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2019 Colors of the Year

Today’s hottest colors, from soft to vibrant to moody, offer something for every taste

Written by Tara Larson

Each year, Pantone names its Color of the Year after thoughtful consideration and worldwide trend analysis. The Pantone color experts describe this year’s pick, "Living Coral" (PANTONE 16-1546), as “vibrant yet mellow, embracing us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.” 

The buoyant pick, Pantone says, comes in reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media that’s increasingly embedded into daily life. “We are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy,” Pantone says. “Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity.”

Pantone’s choice, however, is far from the only option when it comes to this year’s trending colors.

Benjamin Moore, for example, chose a silvery gray, "Metropolitan" AF-690, as its color pick. It’s described by Benjamin Moore color and design expert Hannah Yeo as exuding beauty and balance while remaining comforting, composed, and effortlessly sophisticated. It’s part of a coordinating palette of 15 hues, titled Color Trends 2019, that includes jewel-like “Beau Green,” as well as softer tones of blush and ivory. 

“For 2019, our research signaled for a calm, peaceful color,” says Yeo. “We observed a shift where quietude and a retreat from noise and chaos seemed to pervade the mood. There’s a need to pause and enjoy the calm, the peacefulness and the quietness.”

Sherwin-Williams also brought forth an entire palette for 2019, gathering 42 trend colors into a master palette, then arranging them into six color personalities to create the Colormix Color Forecast 2019. From that mix, they chose warm, earthy “Cavern Clay” SW7701 as their color of the year .

“Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in,” says Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, Sue Wadden. “Envision beaches, canyons and deserts, and sun-washed late summer afternoons—all of this embodied in one color,” she says.

Behr went a different direction for their color of the year, choosing a shade of always-popular blue. “Blueprint” S470-5 is a mid-tone blue, warmer than denim yet less formal than navy blue, and is part of each of Behr’s 2019 Trends Palettes.

“Many would say blue is the world’s favorite color,” says Erika Woelfel, VP of Color and Creative Services at Behr Paint Company. “Blueprint is strong and grounded, commanding attention without becoming overwhelming. You don’t have to be a risk-taker to incorporate this hue into your space. We expect to see this hue permeating the home decor and design industry in 2019.”

Reflecting the growing trend toward deep hues, PPG chose “Night Watch” PPG1145-7 as their color of the year. The deep green is described as a rich, luxurious, and classic shade allowing spaces to emulate the feeling of lush greenery and the healing power of nature. The shade is included in PPG’s 2019 Color Trend category.

“Night Watch is about bringing the healing power from the outdoors into your home through color,” says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager. “The dark green hue pulls our memories of natural environments to the surface to recreate the calming, invigorating euphoria we feel when in nature.”