After the first half-dozen annual color predictions, it’s easy to dismiss any latecomers—after all, how many “it” shades can there be? But Etsy’s 2021 Color of the Year deserves a closer look. For one, their pick is data-backed, providing a revealing look at where we are collectively (spoiler: in desperate need of a little zen). And for two, it’s the kind of universally appealing shade that’d work with just about any style, whether your tastes skew Shabby Chic revivalist or Japandi minimalist.
So, drumroll please: Etsy’s 2021 Color of the Year is…sky blue. The online marketplace saw a 39 percent rise in searches for light blue and sky blue items in the last three months of 2020, and they’re only expecting that number to rise, given the pandemic-riddled year we all went through.
Why sky blue in particular? It gives people the sense that “hope is on the horizon … while offering tranquility and further connecting us to nature,” says Etsy’s resident trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson.
Plus, it’s easy to work into your décor. Such a muted, dusty blue is almost a neutral, so it can work with just about any color scheme or style. And there’s a good chance you’re already decorating with blue in some capacity—after all, a YouGov study found that it’s the most popular color in 10 countries (the U.S. included).
With a matte finish, it’s mellow enough to be the primary color in a room, but if you’re concerned about it feeling a little well, nursery-like, work it in as an accent, following the 60-30-10 rule: 60 percent of the room in a primary color, 30 percent secondary and 10 percent accent color to make things pop, like this brighter-days-ahead shade. Here are a few easy ways to incorporate it in your home.
1. Ice Blue Linen Tablecloth
If you can’t cook like Ina Garten, covering your tablecloth in a nod to her famous chambray is fine. (Plus, if you tire of the color, you can yank it off your table and update your dining room. It doesn’t get easier than that.)
2. Modern Ceramic Blue Vase
You could literally grab a twig from your backyard and make it look like an objet d’art with this sculptural stunner.
3. NOMI Pottery Bowls
While these bowls are designed for tea ceremonies—making your morning matcha ritual that much more special—they’re the perfect size for a cup of soup or mid-day snack. Cheez-Its never looked so chic.
4. Schumacher Light Blue Brushstrokes Pillow Cover
A little pattern livens up your sofa, and in this neutral-ish color combo, it’s pretty much guaranteed to complement whatever you’ve got going on. Plus, each cover is handcrafted and can be customized to fit your existing pillows.
5. Sky Blue Linen Duvet Cover
Change your bedding, change the entire vibe of your room. This rumpled linen gives you permission to barely make your bed, all while achieving that casual-yet-luxe-breakfast-in-bed look posted by every Instagram influencer (ever).
6. Blue Aragonite Crystals
You don’t have to commit to charging these stones under a full moon to appreciate them—a few clustered in a small dish on your coffee table or bookshelf can provide a laid-back dose of color.
7. Sky and Sea Painting
Why not lean into the sky blue theme with a painting that literally invokes the name of the shade? Sizes start at 16 by 20 inches, going all the way up to 40 by 60, if you’re looking for an over-the-sofa statement piece.
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