As the year winds down, Southerners everywhere are focusing on fall. Pumpkin spiceis in the air, ghoulish decorations on the porch, and—come Saturdays—you can bet college football is on the TV.
But, for design junkies, fall is also a time to celebrate another set of winners: the new year’s “it” hues. Every season, color experts shake up their crystal balls to deliver an early glimpse into what we’ll all be craving in our homes and closets next year. While we’re still anxiously awaiting the prediction from Pantone—widely considered the ultimate authority on color trends—paint brands from Behr to Sherwin-Williams have already delivered their forecasts.
And judging by their “Color of the Year” picks, if there’s one thing we can definitely say bye-bye to in 2020, it’s boring beige and underwhelming eggshell. From a whimsical blush to a rich navy, 2020’s trending shades may differ in pigment, but they seem to all share the same mission: to give the neutrals of yesteryear a shake-up.
That’s evident in the Color of the Year choice from HGTV Home, Romance, a “posh blush pink with a slight apricot influence.” According to the brand, the soft shade “captures the balance of optimism and calmness we desire at home” and “creates the perfect backdrop to glam accessories and artwork for maturity and sophistication.” A natural segue from the Millennial Pink craze of the early 2010s, Romance as a neutral can be toned up or down alongside a rainbow of colors (try a deep jewel tone like HGTV Home’s Island Time for a glam and totally trend-forward take).
But pink isn’t the only neutral trend experts are banking on for 2020. Over at Behr, forecasters crowned Back to Nature—a mossy green aimed at inspiring mindfulness—as their haute hue for the new year. Chosen for its connection to the outdoors and design versatility, Back to Nature boasts a “universal appeal and willingness to coexist with other hues that make it a great option for adding peace and tranquility to any space,” says the brand. Like Romance, Back to Nature can lean sweet and subdued or dark and dramatic depending on what you pair it with—try like-minded greens and blues for the former, and contrasting pops of charcoal and white for the latter.
Perhaps the boldest take on a new neutral, however, comes from Sherwin-Williams. To usher in the dawn of a new decade, the paint giant selected Naval as its number-one shade, citing its nod to the opulence of Art Deco and its reflection of nature as the perfect balance between confidence and calm. While splashing navy on your walls might seem a bolder move than covering them in, say, greige, consider the fact that navy has been a classic in the wardrobe for decades. And just as you’d reach for it as freely as a pair of jeans from your closet, so too can you reach for a can of navy paint.
Naval, after all, plays well with a long list of colors, textures, and styles, says Sherwin-Williams. “Pair Naval with natural materials, such as warm leather tones, vibrant greenery, and woven fiber rugs to create a calming oasis in your home,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. She adds, “Naval can play easily into any mood you’re trying to create … It’s a truly versatile color that will be on trend and appealing for years to come.”
WATCH: This is Behr's 2020 Color of the Year
A trio of anything-but-basic neutrals? We spy a room makeover in our future.