And the Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year Is…

Sept. 12, 2018
Cavern Clay SW 7701, a sun-washed terracotta, is Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year. A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together create the desert modern aesthetic.

Cavern Clay SW 7701 is Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year. A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together create the desert modern aesthetic. 

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

Cavern Clay, a part of the Wanderer color journal that was announced earlier this year in Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix® Color Forecast, is a perfect choice for residential and commercial settings.

I Hear Design ► Listen to Our 2019 Color of the Year Discussion with Sherwin-Williams

A New Element for the Home

This warm, earthy hue is both casual and refined. It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone and sculptural greenery. Complementary materials include leather, simple woodgrains and indigenous cacti in contemporary, sleek gardening planters.

“Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in. Envision beaches, canyons and deserts and sun-washed late summer afternoons – all of this embodied in one color,” says Wadden. 

Photos courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

It pairs well with other casual, balanced neutrals such as a warm gray or deep brown. Combined with Moth Wing SW 9174 or Dark Clove SW 9183, Cavern Clay evokes a carefree yet sophisticated aesthetic. Alternatively, consider a refreshed version of the popular ‘70s earth tone combinations by pairing Cavern Clay with a dusty denim blue, such as Distance SW 6243 or even a fresh avocado, such as Haven SW 6437. Even when paired with an Origami White SW 7636, Cavern Clay is decidedly fresh. 

Warm and Balanced Commercial Properties

As designers, developers and builders aim to create more workspaces that feel like home, Cavern Clay’s warm and welcoming vibe make it a color to watch for offices, hotels and restaurants. As an interior color, it invites staff, clients or guests to open their minds and visualize mountain vistas, indigenous plants and trees. 

“Spaces like boutique hotels, restaurants and even offices are making an effort to create photo-friendly areas that are Instagrammable,” says Wadden. “Cavern Clay is an ideal color for flattering and design-forward aesthetics. It plays well with many types of lighting and brings this visual of the expansive and free outside world to interiors, resulting in open and versatile public spaces.”

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About Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Color Forecast

Sherwin-Williams 10th annual Colormix Color Forecast consists of a single master palette to inspire and help professionals and DIYers select the right color scheme for any project. This year’s 42-color palette can be divided into six themes or color journals: Shapeshifter, Wanderer, Aficionado, Enthusiast, Naturalist and Raconteur. Together, the journals are fresh, fluid swipes of color that are key for 2019 color and design trends. For more information on the forecast, visit

About Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

Led by director of color marketing Sue Wadden, the Sherwin-Williams global color and design team travels the world to research and identify key trends that influence the way we interact with color. From those findings, the team selects the strongest influence and then decides the Color of the Year. This is the ninth year Sherwin-Williams has named an official Color of the Year with the 2019 selection, Cavern Clay SW. A list of previously selected colors includes:

  • Color of the Year 2011: Indigo Batik SW 7602
  • Color of the Year 2012: Argyle SW 6747
  • Color of the Year 2013: Aloe SW 6464
  • Color of the Year 2014: Exclusive Plum SW 6263
  • Color of the Year 2015: Coral Reef SW 6606
  • Color of the Year 2016: Alabaster SW 7008
  • Color of the Year 2017: Poised Taupe SW 6039
  • Color of the Year 2018: Oceanside SW 6496
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About the Author

Adrian Schley | Associate Editor

Adrian Schley is an Associate Editor for i+s, where she has been covering the commercial interior design industry since 2018. Her work can also be found in BUILDINGS and Meetings Today. 

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