Sherwin-Williams’ 2019 Color of the Year Is So Down to Earth

Sherwin-Williams is the latest paint brand to take a stab at predicting color trends for next year. While their 2018 color of the year was as cool and deep as the ocean, the company is notably heating things up for 2019, and adding a healthy dose of nostalgia while they’re at it.

Meet Cavern Clay (SW 7701), a “sun-washed terra cotta” that’s a “blend of timeless mid-century modern style and the rich and earthy American southwest.”

“We believe 2019 will be a renaissance of the 1970s—with a twist. In the coming year, we will embrace our pioneering spirits and artisan ingenuity,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing, Sherwin-Williams. “Our 2019 Color of the Year, Cavern Clay, embodies renewal, simplicity and free-spirited, bohemian flair.”

We chatted with Wadden via email to get a little more background on this year’s COTY. [This conversation has been minimally edited.]

Apartment Therapy: 2018’s COTY, Oceanside, was a cool, deep teal— what do you think has changed from 2018 to 2019 to flip to the other side of the color spectrum?

Sue Wadden: I wouldn’t say it’s a flip from 2018 to 2019, but a shift overall into explorations of great color! Over the last few seasons, we’ve been so focused on minimalism and neutrals. Now, I feel like we’re rediscovering the power of beautiful hues. Oceanside was cool and deep, inspired by water, whereas Cavern Clay is warm and elemental, rooted in the Earth.

AT: This year’s color has definite desert vibes. Is the Southwest a big style source for 2019?

SW: Yes, I think that a southwestern vibe is setting the tone for Cavern Clay. Our inspiration for this color journey started on the runway last December with French designers and the American Western style they were celebrating. It’s exciting to see how fashion can transition to home with an expression of Desert Modern style!

AT:You mention that Cavern Clay has roots in 70s style, too. Do you think avocado and burnt orange could be on their way back?

SW: I do see the extension of Cavern Clay into a look back at Avocado and Burnt Orange (Cavern Clay). This 1970s nostalgia is made contemporary with clean lines and modern shapes.

AT:Would you categorize Cavern Clay as a neutral? Why or why not?

SW: I wouldn’t classify Cavern Clay as a neutral, it’s more like a great coordinating color, as terra-cotta goes with everything. Cavern Clay is incredibly versatile and goes with many design styles.

What do you think of Cavern Clay? Tell us in the comments!

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