Applying a new lick of paint to your walls is an excellent way to give your interiors a fresh-faced makeover. But which colour sample pots should you be buying, and what are the biggest paint trends for 2020?
Green is set to be the most popular colour overall for 2020. The hue embodies the increasing interest in connecting with nature in a technology-focused world.
See more paint trendsThese are the UK's most popular paint colours for every room
The Dulux Colour of the Year 2020, called Tranquil Dawn, highlights the popularity of the hue. 'A new decade heralds a new dawn and the hazy pale green tones of Tranquil Dawn are calming and comforting just when we need it most in our lives,' says Marianne Shillingford, creative director, Dulux UK. 'When paired with neutral pastels and rich jewels it becomes incredibly powerful at creating spaces that encourage making better human connections.'
Over at Benjamin Moore, the Colour of the Year 2020, called First Light, is a soothing soft-pink shade – another top hue that will be seen in interiors across the country.
THE TOP PAINT TRENDS 2020
We've teamed up with a host of colour experts to bring you the most exciting paint trends in the year ahead. Brushes at the ready...
1. CHOOSE A HERITAGE COLOUR
If Farrow & Ball’s Sap Green was food it would be the most delicious pea soup, true to its organic state, with layers of depth and a surprising intensity. In paint form it ticks the same boxes with its earthy appeal. Not surprising, as it was created in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, one of 16 new hues rooted in nature. The collection is inspired by Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, the breakthrough colour guide published in 1814, which helped Charles Darwin on his voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Balance this green with colours like stone and milky white for freshness or with accents of navy for extra drama.
See moreTile trends 2020 - from Art Deco to Moroccan, these are the surfaces you need to see
2. INTRODUCE WARM AND INVITING LOOK
Sophisticated and inviting, Sorrel from Bauwerk Colour brings in warmth and a cocooning feel. Its rich, textured caramel tones elevate it from just another brown, making it surprisingly tranquil, particularly in bedrooms. The earthy shade sets off the vibrancy in colours such as peony pink and apple green, but also highlights classic stone and white. It’s the perfect foil for ceramics, too, as shown here with the new Bayham collection from Neptune.
3. PLAY WITH A DARK AND DRAMATIC PALETTE
For instant grandeur and a nod to heritage, there are few colours that can match the timeless appeal of an inky blue. Edward Bulmer’s Indigo takes on an additional velvety feel, thanks to its natural pigments. This rich hue with its chalky finish provides the perfect backdrop to jewelled colours and print, but for understated chic mix with wood and white accents. Feeling braver? Add soft green pieces to lift a scheme and create an unexpected, smart look.
4. PAINT IN A PRETTY PINK
It’s inviting, uplifting and effortless to decorate with, so it’s no surprise that pink is now seen as an interiors neutral. But with choices from pastel to bubblegum, the right shade can prove a tricky quest – and that’s where Zoffany’s Tuscan Pink comes in. As its name implies, there’s an earthiness, recalling the natural landscape, that gives the colour warmth and depth and makes it a dream companion to other shades. This versatile hue adds freshness when used alongside classic furniture and impact in a more contemporary setting. Quite simply, it’s a pink for grown-ups.
5. OPT FOR A SKY BLUE
A shade that’s always been popular in the world of interiors, soft blue is set to be spring’s colour du jour. Powder Blue, the offering from Crown, has the quality of being both soothing and invigorating and offers plenty of design versatility. Used with crisp white, it creates a calming coastal feel, while as one block of colour it can be an enveloping breath of fresh air. Of course, its natural home is with other pastels, such as barely-there lemon and delicate pink, but for a more contemporary edge earthy shades like rust and terracotta will make this colour sing.
6. GO FOR THE GREEN FACTOR
The Dulux Colour of the Year 2020 is called Tranquil Dawn, and the soft-green hue is set to embody the nation’s mood on the approach of a new decade. Expert tastemakers, colour designers, and trend forecasters selected the colour as it reflects a growing desire to understand what it is to be human at a time when advances in technology are making us feel increasingly disconnected from each other.
Helen Shaw, Director of Benjamin Moore UK, agrees that green is THE colour in paint trends 2020, saying: ‘Green is a colour created organically within nature, it’s a colour that connects us to the environment, which many find soothing.‘This is a shade that works especially well in an urban, technology heavy home to create an earthiness and counteract the feeling of the ‘artificial’.
And Ruth Mottershead, of Little Greene, says: 'Green continues to be really popular and we see this trend projecting into the coming year.Green and pink is a natural colour pairing that is on trend within the interiors industry. More muted tones such as ‘Sir Lutyens’ Sage’ and ‘Blush’ combine perfectly for a scheme that both soothes and inspires.'
7. THINK (SOFT) PINK
The design experts at Benjamin Moore chose a beautiful dusky pink as the brand’s Colour of the Year 2020.
‘We selected First Light 2102-70 as our Colour of the Year 2020 to represent a new dawn of idealism, design and living,’ says Helen Shaw, director of Benjamin Moore UK. ‘First Light 2102-70 reflects a new definition of the home – a shift in mind set from the material to satisfying the core needs in life: community, comfort, security, self-expression, authenticity and ultimately, optimism.
‘Over the last few seasons, we have gradually seen neutrals with pink and red undertones taking over from our traditionally cooler grey neutrals and the selection of First Light as our Colour of the Year takes this evolving trend a step further.
‘It’s a soft and dusky rose tone that flatters any space and reflects the desire to use blush tones in grown-up spaces and a desire to introduce more colour overall into our environment.’
8. FACTOR IN NATURE AND NURTURE
An extension of the green colours sweeping in, connecting to nature will be a huge in paint trends for 2020. The paint palette reflects the colours of the forest, ranging from midnight oaks to vivid birch. It’s about evoking the therapeutic powers of nature, restorative health, wellbeing and self-nurture.
The colours are seen as a remedy for the modern condition, with increasing urbanity and a ubiquitous digital presence, we need our homes to be a space of solace.
Kathryn Lloyd, Crown colour specialist. says: ‘Originating from the Japanese philosophy of Shinrin-yoku, this trend is all about wellbeing through sensory immersion. Translated as Forest Bathing, shades of green dominate the palette whilst styling is heavily influenced by Japanese design. Low level furniture and an uncomplicated décor further convey a sense of calm.’
‘Drawing from nature, the colour palette is heavy in greens,’ says Justyna Korczynska, from the Crown design studio. ‘Never boring, though, with shades ranging from soft mint, through earthy tones of khaki green and mustard yellow, and ending on a deep jade green of Botanical Noir (top) for a statement wall.’
9. DARE TO GO SUSTAINABLY STYLISH
Forward-thinking and sustainable is how paint trends 2020 are set to be. Jemma Saunders, Crown colour specialist says: ‘Sustainability is key for 2020, and the trend’s colour palette has its roots in composite materials made from recycled waste. It brings interesting colour combinations to the palette with washed, recycled tones at its centre. Soft mint is undeniably a hero colour here. We paired it with glass bottle green and soft pink for a striking look.’
Justyna Korczynska, from the Crown design studio says: ‘Green is a prominent colour this year and we are showcasing two of them, one vibrant and intense, and one less demanding that sits quietly on the walls. Pops of pink and red accessories contrast and bring the trend to life. A fresh and energetic palette.’
10. REJECT TRADITION WITH ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM
Inspired by Lee Krasner, the female artist and wife of Jackson Pollock who became a pioneer in abstract expressionism, this trend is all about breaking preconceived rules, non-conformity and creativity.
Jemma Saunders, Crown colour specialist, says: ‘Reject traditions and restrictions within the interior space and create new boundaries and divisions with an exciting use of colour blocking.’
Use a dynamic colour palette and pair bold colours like cobalt blue and vibrant teal with soft mint, pale blue and delicate pink for creative colour combinations.
“This trend is all about self-expression through grown up colour,’ says Kathryn Lloyd, Crown colour specialist. ‘Energetic and full of life, it breaks away from tradition with architecture emphasised in contrasting colours. Conveyed through a palette of upbeat but sophisticated colours, cool shades dominate whilst complementary hues are shown in the furnishings and furniture and add vitality.’
11. EASE IN A NOSTALGIC INFLUENCE
The nostalgia trend is growing for 2020, with brands delving into archived products and vintage styles to create a new twist on a traditional style.
“The rich, regal hues favoured by the Tudor monarchs of the renaissance era have surged in popularity in recent month, including shades such as royal blue, ruby red and emerald green,' says Benjamin Moore's Helen Shaw.
‘This style statement has also been taken a step further by fashion forward consumers, being combined with a lustrous, high gloss finish to create a look that oozes luxury and opulence.
‘Those working with a space with existing period features, such as high ceilings and panelled walls, can paint these colours from floor to ceiling, to imitate the staple ‘more is more’ ethos of the Tudor era. Or, those with a space of any size can illustrate the desired imperial effect by accessorising with embellished, metallic decorative pieces and velvet cushions, throws and furnishings.’
The Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 has been named as Classic Blue, a regal hue that feeds into the comforting nostalgia trend.
Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball’s colour curator, says deep greens that have an air of nostalgia are perfect for replacing those charcoals we've all been using. She says: 'Duck Green is strong and subdued, but achingly fashionable.
'While having an air of nostalgia, it is the perfect contemporary alternative to charcoal in modern homes and is ideal to create space in which to curl up at the end of the day. Incredibly chic by day, and cosy by night, it brings a grounded but luxurious atmosphere to any room.'
12. LOOK TO AN ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN
Look to the beauty of the outdoors for inner beauty inspiration. Graham & Brown's Colour of the Year 2020, Adeline, is a directional shade of rich bottle-green that borrows the first name of Adeline Virginia Woolf, the pioneering author and founding member of the Bloomsbury Group.
The statement hue channels lively country gardens and whimsical interiors favoured by the group. An oxygenating fresh tone, Adeline balances the ever-increasing amount of technology making its way into the home, echoing a wider interiors trend that looks to biophilic design to inspire healthier, happier homes. It seems green really is the dream for paint trends 2020.
13. FLATTER WITH AN ALL-WHITE SCHEME
'We’ll be seeing plenty of neutrals and whites in paint trends for 2020, and for good reason – an all-white interior creates the illusion of a room being lighter, brighter and larger,' says Annie Sloan, colour and paint expert. 'As useful as it is, white is not an emotional colour, so you’ll need layers of texture and tones to bring depth and comfort. Use nuanced shades, from cool to warm, for a softer, more flattering look than a single, pure white.'
14. EVOKE ARTISAN LIVING
Inspired by artisan craft and slow living, interiors are embracing the understated beauty of imperfect, timeworn pieces and warm, calming shades.
Judy Smith, Crown colour consultant, says: ‘Warm tones of clay and terracotta make a palette that is purely natural. Paired with darker accents they create a scheme that champions imperfection and celebrates the handmade. The look is relaxed, simple, fluid colours working in harmony, mixing and blending into each other.’
Aim for an unrefined and rustic aesthetic to nail this trend, which is comforting and enveloping. Simple and versatile, the earthy palette works in any space, whether it’s a rustic kitchen or contemporary bedroom, and is particularly effective when combined with an ombre or sponge technique.
Organic materials, including rattan, bamboo and linen, paired with artisanal elements, like pottery, enhance the serene, pared-back feel of the colours and instantly create an inviting space to rest and regenerate.
See more: Carpet trends 2020 - the stylish new looks for fabulous floors