Naval is the new neutral.

By Lauren Phillips
September 23, 2019
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

It’s color of the year season, and all the best-known (and loved) paint brands are announcing their picks for 2020. These paint colors aren’t (always) the flashiest, most shocking hues; instead, they’re predictors of the direction decorating will take in the year to come. Though 2020 is still a few months off, paint companies are already announcing their selections, and Sherwin-Williams has just announced its 2020 color of the year: Meet Naval.

As far as Sherwin-Williams colors and color of the year picks go, Naval SW 6244 is a pretty good one. Some of this year's choices are super trendy and statement-making, but this one is easy to bring home and use almost everywhere. Blue is already a top paint color for any home, but this deep, rich hue is both bold and calming; it’s also striking, but in a way that isn’t off-putting. People will notice this paint color on the walls when they enter a home, but even if blue isn’t their favorite color, they’ll still appreciate the soothing atmosphere Naval helps create.

Last year’s Benjamin Moore Color of the Year was a pretty greige, a paint color that people might not initially notice, though they likely would feel a little calmer just from being near the color. Naval—with its resemblance to the night sky or the deep, calm ocean—will have the same thought-leveling effect, but it also grabs the eye.

Sherwin-Williams color of the year 2020 - naval wall paint

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

“Naval is where the glamour of Art Deco meets the serenity of a yoga studio, pairing the contemporary desire to treat ourselves with the practice of self-care,” reads the press release announcing the Sherwin-Williams color of the year 2020.

Naval certainly feels like a color that would have fit right in another era, but paired with modern furnishings, it can feel contemporary, too. Sherwin-Williams suggests surrounding the color with luxe finishes (think marble and metallics) for a more high-end look or with warm leather tones, greenery, and other natural materials to create an oasis.

If you’re tired of all-white spaces, or even spaces that just feel a little too washed-out, Naval is the new neutral to try. Black and white are traditionally referred to as neutrals, but in the fashion world, navy has been a neutral for a few years now, and the paint color world is catching up. Use this sleek navy paint color on the walls, on trim (interior or exterior), as a ceiling shade (only with light walls), or a cabinet color—it can go anywhere. And, thanks to its role as a neutral, it can fit in with any decor style when presented with the right furniture and decor.

Sherwin-Williams color of the year 2020 - naval bedroom wall paint

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

For a cozy, near-kitschy look, pair Naval with chalk paint colors on furniture or lots of soft, worn woods; for a more polished one, use Naval on the walls with white trim and traditional furnishings. Add rattan and nautical decor for a coastal feel, or all-white and gray furnishings for a room that feels like your own personal meditation space. There’s really nothing Naval can’t do—it’s practically a color of the year superhero, and this paint color (and similar shades) is sure to pop up in homes, offices, and more for years to come.

To learn more about Naval, the Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2020, and how to use this new neutral in your home, head to your local Sherwin-Williams store or check it out online.

RELATED: Behr Paint Colors: Behr Color of the Year 2020

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