Color-Inspired Calm

Jennifer Polanz
I’m often reminded of an interview I did years ago with a color expert who told me color trends often reflect what’s happening in society and the world around us. What’s interesting is the 2020 colors seem to be based on what we wish for the world around us. The companies producing these colors said they represent a new decade of renewal and wellness.

They took different approaches, though. On the bright side, Benjamin Moore named a light hue as its Color of the Year with First Light, whereas Sherwin-Williams and PPG went dark with Naval and Chinese Porcelain, respectively. Behr tried to mellow everyone out with Back to Nature, a “restorative, meadow-inspired green.” The Color Marketing Group, meanwhile, electrified the field by naming Electrum its key color trend for North America. A blend of “green-influenced gold metallic,” this color “symbolizes the complexity of the future.” Here’s to a 2020 full of change and renewal.


1. Here’s why color experts at Sherwin-Williams chose Naval: “Giving a nod to Art Deco influences, Naval fuses the striking and bold opulence of Art Deco with the awe inspiring power of nature—from the infinite night sky to the mysterious depths of the sea—bringing navy out of its comfort zone to usher in an empowering new year and fresh decade of change.”

2. From Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore Director of Color Marketing and Development: “First Light reflects a new definition of the home—a shift in mindset from the material to satisfying the core needs in life: community, comfort, security, self-expression, authenticity, and ultimately, optimism.”

3. The folks at Behr said this about Back to Nature: “Influenced by our innate desire to connect with nature, this biophilic shade imparts a fresh sense of vitality. Just as plants release oxygen into the air, incorporating an ecological green in the home helps purify and promote a balanced space—bringing the outside, inside.”

4. PPG executives say Chinese Porcelain offers a way to escape today’s high-tech society: “Hand-selected by PPG’s global color experts, the shade is a blend of cobalt and moody ink blue that imparts calmness and restful sleep while also offering the spirit of hopefulness—a commodity in a restless world.” GP