How to Incorporate Classic Blue into Your Next Event

Pantone’s Color of the Year

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020 has been announced and it has us feeling blue (but for good reasons). PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is this year’s hue of choice as determined by the Pantone Color Institute. In brief, the psychology of the colour blue is often attributed to calming energy and relaxation. For example, oceans and gentle waves. Additionally, blue is a colour that is used to express trust and dependence.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.” – Leatrice Eiserman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

With Classic Blue set to rise in popularity in 2020, we wanted to share how you can incorporate this hue into your next event. Specifically, we spoke to Tash Hardy, Director of Butler+Grace for her styling tips. In addition Lincoln Hoole, Executive Chef at Wine & Dine’m Catering provided his insights into using the colour in food design.

How to Style Classic Blue – Tash Hardy

A blue colour palette is as timeless as they come. From cool casual coastal chic to sophisticated elegance, classic blue can be seen as nautical or extremely elegant and works in any season.

Whether in furniture styling or tablescaping, adding complementary colour combinations to blue hues can dramatically change the overall tone of an event.

Navy and white is a true timeless classic. And works in any season.

By adding white wash natural textures to this monochromatic combo, you can create a modern softer take on coastal styling. Wicker instantly adds texture and warmth. A basic white tablecloth can be transformed by adding a woven rattan charger plate, layered with white dinnerware adorned by soft blue linen napkins. Including decorative centrepiece elements such as hurricane lamps or candleware incorporating seashells with a blue muslin table runner can instantly reinforce the overall aesthetic.

A tablecloth can create a neutral canvas or set a bold scene. Why be plain! Experiment with pattern and bring a casual vibe to your setting. Layering both plain and pattern dinnerware and textiles within the same tone is next level and will make your tablescape really pop! Setting with gold cutlery can take a casual approach to formal.

Candleware and table runners are a great option where budgets are limited. Adding texture and colour through these elements is often more accessible (and often require less quantity than catering per person in terms such as crockery, glassware and napery).

Glass votives are popular and there is a great range available in variety shades of blue! Pairing navy candleware with metallic colours create a formal impact. Accessorise with matching metallic charger plates and cutlery.

Introducing shades of pink into the combo brings a dose of classic romance to blue and white styling. For the vintage lovers, chinoiserie is re-emerging as a hot trend. Vintage classic blue and white chinaware paired with the softer pink hues of cotton candy, dusty rose and blush napkins. This colour combination is the perfect amount of masculine and feminine.

Not quite ready to let go of Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Living Coral? Great news, Coral and Navy complement each other perfectly! Add some coral tones through your florals. For a more formal style, layer your tableware on navy linen as a base, and add layers of coral and gold through the use of soft linen napkins, cutlery and gold rimmed glasses.

Other complementing colour combinations include Navy+Lemon (perfect to create a vibrant spring combo), Navy+Plum (to create boho or woodland styling, paired with ivory and dark green) and Navy+Mustard (for a rich and sophisticated elegance).

The key to great styling is to remember to layer. Texture and pattern create interest. Try not to use more than four colours and experiment with coloured crockery, linen and glassware where you can!

How to Use Food to Complement Classic Blue – Lincoln Hoole

Blue isn’t a colour that occurs very often in nature. This is largely in part due to the way blue absorbs light. Even foods that should appear as blues (anthocyanins), often appear redder due to the blue light being absorbed. Take blueberries for example. Seemingly blue on the outside but when juiced they omit a purple shade.

So, when trying to incorporate Pantone’s Color of the Year Classic Blue in your event, I would suggest looking outside the box by using complementary colours. If you would like to use Classic Blue within your food, I’d suggest using it only to give a pop of colour.

Complementary colours for Classic Blue include orange and corals tones, whites and yellows. With this in mind, I’d recommend pairing your Classic Blue with a menu that utilises these tones. Seafood naturally pairs well with Classic Blue as foods such as prawns, sea scallops, salmon, crab and oysters all naturally fall within this colour palette. This also complements Tash’s nautical and Living Coral colour palettes.

Dessert would be my suggestion for where to add a pop of Classic Blue in your food. Dyes and food colourants are more wildly accepted in dessert form. Our coconut mousse pill dessert has been a favourite to transform with colour. I think the most important thing when using a colour like blue, is to not overdo it. A little goes a long way.

Pantone’s Color of the Year
Pantone’s Color of the Year