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Design Trends

The 5 “Accent” Color Trends We Are Extremely Excited About in 2020

design by chzon | photo by karel balas | via dezeen

We here at EHD like to consider ourselves design risk-takers with a decent amount of design common sense (aka design ideas you might actually want in your own home). Especially when it comes to color. But to be fair, who doesn’t love to ogle over or dream about a bold colored living room? However, unless you are the type of person that is actually willing to take the risk and paint your living room say, cobalt blue, then the reality of “color trends” tends to be moot. Now, how we like to look at color trends is by thinking of them more as “accent” color trends. Let’s be honest, the colors we paint our walls generally stay pretty much within the same color palettes every year. Yes, there was a time period when gray was king, dark blue became a popular bold option and last year the cool beige movement was in full force. But most of us are unwilling to take that scary leap into colorful walls.

So what better way to bring in the hot colors of the year than by dabbling with a vase, accent chair or fireplace surround (ok, that’s still scary but at least less surface area)? It’s fun, easy, typically more affordable and way less labor-intensive if you end up changing your mind. But then again maybe some of these will make you want to take a leap… So without further ado, let me introduce the colors of 2020. It’s going to be a colorful year and we can’t freaking wait.

1. Cool Mint

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends2
design by dean studio | photo by daniel salemi | via dezeen

This color has been popping up ALL OVER and I am personally on board. It feels fresh and happy but still (no pun intended)…cool. This is actually one of the only colors that I think the “colored wall averse” types could get on board with. It’s both visually soft and packs enough punch which makes it a great accent color.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends3
design by india mahdavi | photo by architectural digest france

I think the trick here is to make sure it’s paired with bold, modern shapes and/or colors. A great example is this seat cushion. It’s a perfect, softer (but still fun) accent to the other more bold details of the space. If you don’t do this type of pairing, you run the risk of your home feeling like a dated seaside retirement home. Not that that’s bad but likely you will want to wait to dive into the “retirement chic” look until you need to.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends4
design by tsai design | photo by tess kelly | via the design files

See? I told you it works as a wall paint color. In this kitchen by Tsai Design, the contrast of very cool-toned green with the warmth of the natural wood and modern leather handles perfectly balance with each other. The color is quiet but still brings a lot more personality than a white wall would have.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends5
via sight unseen & the swedish design museum

But as you can see just popping in a few pieces makes a huge impact. It’s neutral enough but the color sprinkled in adds a surprising and fresh feel.

2. Ruby Red

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends6
design by sisällä | via the design files

Remember when Emily asked herself if she could handle a bright red accent in her living room? Well, that was for good reason because reds are back people. But we are predicting that while we plan to see bright red too, it’s the dark ruby red that will be the star this year.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends7
design by sally breer & adrie costanza | photo by laure joliet | via etc for short

Look at how lush and downright delicious it is?! Ruby red is the kind of color that says you are confident and passionate about your design choices because this is about as bold as it gets.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends8
design by flack studio

Since this color is so visually powerful we think that including it into your space in smaller doses, like a planter or tile accent, is the way to go if you love it but want to leave your walls more on the neutral side.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends9
design by david flack | photo by sharyn carins | via est living

This color has us very excited about what 2020 has in store for our eyeballs.

3. Cobalt Blue

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends10
design by jessie schuster | photo by joshua mchugh | via domino

If you are looking for a jolt of energy into your space and like the color blue then ladies and gentlemen, cobalt blue is for you. This color started to come on the scene with the explosion of the postmodern trend. It was squiggles, tubular furniture, and cobalt blue. So while 2019 was its modern-day birth year, 2020 is going to be its big year.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends11
design by sophie lou jacobsen | photo by william geddes | via clever

This is definitely one of those colors that we recommend in small but impactful accents for most people. We, of course, would never want to discourage someone with a strong cobalt blue design vision but guys it’s a BIG color to have a lot of in one space. See how great it is with just that built-in bench designed by Sophie Lou Jabsobsen?

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends12
design by richards stanisich | photo by felix forest | via est living

You might be wondering what the difference between cobalt and the 2020 Pantone color of the year, Classic Blue is…The answer is electricity. I know that may sound like nonsense but cobalt is the brighter, cooler and more electric version of its classic counterpart.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends13
desing by reath design | photo by laure joliet

As shown in all of these photos, it’s a great color for any room or style that needs that touch of unexpected. It has magical powers to instantly make any room cooler.

4. Chartreuse

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends14
design by studio shamshiri | photo by stephan kent johnson

Yes, the color of the liqueur of Parisian monks is also one of our 2020 colors. It’s as if lime green and neon yellow had a baby in France. Beautiful but only palatable when sparingly used. Ok, I think that’s enough with the alcohol comparisons.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends14
design by reath design

Chartreuse has been very hip on the fashion side of things. And as Emily has always said, expect what’s on the runway to creep into interiors. But honestly, I like it. It’s unexpected and with the right amount can easily spice up a traditional styled room or bring some electricity to a modern space.

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design by carrier & company | photo by sam frost studio | via architectural digest

See that little chartreuse knot up on that shelf? It’s fun and youthful and makes me want to know who the heck these cool people are. Chartreuse is on the loose:)

5. Emerald Green

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends16
design by reath design | photo by laure joliet | via remodelista

Now for our last and final color trend prediction… Emerald green. It’s pretty hard no to love this color. It’s rich, happy and makes us think of emeralds which are undeniably beautiful. But much like the other saturated colors on this list, it is design gold because of the life it breathes into a space.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends17
design by tahma smith | photo by prue ruscoe | via est living

What is so wonderful about emerald green is that it brings a ton of richness to a room without overpowering it. It has more of a “hey, just happy to be here,” vibe instead of a “HEY, LOOK AT HOW BOLD I AM,” which ruby red does a better job of as shown perfectly in this photo and room designed by Tahma Smith.

Emily Henderson 2020 color trends18
design by timothy balon | photo by mariko reed | via domino

So because of it’s more “calming” effects, we think you can go a little bigger on the accent you choose but maybe still be careful if you decide to go all-in on a wall color.

That’s it for our color trend predictions…for now. We are sure to see more surprises as the year progresses and don’t worry, we will definitely be reporting on those too. But all we have to say now is have fun with color. Life is too short for it not to be at least a little colorful. And if you are stuck when it comes to wall paint colors we’ve got you with this list of our favorite neutrals and this list of our favorite non-neutrals.

So what do you think? Are you jumping for joy that some jewel tones are here? Are you scared of color and wish this list never grazed past your eyes? Do you have any favorites? Let’s talk about it.

Love you, mean it.

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[…] {$excerpt:n} Source: The 5 “Accent” Color Trends We Are Extremely Excited About in 2020 […]

2 years ago

I have a chartreuse velvet settee that I absolutely love…in a room that I am struggling with how to arrange and finish. I added a baby grand piano into the room (dream come true!) and with the placement of that locked due to acoustics, I can’t get the rest of the furniture placement right. I am moving toward a more neutral palette in the room overall so the settee can be the “moment” along with a statement piece of personal art above the fireplace. Any interest in flying to MI to help this long-time reader solve this design dilemma?!

2 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Send pics for a design agony post/instastory!

2 years ago

I’m into the ruby red, and maybe the emerald green.

[…] post The 5 “Accent” Color Trends We Are Extremely Excited About in 2020 appeared first on Emily […]

2 years ago

That first cool mint inspiration picture is just lovely. 6 years ago I painted our guest bedroom ‘sea salt’ by SW. A very popular color but I immediately hated it. I had it paired with the orangey wood trim, beige, and light blue. It was awful. The room made me cringe. I eventually swapped out the rug for a bright orange and blue rug, painted the dresser in their white, painted the trim white, put on white and blue bedding and added a plant wall and suddenly the color was awesome. The key is greenery for some reason, and like you said, bold bold colors. Makes me want to re-create it in my new house but I already painted everything….perhaps a bathroom. Great round up. I can’t get into red, but I never will be unless it’s a nail or a lip.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mel

Yes, I’ve had this idea to paint my daughter’s room that color, get a green bed and white furniture and a few gold accents. Good to see those colors worked in other’s homes

2 years ago

Always excited when I realize I’ve already got a few of these in my home! We have a minty-blue sofa from West Elm from years ago when I was REALLY into pastels, and we actually have some bold gemstone pillows on it now (emerald!) I just recovered our craigslist find dining room chairs in an emerald velvet as well. I used to love red as a decor color in the early 2000’s and then HATED IT for the next 15 years. I’m not sure I’m exactly ready for that come back, but I like the reds with purple undertones – more like burgandys. I love color posts with lots of varying examples!

Cris S.
2 years ago

Trends are starting to edge too close to the burgundies and forest greens that were super popular when I graduated from college/got married in 1993. And that cool mint (and the peach color that seems to follow it around) were also popular choices around that time. What is it that they say about fashion? “If you wore it the first time the trend came around, you should probably skip it the second time.” I feel that way about these colors – you youngsters have fun with them! But I’m going to steer away.

Andrea G.
2 years ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Cris S – I feel exactly the same way!! I was wearing mint green and peach in high school and the jewel tones in college back in the day and I just don’t think I am ready!! But I definitely can get on board with some touches of chartreuse!!

2 years ago

I love love love chartreuse. I’m glad to see it’s not going anywhere soon!

2 years ago

Hey, this has nothing to do with your post. I wasn’t sure where to send it, but I was looking at lighting on Wayfair and noticed they used one of Emily’s pictures of her house to sell a lighting fixture.

If you flip through the pictures, you will see an old picture of Emily’s tv room/kids playroom. I assumed that they didn’t have permission.

2 years ago

I love all these accents and have been blending them in over the last year or 2…
The trick is always to do this stuff in accent pieces and keep the bigger more permanent things like kitchen cabinets and sofas classic.

Monique Wright Interior Design
2 years ago

Love velvet chartreuse! I feel like ruby red is so bold that it needs to be done exactly right to work. Our whole house was done in “safari” colors when we moved in so I’ve been slowly neutralizing every room. I think I’m gun-shy about adding bold colors.

[…] We here at EHD like to consider ourselves design risk-takers with a decent amount of design common sense (aka design ideas you might actually want in your own home). Especially when it comes to color. But to be fair, who doesn’t love to ogle over or dream about a bold colored living room? However, unless… Read More … The post The 5 “Accent” Color Trends We Are Extremely Excited About in 2020 appeared first on Emily Henderson. Read More […]

2 years ago

I also feel like red is definitely ready to come back. But I was thinking more along the lines of a brownish red.

Paige Cassandra Flamm
2 years ago

I love the ruby red more than I thought I would. I immediately thought of a friend who is in a kitchen remodel and thought, “She should paint her cabinets RED!”


2 years ago

It feels refreshing to see this pallet. I don’t necessarily like the colors for my house (other than emerald and maybe mint), but I see why they are coming back. They all feel classic. Red is really such an incredible and powerful color. It is good to see pops of it around instead of pink.

2 years ago

I can get behind all of these colours. I am a colour person and am so happy to see more colour this year. I have an BM Electric Blue dining room and a BM Champion Cobalt accent wall in my living room. Loving emerald right now. In velvet.

Mary E
2 years ago

I’m surprised you didn’t use the example of Gwen’s @TheMakerista home as an example of ruby red. She painted her library that color & it looks magnificent!

2 years ago
Reply to  Mary E

Love it too. She couldn’t possibly post it enough…

2 years ago

Absolutely love the jewel tones! Great picture examples! I’d love to know some EHD light neutral paint recommendations (wall and trim) that go well with these colors in furniture and art. I so appreciate trim and wall recommendations together!

2 years ago

I have a difficult time choosing a favorite color for all time. I sincerely think every color could be appealing in some way, somehow. I think I could love any color in small doses. I lean towards blues and whites, but if a room is just blues and whites, it’s too cool and blah! to me. But chartreuse? Never would have thought that out of all the photos in today’s post, the chartreuse photo with the two sofas opposite each other would be my favorite. It’s the styling, too. And, totally off the wall, but RUBY RED is just sort of fun to say out loud. RUBY RED!

Annie K
2 years ago

Is Emily still searching for an accent red in her living room? I’m sure if it is it’s about item 189 on her “to do” list.

2 years ago

the colors ruby red and emerald green remind me that I want more “modern victorian” content!!!!! that’s always been my fave.

2 years ago

So refreshing to see color in a sea of neutrals. I love neutrals but I have started implementing pops of color into my space. I have a vintage chest on casters that came painted chippy mint green that’s in my dining room. And after reading Emily’s post on red I have added a few pops in my kitchen including a red metal task lamp above the breakfast table paired with my cobalt blue dining chair and stool I love how it looks. Love a jolt of bold.

Fay Kivela
2 years ago
Reply to  Megan

That color was popular when I was a small girl. I actually painted my metal bed a mint green and made bedding in candy pink and white stripe. Wasn’t that color popular with Mrs. Eisenhowers’ famous pink?

[…] post The 5 “Accent” Color Trends We Are Extremely Excited About in 2020 appeared first on Emily […]

2 years ago

Mint is always beautiful, light and lilting. I love it@

Carolyn Marnon
2 years ago

My master bedroom was once painted a mint-ish green. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with cancer, spent some time in hospitals, and realized the bedroom walls looked too much like i was still in a hospital. Something to think about if you plan to do walls in some variation of this color. Or just never have to visit a hospital! (isn’t that what we all aspire for-NOT visiting a hospital?) It’s now a lovely shade of lavendar.

On the trend note, I am really digging the ruby red and cobalt blue. Always loved Emily’s blue velvet couch.

2 years ago

Great post. Check the colour palette for Almodovar’s Pain and Glory and you’ll see some similarities!

2 years ago

I need two really cool office chairs for my home office. I’d love to incorporate one of these trendy colors that you hi lighted. Where can I get office chairs that are cool and custom with one of these colors. Leather?

Zach Mitchell
2 years ago

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but — I have some opinions on these. LOL 1. Mint — I like the examples you’ve shown here, but I keep getting flashbacks to my high school lockers with this color. 2. Ruby Red — I’m always here for a jewel tone. H&M Home actually has some nice planters in this color right now at a great price, in case anyone is interested. 3. Cobalt — Over it. I feel like cobalt joined the game really strong back in like…2011 (in fashion) and then trickled into interiors and then never FULLY went away. I guess it had another wave of interest last year? I dunno. I’m over it. We’ve got two other jewel tones on the list, lets swap sapphire in for the cobalt instead — it’s got far more depth. 4. Chartreuse — I’m here for it. I’m moving toward an olive green, brass, and mustard and a couple pops of chartreuse I think would add some youth to it while working with the analogous scheme. I might snag one of those round velvet pillows from West Elm that you called out in your bedding article. 5. Emerald — I’ve… Read more »

2 years ago

I freaking love this list. I am glad cobalt blue is back – remember when it was all over fashion and accessories? Funny enough, I was going to make a cool toned cranberry red vertical tufted back to my dining bench (A la Brady’s headboard) – I wonder if that falls in line with deep red. It will be against a wall that is deep teal (behr Tsumani) for the top half, and a white board and batten on the bottom half. Do you think that would work?

[…] Style by Emily Henderson […]

2 years ago

Thank you for posts such as these. You often lead me to catching trends early so I can enjoy them longer. Recently, I had a friend say “I love navy and brass. I’m so glad it’s coming back in.” I almost died! This was the trend ten years ago, but it seems like some are just now catching on. By now, I’m sick of it! Your posts keep me, what I feel, up to date. Thank you. I’m usually the first to try a trend…I love it! You’re the best!

Kathy Menold
2 years ago

Great for other homes but I am more comfortable with neutrals. I can always add small pops of color with accessories

2 years ago

My couch is “lucky turquoise” from Joybird, my accent chairs are chartreuse velvet and my accent colors are bits of orange and even smaller bits of yellow/goldenrod in throws and decorative pillows. I love it and I get so many compliments! It’s probably not for those who are shy about color but I can’t imagine my living room any other way. I wish that I could post a picture you really have to see it to understand how well the colors work together.

2 years ago

Can you recommend paint colors that would fit into the cool mint category? Great post!

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