relaxation and retreat. In the next 10 years, we’ll continue to move away from omnipresent neutrals and design will feel more personal again.”

Naval is inherently forward-looking as the chosen bold hue to kick off the decade, but the color has a long-established presence in nature. Naval’s deep, sapphire-like quality is reminiscent of the night sky and deep sea, and this nautical influence makes it well-suited for use with natural textiles and coastal-inspired décor, which are growing in popularity.

Creating a home retreat

A versatile neutral, Naval doesn’t conform to one design style. From boho to traditional, coastal to contemporary, Naval can either fade into the background or play a starring role. A room painted in Naval creates a grounded space that ushers restfulness and tranquility into the home.

“Pair Naval with natural materials, such as warm leather tones, vibrant greenery and woven fiber rugs, to create a calming oasis in your home,” recommends Wadden. “Furniture and décor can be mixed and layered to build a look as minimalist or maximalist as you like.”

Burnished golds such as Tarnished Trumpet SW 9026, and biophilic greens such as Ripe Olive SW 6209 complement the richness of Naval, while crisp neutrals such as Snowbound SW 7004 and Touch of Sand SW 9085 make up a more traditional color palette and allow Naval to stand out.

Timeless commercial properties

For designers and other professionals, creating a space in which people feel good about living and working is a top priority, and Naval makes their job that much easier. On its own, Naval creates a sense of depth, which brings mindfulness and energized calm to gathering spaces, offices, hotel rooms and restaurants.

“Naval can easily play into any mood you’re trying to create, whether it’s lively energy for a restaurant, or calm serenity in a hotel room,” said Wadden. “It’s a truly versatile color that will be on-trend and appealing for years to come.”

About Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

Led by Director of Color Marketing Sue Wadden, the Sherwin-Williams global color and design team travels the world to research and identify key trends that influence the way we interact with color. From those findings, the team turns emerging themes into the annual Colormix Forecast and zeroes in on a Color of the Year. The 2020 selection, Naval SW 6244, marks the 10th straight year that Sherwin-Williams has named an official Color of the Year. The list of previously selected colors includes:

  • 2011: Indigo Batik SW 7602
  • 2012: Argyle SW 6747
  • 2013: Aloe SW 6464
  • 2014: Exclusive Plum SW 6263
  • 2015: Coral Reef SW 6606
  • 2016: Alabaster SW 7008
  • 2017: Poised Taupe SW 6039
  • 2018: Oceanside SW 6496
  • 2019: Cavern Clay SW 7701

“In the past 10 years, we’ve seen color evolve from beiges to cool grays and now back to warmer neutrals,” said Wadden. “And while greens and blues are always popular, how we’re using them in design is changing. In the coming decade, key combinations will include black, white and navy for a timeless look, or navy and jewel tones for a nod to Art Deco.”

For more information visit SWCOTY.com or visit your local Sherwin-Williams store.

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