The new year always brings a flurry of activity and lots of excitement with the “color of the year.” The Pantone Color Institute proclaimed Classic Blue as the 2020 Color of the Year. Sherwin Williams named Naval, a rich navy, as their color of the year.

Blue is a safe choice. It’s the color chosen by the highest number of people as their favorite color. There are so many variations on blue – from baby blue to teal to bright, intense royal blue. You can use just one blue. Or you can mix and layer shades of blue. You can go with denim as your blue of choice and completely change the look and feel of an environment.

Studies tell us that blue is calming, and actually lowers the blood pressure. When using it in design, the color blue expands a space, making it seem larger. It communicates water, mountains, cool, fresh so it’s perfect for a beach home, a mountain cabin, or a little bungalow down the street.

What does this mean in our staging business? Generally, we recommend colors that neutralize an environment, working to create a calm and peaceful environment. We look for shades that help a space to feel larger, more cheerful, and up-to-date. Our goal is to select a palette that appeals to the largest number of people, in order to get home sold in less time.

For Set To Show Staging Specialists, blue becomes an accent color. It’s on trend. It’s popular. In turn it helps a home to feel updated, current, more valuable. When staging a home, we will introduce blue in artwork, accessories and fabrics. Or we suggest using an on trend blue as a paint choice, but in limited amounts.

How do we integrate color into our design decisions? I love using a deep blue in a powder bath, where you can have some fun with wall color and balance this with the vanity and a lighter countertop. Blue is also a fun accent for a kitchen island, laundry room cabinetry or a mudroom. I love to use a dark wall when there is a great piece of art to showcase. Additionally, you will see blues as a greater influence in the retail environment – lots of fun pillows, bedding and upholstery furniture will be at your fingertips.

Selecting the right shade of blue for your wall can be very challenging, so we always recommend that you pick up sample sizes from your local paint store. Paint an ample-sized square on each wall in the room to be painted - at least 24” x 24”. Then take note of how both natural and bulb lighting affects the color at morning, noon and night. I encourage clients to live with the color for a few days, before making a decision and ordering too much paint. A change in weather will completely change the look of a room, so anticipate your seasons.

Blues are difficult. I do this for a living and even I make mistakes with this particular color. Once, I very confidently and quickly selected a blue swatch for my boys’ bathroom. My husband, being a project guy and wanting to do something nice for me, ran out and bought a gallon of that blue. He quickly painted the bath to surprise us. And it was awful – way too bright and suffocating in such a small space.

As a result of that lesson, I often encourage clients to find their shade, maybe using a piece of fabric or a favorite accessory as their inspiration. Have your paint store match the color and then go one step lighter. It’s always easier to darken a wall than it is to lighten one.

Have fun with paint. It’s the easiest way to change your look, change your room, and change the feel of a space. It’s also the most affordable!