Architecture & Design

How To Use Pantone's Color of the Year

Hague Blue, a classic blue by Farrow & Ball

For many Maine designers, color authority Pantone’s choice of Classic Blue as its Color of the Year felt like validation. But a shade as ubiquitous as blueberry fields and white-capped waves calls for creativity, as these pros — who shared their favorite riffs on the pick — will tell you. 

Hauge, a classic blue by Farrow & Ball

Hague Blue
Farrow & Ball

“We wanted a jewel tone to complement the gold my client chose for the dining room ceiling in his 1875 Bath Greek Revival [above]. This color — in a matte sheen on the walls and high-gloss on the trim — feels warm and stately at the same time. While it definitely pops, it also suits the traditional aesthetic and history of the home.” — Tyler Karu, Tyler Karu Design + Interiors, Portland

Hale Navy, by Benjamin Moore

Hale Navy
Benjamin Moore

“I recently used this darker take on Classic Blue on the backs of built-in bookcases flanking a fireplace in a Denmark living room. The accents help balance the black-granite fireplace surround, while providing a moody contrast to white woodwork and an eye-catching focal point in the room.”  — Melissa Akers, Melissa Ellen Designs, Bridgton

Ultra Marine Blue, a classic blue by Farrow & Ball

Ultra Marine Blue
Farrow & Ball

“Reminiscent of ripe blueberries, serene water, and the sky at dusk, this color is right at home in Maine. We’ve used it on cabinetry in a Rockport pantry, adding a fun pop to an otherwise neutral kitchen. I would also love to see it in high gloss, paired with bold art in a powder room or study.” — Jessie Tobias, Jessie Tobias Design, Camden

Downpour Blue, a classic blue by Benjamin Moore

Downpour Blue
Benjamin Moore

“In Maine, it’s not so unusual to see Classic Blue in coastal-themed homes. However, I love how rich and elegant it can feel in a contemporary setting. Imagine dark-blue walls with accents of mustard yellow in pillows and rugs — sophisticated and sumptuous! This color can suit any style.” — Robin Davis, Robin Davis Interiors, South Portland

Kauai, a classic blue by C2 Paint

C2 Paint

“I love the tradition of blue in Maine homes and am thrilled with Pantone’s pick. We have this shade on our showroom walls, where it’s a stunning backdrop for brass porthole-style mirrors and a rattan bench. And we recently used it on bedside chests, paired with white nickel-gap paneling and fun floral headboards, at the Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club in Kennebunkport. I love that it’s navy, but not too dark — it has a beautiful brightness to it.”  — Louise Hurlbutt, Hurlbutt Designs, Kennebunk