blue wallpaper room

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For 20 years, Pantone’s anticipated Colour of the Year has influenced design across the creative and lifestyle industries. Pantone recently announced its colour for 2020, Classic Blue, a timeless shade which summarises the spirit of our times. Naturally this news has a big impact on interior design, so we’ve taken a look at how to make the most of this evocative shade.

So what is a classic blue?

Classic Blue is a true blue, sitting in the middle of the spectrum between violet and green. This cobalt blue, being neither too warm or too cool, is just right for a number of design purposes. Usefully for interior design, Classic Blue is a very versatile colour, providing a solid, “anchoring foundation” and “elegant backdrop” to a wide range of colour palettes (Pantone 2019).

Incorporating Classic Blue at home

According to colour wheel theory, a harmonious scheme includes both analogous and complementary colours. Analogous, or similar, colours sit side by side in the colour wheel. Together they create a restful, natural-looking scheme with gentle contrasts. For Classic Blue, consider pale neutrals, whites, greys and cool but lighter blues.

For more noticeable contrast and interest – more oomph – introduce complementary colours, those opposing each other on the wheel. When balanced in the right way and with a foundation of neutrals, the impact can be dramatic. For Classic Blue, complementary colours worth considering include hot pink, jewel tones, bright oranges and yellows, gold, turquoise and black.

“Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color … Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge” (Pantone 2019).


Deeper blues work best in a room with plenty of natural light, otherwise there’s a chance the space will feel cold and gloomy. If natural light isn’t abundant in the room being decorated, complement the depth of colour with diffused light from the ceiling and a lovely warm light from lamps and sconces.

Room size

Introducing deeper, darker blues to smaller rooms isn’t to be shied away from. With enough light, dark blue can have the effect of making the room borders fade, resulting in a cosy and peaceful space. In larger rooms, unless a very moody and dramatic effect is your goal, don’t overdo dark blues. Instead, introduce them into a lighter, more airy scheme or as a complementary colour. If do you want drama, though, then go for it!

“A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience” (Pantone 2019).

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Window decor

As natural light plays to Classic Blue’s strengths, consider blinds and curtains in this colour, or as part of a patterned fabric. Window sills provide a perfect place for vases, glass bottles, flowers, candles and picture frames, the natural light providing a warm backdrop.

Furniture and accessories

Harmonise adjacent rooms by echoing Classic Blue throughout a space: cushions and lampshades are an easy way to do this and create a sense of rhythm and movement. Patterned fabrics and wallpapers are another way of injecting the accents of Classic Blue into your scheme, whilst also adding interest and movement. Find accessories that reflect your relationship with the colour. Whether it reminds you of the deep ocean or the night sky, enjoy it!

Image Credit: The Sunday Times

Doors and carpentry

Your front door is the heartbeat of your home. Its colour can transform the exterior of your home and set the tone for your interior scheme. A statement Classic Blue door can be achieved with a fresh lick of paint or a composite door in a similar colour.  Composite doors have taken the home improvement and design worlds by storm in recent years, with brands like Solidor (pictured below) offering dozens of colours and hardware finishes. Cobalt Blue from Solidor aligns itself perfectly with 2020’s colour of the year, and the prediction that pastels will be big throughout design, too.

Definition and impact is possible in the interior through woodwork, tiles and kitchen units.


Image credit: Solidor (

If you want Classic Blue in all its glory, we included some inspiration for you too. For a show-stopping but balanced interior, consider layering analogous blues alongside the Classic Blue. Create interest and movement with texture, pattern and scale. Consider introducing wallpaper and printed fabrics, with furniture and accessories providing accents of alternate colours.

In a world full of technology, bright lights and deadlines, Pantone’s Colour of the Year is a welcome antidote. And whilst we’ll be seeing Classic Blue everywhere (interiors, fashion, product design and tech, to name a few places), we think that’s a good thing. Where Pantone have chosen controversial colours in the past, Classic Blue is a popular and pleasing colour. And if it really does bring us peace of mind, then that’s a bonus!

So how about you? Will you be bringing Classic Blue into your home?