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What’s the Color Forecast for 2020? Sassiness, Serenity, Fire and Water


Beautiful Sunset to illustrate Lush Lava, a 2020 color of the year.The color forecast for 2020 is out and follows the tradition of annual color trend predictions announced by paint companies, design websites, and fashion magazines.

Typically, these colors are meant to represent something significant going on in the world. And since each company sees the world differently, each one determines a specific color, shade or palette that sets the stage for home and interior design. In 2020, they all set out to embrace the spirit of the new decade.

Why is color so important in a home?

Color is such an emotional element, especially when it comes to your home. It plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Color can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. When used in the right ways, color can even save on energy consumption.

The number one reason homeowners look for a new paint color on their walls and elsewhere is to change the mood or feeling of a space. Whether you want to make a space feel more energetic, more relaxing or more open, color has the power to make that transformation happen.

READ: Santa Barbara Luxury Home Sellers Listen Up: Color Can Make a Big Difference in Your Final Sale Price

What the Experts Choose for 2020

 Here is a list of what the major color trendsetters say to look out for in the coming year:

  • For 2020, Benjamin Moore chose First Light 2102-70, a soft, rosy hue blooming with potential, making it the perfect backdrop for a bright new decade.
  • Sherwin-Williams chose Naval SW 6244, a rich navy that creates a calm and grounding environment infused with quiet confidence.
  • Rather than settling for just one paint shade, Valspar is taking it to the next level by revealing its 2020 Colors of the Year. These shades create spaces that make us feel serene and pampered, allowing us to enjoy a big night in.
  • The 12 nature-inspired shades are all quite practical, and to prove this to shoppers, Behr chose Back to Nature, a restorative and revitalizing green hue that engages the senses and pairs well with other colors both inside and outside your home.
  • Pantone, the leading color categorizing company, selected Pantone 19-4502 Classic Blue to usher in the next decade as a “reassuring presence” in these troubled times. The company says the color is a symbol of “protection, stability, peace, and confidence, meant to encourage deep thinking, open mindfulness, and communication,”

Shutterstock’s 2020 Selection

This year Shutterstock jumped into the game with a color forecast for 2020. As one of the most popular online platforms creative professionals use to find world-class content and innovative tools, the platform boasts more than 250 million images, with 200,000 more added every day.  They chose Lush Lava, Aqua Menthe, and Phantom Blue as the three 2020 colors that will be popping up everywhere.

READ: Ocean View Homes are Good for Our Health

The popular platform explains it this way: “Color is a simple, yet powerful form of messaging. It portrays a wide range of emotions without so much as a word or image. Color can highlight something important or just as easily disguise something insignificant. It can invoke the past, inform the present, and inspire the future. The role color plays in our visual world is so absolute that its power is hard to overestimate.”

Driven by creativity, Shutterstock knows how intrinsic color is to design. They serve clients in the marketing and messaging world who set the stage each year for what the rest of us will see.

To discover exactly which colors are on the rise, Shutterstock sorted through customer downloads and analyzed hundreds of billions of pixel data to create its color forecast for 2020. From there, the platform mapped each pixel to their closest named hex code to determine which colors had the greatest growth over the year.

According to the website, these are the show-stealing colors that showcase the current trend towards maximalism and saturated hues.

  • Lush Lava

Pictured above, this is a bold and fiery orange-red that can’t help but demand attention. It is a blending of blazing orange and rich red: both eye-catching hues. They remind me of the brilliant glow of our stunning Montecito and Santa Barbara sunsets combined with the burning embers of a roaring fireplace. The bottom line is, this vibrant hue isn’t afraid to confidently stand out in a crowd.

This is an exciting color that easily catches the eye; immediately drawing your attention. Culturally, this shade represents happiness, love, and good health in Asian countries.

  • Aqua Menthe

water to illustrate the color Aqua Menthe Rooted in its sparkling semi-precious origins, this sparkling color is reminiscent of the luxurious ocean we enjoy here in Santa Barbara and Montecito. This bright hue evokes ‘look at me now’ in a decidedly calm way.

Aqua Menthe is a mix of two pleasing colors, cyan and mint. Together these hues become an even more stunning shade. Just look at our crystal-clear ocean and you’ll see why this is such a popular shade this year.

It’s a bright, yet serene tone, perfect for conveying a playful, modern, and outgoing personality. Santa Barbara and Montecito homeowners might use it as an accent or as a main color. Feel free to splash this tropical shade wherever you like.

  • Phantom Blue

As night falls, a woman sitting on a bench surrounded by the color Phantom BlueIf you’ve seen van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in person, then you know about this deeply saturated indigo-navy used to perfectly illustrate the dramatic skies around a glowing moon.

In 2020, Santa Barbara homeowners can use it to make just as striking a statement with its sophisticated allure. This shade mesmerizes the eye with its rich depth.

Darker tones like this communicate stability, trustworthiness, and sophistication. You’ll find the color striking on its own, but it’s also the perfect companion for pops of bright throughout your home. Consider contrasting colors such as the aforementioned Lush Lava and Aqua Menthe. The versatile hue is booming in Australia, Germany, and Spain.

When it comes to the color forecast for 2020, any of the color trends are a perfect choice for your home’s interior or exterior design. And if you’re considering listing your home, keep in mind one of the most important steps is to freshen your property for a sale.

If that’s you, please contact me. As a leading Santa Barbara Realtor and resident for many years, I have valuable insight into the current local real estate market. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new home, chances are you’ll want to consider having that one painted as well. 

In fact, I might have the home of your dreams in my portfolio of current listings. Just give me a call at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at 


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