Pantone’s color of the year for 2020 is Classic Blue, and if that comes as a surprise, you probably haven’t been paying attention! This bold, not-quite-primary blue has been skyrocketing in popularity in the last year, especially for use on cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. As homeowners have moved away from monochromatic white designs, they’ve started dabbling in color schemes with more contrast. Often, that’s meant a lot of gray and black, but Classic Blue bathroom vanities offer a more vibrant (and slightly less stark) alternative.
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The most common place I’ve been seeing classic blue bathroom vanities is in updated farmhouse or cottage style bathrooms, where you would traditionally see nothing but white and more white. That’s because changing a white vanity or pedestal sink out for a cabinet done in classic blue is more than enough to cause a dramatic change in the look and feel of your space – even without altering any other elements. Blue is a bold color, especially on a white backdrop, and this shade is dark enough to provide a similar amount of contrast to black or dark gray paint, making the look pop.
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Blue is also a popular choice for a farmhouse or cottage style bathroom because a slightly-darker navy blue is already a natural pair for Cape Cod style bathrooms, which are otherwise very similar in color schemes and fixture styles. While a lot of blue can send you too far into that nautical theme, the bathroom vanity on its own borrows instead from the Cape Cod style’s feel of an upscale, luxurious vacation home, lending a touch of sophistication and elegance to an otherwise homey small-space decor.
In the kitchen, blue islands have become a popular way to offset white cabinets without having to reface your entire kitchen, and blue bathroom vanities serve a similar function. If you recently underwent a big remodel that involved, say, a lot of white subway tile (you’re far from alone!) and are regretting the stark color scheme, replacing (or repainting) your white vanity with a classic blue one turns just-another-white-fixture into a colorful statement piece, not only offsetting the rest of the decor, but drawing attention to itself and brightening up your space. Time has shown that just about anything that interrupts an all-white color scheme can improve it, and if you have tiled walls, it’s often one of the least invasive ways to do it.
Not all classic blue bathroom vanities fall into this relatively limited cottage-cum-Cape-Cod style, though. While Shaker style vanities are the most popular right now regardless of what color you choose, they’re far from the only options. So if you want to double down on turning your vanity into a statement piece, don’t just look for a unique color, but look for at least one other unusual design element as well – whether that’s an unconventional shape, drawer/cabinet layout, woodwork, material, texture, or finish. While certainly on the rarer side, if you do a little hunting, you can find vanities that are a little outside the box…while still sticking with this trendy-yet-timeless color.
Classic blue bathroom vanities also don’t have to be reserved just for smaller bathrooms. While the Cape Cod look is an easy one to borrow from with a blue-and-white color scheme, there are also plenty of bigger blue bathroom vanities out there. Like kitchen islands, these larger vanities are a bold and prominent addition to your bathroom. What I really like about the color, though, is that it’s close enough to a primary blue to be eye-catching, but dark and deep enough not to be overly assertive or overwhelming. Even on a relatively large and central piece of furniture, it’s a blue that feels classy (and, of course, classic!) rather than edgy and modern or, worse, childish.
Which brings me back around to the reason that Pantone chose this color for 2020 in the first place: it’s a color that you’d expect to have a bold impact, but that’s surprisingly familiar and soothing when you actually decorate with it. Classic Blue sits comfortably right smack dab in the middle of the range from primary blue to navy, which means you get all the relaxing, soothing effects of being exposed to the color blue, but packaged in a way that it meshes well with neutral colors – whether it’s the white that overwhelmingly dominated bathroom design in the last few years, or shades of light wood, beige, gray, or even black.
Classic Blue is a vibrant, colorful-color that masquerades as an almost-neutral, making it the perfect shade to infuse a little life into your bathroom (especially a white one!) in a way that’s relatively risk-free. While many of Pantone’s color of the year picks are daring, Classic Blue is a timeless shade that can elevate your bathroom design…and won’t expire at the end of 2020!