Home & Garden

2020’s first color of the year is here—and it’s dreamy

Blue will be everywhere in 2020.

A bedroom with an accent wall painted in PPG Paints Chinese Porcelain, a deep cobalt blue. Credit: PPG Paints

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PPG Paints recently announced that a rich cobalt blue called Chinese Porcelain (PPG1160-6) is the company’s choice for 2020’s Color of the Year. Pulling the shade from the sea and the sky, this deep blue extends our connection to the natural world. We’ve already seen nature in 2019’s current home décor colors like PPG’s woodsy dark green Night Watch and Pantone’s Living Coral, an orange-y pink straight out of a coral reef. This new color is a natural progression.

Why cobalt?

To find out the reason the color is becoming a design star, we spoke with Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager in PPG’s architectural coatings division, about why her company selected this hue to represent the coming year. “A lot of people like some shade of blue,” she says. “Blue is reassuring and comfortable. In the right room, it can look really amazing.”

Credit: PPG Paints

The inky cobalt color makes a beautiful background color for a modern or traditional home. Crisp white on the moldings and stair risers brings the blue to life.

How do I use this color?

After a decade of obsession with the gray and white color palette, how do we integrate a deep blue like Chinese Porcelain into our home design? According to Schlotter, saturated colors are returning. “Color is the trend. People are getting tired of neutrals,” she told us. “Cobalt is fearless. I love to see people using it on walls.” The caveat? The space should have lots of natural light.

Credit: PPG Paints

PPG Paints Color of the Year is a cobalt blue that looks equally stunning whether it makes an appearance on a front door or a stylish living space.

So, let’s say you love the color but you’re not ready for a totally dark blue room. Here are some other suggestions on ways to use it:
Install blue cabinets: Create a tuxedo kitchen where the upper cabinetry is white and the lower cabinets or island are blue.
Consider an accent wall: Get coastal with a dark blue focal point. This color looks amazing with light furniture for contrast.
Paint a beautiful interior door: Glossy blue doors give a boost to a boring, neutral hallway.
Use it outside: Changing up your front door’s color is a two-hour project, so sand it down and repaint it cobalt blue.
Get blue appliances: Colorful appliances add zing to a kitchen.

Credit: Kingswood Kitchens

This modern white kitchen gets pops of rich color from the blue appliances by Viking. Notice how well the wood accents work with the cobalt.

What colors go with dark blue?

Cobalt offers the versatility to work in traditional and modern rooms, depending on how you want to style it. Maybe you’re almost convinced to bring in some inky blue, but you don’t know what colors complement it. Cobalt blue looks incredible with orange, gold, and brown. Metallic accessories in rose gold or copper are an unbeatable way to highlight a dark blue room. And don’t forget to brighten the blue space by framing it with crisp, clean white trim.

Credit: PPG Paints

Painting a bedroom in deep blue imparts a calm, relaxing atmosphere for sleep. In this room, the bright white bedding provides contrast and the rusty orange adds a shot of excitement.

Will this color help me sleep?

Schlotter says, “Sleep is the new ‘superfood’ and blue is the best color to sleep in. Whether or not it will put you to sleep we can’t say, but the warmth and depth of this shade of blue feels calm, relaxing and quiet. We can surround ourselves with it as a respite from our busy lives. According to Schlotter, “It’s the color of silence and space. Blue is a trusting color that can be used in a lot of places. It’s an optimistic, hopeful color.”

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