Hello, sailor.

By Susan Hall Mahon
September 24, 2019

Fall may have just begun, but color forecasters have been looking ahead to 2020 for months already. Paint company Sherwin-Williams is going nautical with Naval, its 2020 color of the year pick. The rich blue evokes deep seas and “strikes a balance between calm and confident,” according to the company.

Sherwin-Williams joins other prominent paint companies in their proclivity toward cool, nature-inspired shades for the new year. PPG named Chinese Porcelain, an inky cobalt blue, as its 2020 color of the year, while Behr crowned Back to Nature, a mossy green, its upcoming “it” hue.


Naval’s ocean-going properties make it a natural for homes with coastal style, whether it’s splashed on an accent wall, vanity, or kitchen cabinets.

And because Naval can be thought of as a "new neutral," the potential for pairing it is nearly limitless.

“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 Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.


The selection of Naval is inspired by a shift toward interior design that considers the way a room makes us feel, according to the company.

“People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being,” Wadden says. “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.”

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Wadden predicts that in the next decade color trends will shift away from traditional neutrals and toward bolder hues and design that feels more personal.

“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.”

Related: The Best Coastal Design Tips of All Time:

With trend predictions like this, 2020 is already looking bright and beachy.