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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”