Sherwin Williams has just announced their ‘Colour of the Year’ for 2020 and it’s a shade I’m quite fond of…Naval!

Sherman Williams Naval

You see, I painted an accent wall in my home this colour nearly two years ago. I’d be patting myself on the back right now but it’s tough to do while typing. ‘Naval’  was the colour chosen to welcome us into a new decade and it’s quite a handsome choice. But what is colour of the year and what does it mean for you? It’s all about marketing and depending on how keen you are to follow design trends, it can mean as little or as much as you’d like.

Sherwin Williams is one of several paint companies that selects a colour of the year. In recent years even lifestyle brands have gotten in on the action declaring their very own colours of the year. With so many to choose from on a yearly basis it may seem like the importance of these choices has dwindled, but they actually influence design in significant ways.

Naval Colour Of The YearHave you ever seen the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada”? If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and go and watch it immediately! Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, high fashion, and a great soundtrack, need I say more? In the film, Andy laughs when the fashion elite with whom she’s surrounded have a serious debate over a shade of teal, cerulean to be exact. She’s then informed in spectacular tear down fashion that the decision made in that room affects her life in more ways than she knows. The trickle-down effect (high to low) means she could easily end up wearing the shade for seasons to come because of the decision made by the people in the room she laughs at for obsessing over the shade of teal blue.



Incorporating Naval In Your Home

In a similar way, the colours selected by different paint manufacturers will influence what happens in interior design, even if you choose to ignore them. Popular furniture lines may decide to start covering furniture in complementary fabrics or start manufacturing pillows and throws in the shade. Interior designers try to up one another in editorial spreads to see who can use the colour in more interesting ways. From bedroom walls to kitchen cupboards to painting out the trim to match, the colours chosen are representative of current trends and will undoubtedly influence future ones.

Naval Furniture

Does this mean you need to choose from one of the many colours of the year when choosing your next paint colour? Absolutely not, but it never hurts to know them if for no other reason than to have a swatch of colours to use as a starting point, especially if you’re easily overwhelmed by choice when choosing paint colours. I like to follow only a few brands and ignore the rest, as I too can get overwhelmed. Pantone, Farrow and Ball, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore are all on my shortlist. If you look at the colours these paint manufacturers chose for 2019 you have a pretty sexy palette from which to plan a space. Pantone chose ‘living coral’ which is pretty self-explanatory. Farrow and Ball chose ‘sulking room pink’ which is a moody, greyish, pink. BM chose ‘Metropolitan’, a cool grey, and SW chose Cavern Clay– think terracotta. They all remain relevant colour choices that I’ve seen reflected in lines from Structube, West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware to name a few. So while you may or may not be falling in love with Sherwin Williams’ choice for 2020, it’s safe to say it will be a relevant colour for the foreseeable future.

Naval Colour of the Year Sherman Williams

If you’re not in love with ‘Naval’ however, let me tell you why you should be! First of all, it’s moody, rich, and makes a statement. It pairs well with so many colours. It’s basically a dark neutral and will look amazing with light or dark floors, especially with thick light trim. I covered my wall with gold frames and a large mirror and the backdrop of a deep navy is what pulls it all together. It’s sophisticated, timeless, and we’ll likely be seeing it around for some time. In a decade or two it might be the new ‘dusty rose’ from the 90’s sure, but why not enjoy it while we can?


Kiel has been a member of the BREL team for three years and a designer for UPstaging since its founding in 2019. As a McMaster alumnus in Communication and Design at George Brown, he soon made his life-long dream of spending other people’s money…err.. we mean decorating… into reality with the BREL team! When he’s not staging homes, he can be found searching the Junction for vintage furniture and unique accessories


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