Introducing the Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2021 – and three ways to use it

Add some smart sophistication to your scheme with Urbane Bronze, Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2021

(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams)

You know those bold, headline-grabbing colors that send the media into a frenzy, but you could never really imagine using in your home? Well, say a big hello to Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2021, the super smart and sophisticated shade that everyone is bound to love.

Learn more about color theory and how to use color here


(Image credit: Vintage Revivals)

 Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2021

Named Urbane Bronze SW 7048, this rich, warming shade lends a confident air of calm and comfort to a scheme which, in the current climate, is a very welcome addition to any home. 

As Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams says: 'The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world and color is an easy and effective way to create a personal haven. Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal.'


(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams)

Because of its gray undertones, Urbane Bronze has a chameleon effect, depending on how much daylight it receives. In cold light, it edges toward becoming an almost blue-tinted gray-brown, while in warmer light the bronze edge shines through.

'Urbane Bronze is a comforting color, drawing from nature for a feeling of relaxation and serenity,' continues Wadden. 'There’s also reassurance in its sentimentality, with nostalgic ties to the design of the ‘70s and ‘90s, but with gray undertones that give it a distinctly modern twist.'

How to use the Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2021 in your home

Need inspiration? Here are three ways to introduce Urbane Bronze to your scheme

1. Use it on kitchen cabinetry


(Image credit: John McClain Design/Native House Photography)

Try painting your kitchen cabinets in Urbane Bronze tor infuse the space with a gorgeous, grown-up vibe. 

'Complement the simplicity of Urbane Bronze with natural materials, like wood finishes and a variety of mixed metals to create a serene space grounded in nature,' recommends Wadden.

Here, the rich shade adds a sartorially handsome finish to the cabinetry which contrasts beautifully with pale colored walls and elegant ivory-tinted drawer pulls. Thanks to the gray undertones in Urbane Bronze, the stainless steel appliances blend in effortlessly, while honey-hued wooden flooring adds a welcome dose of warmth to a space.

2. Paint a striking bedroom backdrop


(Image credit: Thistlewood Farms)

Bring some focus to your bedroom by using Urbane Bronze as an accent colour and painting the wall behind the headboard.  Better still, install some paneling on the wall first to add visual variety, then cover the surface in the warm, cozy shade. 

Layer the bed with a host of super soft throw pillows made from natural woven textiles in a variety of textures. This provides a visual contrast to the darker shade while making the bed look incredibly inviting.

3. Create a cozy, cocooning hallway


(Image credit: John McClain Design/Stephen Allen Photography)

A large cold hallway or stairwell would definitely benefit from being painted in Urbane Bronze. Contrast the deep colored walls with crisp white ceilings and woodwork for impact and introduce a pale-coloured pendant or chandelier to the space.

Finally, if you have the space, add some plant in stone colored planters - the vivid greenery will pop against the deep backdrop of bronze.

Want more decorating inspiration? Take a look at our easy paint ideas here.

Ginevra Benedetti
Contributing Editor

Ginevra Benedetti is Associate Editor on the Homes Content Team at Future. She has been writing about interiors for the past 16 years on the majority of Britain’s monthly interiors titles, such as Ideal Home, Country Homes & Interiors and Style at Home, as well as Livingetc and of course, Homes & Gardens. This naturally lead her into writing for websites like