Magpie Anthology

The Colours of 2020

A new year and a new decade are in full swing and whether you’re about to start some much-needed spring cleaning or are looking for décor inspiration, these are the colours that will be big in 2020! For each new hue, I’ve brought together some of my favourite décor pieces for a bit of design inspiration.

Behr Back to Nature
Behr’s ‘Back to Nature’


It might seem a bit of a colour cliché to have green as 2020’s in colour with spring around the corner (I keep thinking of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, “florals for spring, ground-breaking”). But with a growing obsession for wellness trends, ‘crazy plant ladies’ and sustainable living, it is not surprising that the colour of a new year and decade is one symbolic of growth, renewal and change. 

Dulux has named its Colour of the Year as ‘Tranquil Dawn’, a pale, sage-grey hue while Behr has ‘Back to Nature’, an aptly named colour that looks like it’s been picked straight from a meadow. 

Dulux Tranquil Dawn
Dulux’s ‘Tranquil Dawn’.

Green can be a hard colour to work with and it may not be one for everyone, but this year’s greens are subtle enough to serve as a calm and neutral background to layer with other colours and create depth.

Green alternatives
Clockwise from left: Aurora green glass mirror – Oliver Bonas, £95;Leaf print cushion – H&M Home, £8.99; Bobboli lamp base – Pooky, £126; Primrose armchair in Meadow Green Velvet –, £399; Botanical pressed ceramic tile (wide variety of plants) – Damson Tree Pottery on Etsy, £15; Monstera melamine platter – Amara, £20; ‘Rabbit in the Garden’ dictionary print – DottyDictionary on Etsy, £20; Woven chenille striped blanket – Matalan, £20.


While green seems like obvious colours for spring, Pantone’s COTY is their ‘Classic Blue’, a “timeless and enduring hue, suggestive of the sky at dusk”. This elegant and tranquil colour evokes images of Morocco’s Chefchaouen, “the blue city”, rich Lapis Lazuli gems or dare I say, the European flag?

Along with green, blue has an instant calming effect and while other lighter shades can seem cold, this colour is bold, bright and leaves you longing for summer. Whether you use this blue or a similar shade as a statement wall or injecting eye-popping brightness in a dark room, you can’t get more classic than this.

Clockwise from left: London print – MMC Maps at Oliver Bonas, £45; Rousseau Cotton Satin fabric, £40 per metre – Emma J Shipley; Blue mug – Rachel Pedder-Smith Designs, £13.75; Origami vase 31cm – San Miguel Recycled Glass at Liberty, £30; Regency cushion (45cmx45cm) – Habitat, £25; Ceramic tile-print vase – Zara Home, £39.99; Octopus platter – Bliss Home at John Lewis, £50.

White and Metallics

Like black, white is a classic colour that will never fall from grace. It invokes ideas of simplicity, calm and balance and creates a neutral background for statement pieces and colours. Metallics, on the other hand, are daring, bold colours that can be used to add a bit of pizazz to any room.    

2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac, the first of the animals in the 12-year cycle. Unlike in the West, rats are a symbol of determination, intelligence and vitality. Each year and animal are also linked to one of the five elements; this year the element is metal, and the colours associated with this element are white and obviously, metallics. Wearing or bringing these colours into your home will supposedly bring luck and prosperity to the owner, and we could all do with a bit more luck!

Set white against either a spring green or a crisp blue and your home will start to feel brighter and drag you out of this miserable winter weather. Metallics had a successful run during the 2010’s and are still very popular this year. Try pale rose gold accents if working with green hues to create an alternative spring look or gold against ultramarine blue for a tropical, summery feel.

Clockwise from left: Gold dish with base – H&M Home, £12.99; Ceramic salt pig – Graham & Green, £12; Gold Mouse lamp (also available in white or grey from £63, granted it’s not everyone’s taste but this is the year of the Rat after all) – Seletti, £73; Kasbah Smoke basket – Weaver Green, £45; Fine bone china ‘Bud’ vase with pearlescent glaze – Manos Kalamenios, £25 each; Fiorella Stemless Wine Glasses (also available in highball, flute and coupe glasses) – Anthropologie, £56 for 4; Rayon Embroidered Velvet cushion cover – Zara Home, £12.99; Brookleigh side table – Wayfair, £169.99; Kobi Gold Wired Chair – Graham & Green, £235.

Words: Jessie MacKinnon

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