1. Rocket Homes
  2. Blog
  3. Homeowner Guide
  4. Pantone’s Color Of The Year 2020

Pantone’s Color Of The Year 2020

Hanna KielarJanuary 04, 2020

Life's no fun without a splash of color. Color trends like the psychedelic palette of the ’60s and the bright neon shades of the ’80s have marked their places across history. Since the early 2000s, forecasting the color of the year has been a popular competition amongst paint and fashion companies, especially Pantone. Once the "it" color has been selected, you'll find it spread well, everywhere ... across clothing lines, makeup collections, home decor and even technology, influencing our daily shopping choices.

The Pantone Color Of The Year

Recently, Pantone's Color of the Year 2020 was announced as "Classic Blue." And nothing is more tranquil than staring into a deep blue sky. Pantone's color of the year was characterized as restful, dependable and evoking reassurance. It's no wonder that this time-honored hue was chosen for its relaxing presence in a time of prone to worry and questioning. Leatrice Eisman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, expressed that this reliable shade was chosen to "encourage us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking, challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication."

What Does  ‘Color Of The Year’ Mean?

For nearly 20 years, the Pantone Color Institute's "Color of the Year" has been the go-to guide for color marketing experts. Each year, a color is chosen as a trendsetter of the times. Hopeful companies flock to integrate the new "it" color into their products with the chance of making more sales. Meanwhile, these products make their way into the spotlight via celebrities and social media, and into our homes through shoe collections, car models, and even lipstick shades. Needless to say, the allure of forecasting such a color trend comes with its own reward.

How Is The Color Of The Year Determined?

The Pantone Color Institute determines the color of the year through painstaking debates over swatches that best capture the cultural spirit, or zeitgeist, of the times. This covert selection process typically involves a private rendezvous of color marketing experts with a dramatic reveal near the close of the year, many times in December. Other companies, such as the Color Marketing Group, approach the decision through a series of meetings that lead to selecting four main pigments for specific world regions, including North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. CMG deliberations are often lengthy and involve numerous meticulously crafted presentations and complex analyses by top gurus, and the selection process is filled with conversations about trends in the entertainment industry, politics, technology, fashion, and even social issues.

Past Colors Of The Year

Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has compiled a list of 20 stellar hues ranging from Cerulean to Ultra Violet. Over the last decade, this list included:

•    2010 - Turquoise

•    2011 - Honeysuckle

•    2012 - Tangerine Tango

•    2013 - Emerald

•    2014 - Radiant Orchid

•    2015 - Marsala

•    2016 - Rose Quartz & Serenity

•    2017 - Greenery

•    2018 - Ultra Violet

•    2019 - Living Coral

In 2010, Pantone's talk of tropical skies and an inviting paradise beckoned us with "Turquoise" followed by "Honeysuckle," a confidence-boosting pink hue in 2011. Then in 2012, the seductive and passionate "Tangerine Tango" found its way onto the world stage pursued closely by a lively "Emerald Green," giving us growth and harmony in 2013.

"Radiant Orchid," a fuchsia and purple hybrid, was all the rage on the red carpet in 2014, while the earthiness of wine-inspired "Marsala" swept the country in 2015. One notable year was 2016, which was the only time that two different shades were chosen, "Serenity" and "Rose Quartz." Then in 2017, came "Greenery," which rang of everyone's desire for renewal and revitalization. Next came "Ultra Violet," which was cited as being selected for inventiveness in 2018. And in 2019, the color of the year was "Living Coral," a bright and playful pigment encouraging connection and intimacy. With so many hues, you can only imagine the intense debates these color experts have when selecting the best shade of the year!

Other Paint Companies' Choices For Color Of The Year 2020

Much different from Pantone's Color of the Year 2020, Benjamin Moore's choice was a soft and rosy pink pigment named "First Light," reminiscent of springlike cherry blossoms and said to be chosen due to its bright and optimistic hope for the future.

Sherwin William's bold "Naval" shade, a darker and deeper blue than Pantone's, was selected for its call to better health and confidence in the coming year.

Even Behr came out to compete (this is its third year participating) with its green hue called "Back To Nature," nodding to the growing sustainability movement. Besides Sherwin Williams, many paint companies opted for lighter shades, but most hailed the need for hope in the coming decade as a recurring theme in the selection process.

How To Incorporate The Color Of The Year Into Your Home

Get inspired and creative with Pantone's Color of the Year 2020! For your living room home decor, be on the lookout for accent pieces like throw pillows, art pieces, vases, or lampshades. If you're the DIY type, consider painting a wall as an accent or repainting your side table or drawers. In your kitchen, go for a more elegant look with some classic dinnerware with deep blue floral patterns. Relaxation will be your bedroom mantra with a patterned blue rug like this Adara Rug from Pottery Barn and faux fur throw pillows from Overstock. You can revitalize an old bathroom by simply switching up old towels for luxurious new blue ones or change out the shower curtain for one with a blue patterned print. Whatever your style is, the sky’s the limit with "Classic Blue."


Colors have inspired us throughout each generation with art, entertainment and fashion. After nearly two decades of choosing the color of the year, it just goes to show that the Pantone Color Institute knows what they're doing, and now that you know, you'll be able to nab this year's trendiest home decor color ideas before everyone else. Thankfully, Pantone's Color of the Year 2020 "Classic Blue" is easy on the eyes and quick to integrate into your home decor with simple tweaks like accent shades, patterned artwork and classic dinnerware. And while you're busy pinning your starry blue color palette on Pinterest, don't forget to take a deep breath and relax knowing that when it comes to home, we've got you covered.

Table of Contents

    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is an Associate Section Editor for Rocket Companies focused on personal finance, recruiting and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.