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Is Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year on your Wishlist? My Designer Gift Guide for 2019

By 12/06/2019December 8th, 20199 Comments

It’s that time of year! Pantone announces its new colour of the year while we are making shopping lists and checking them twice.

Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2020

This year’s colour, is the safest, and most predictable yet.

Classic Blue.

Blue, the world’s favourite colour.

Pantone haven’t announced a blue in over a decade. So there it is. Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

But it’s good to be in the know, I find colour trends fascinating. Given that navy blues have been back for a few years already (since they were last here in the 80s-90s) I’m not sure we will see any MORE blue and navy happening this year on account of Pantone’s ordaining the most loved colour in the world though.

But it’s true that you can’t go wrong with blue.

Interior Design by Maria Killam

If you’re wondering if blue is a good colour for a sofa, it absolutely is! I helped a client last year with a living room refresh (which I originally decorated for her) and when it came time to choose a colour, she went with blue again!

So back to what’s really occupying our thoughts at this time of year! Holiday gifting!

Terreeia is really hard to shop for, so two years ago, I hired Inge from Thoughtful Gesture to help me. I filled out a questionnaire and one gift she suggested made Terreeia cry (that’s never happened) she still talks about it to this day. Think about it, you’re already spending money on this person who is hard to shop for so what is a few more dollars to make sure the gift is perfect? See Inge’s site here. 

And we all have that one friend with impeccable taste that is a bit intimidating to shop for, so here is my 2019 Holiday Gift Guide complete with some gift ideas for the savvy decorator (and for the rest of us too!) There is no blue in my gift round up this year, I’m going with classic festive red, green and gold.

My Designer Gift Guide for 2019

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 78 | 9 | 10 |, 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 |, 17

1. Luxurious Cashmere Scarf or Wrap

I travel A LOT as you all know. And I’ve learned a few tricks to make travel days more comfortable and enjoyable. One of my favourite carry on items is my soft and cozy cashmere wrap. You can find them at various price points, but here is a festive red one perfect for the holiday season.

2. Bijoux Cuff Bracelet

Gift some sparkle with this elegant faux emerald and 14k plated gold bracelet that can be worn on its own, or layered with other gold bangles. And hey, this one is also available in Classic Blue!

3. Black and White Polka Dot Serving Bowl

You can never have enough stylish platters and bowls for entertaining. Bring this pretty Kate Spade bowl to your next holiday invite and leave it as a hostess gift.

4. Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves

A soft and cozy pair of gloves in a fun colour like these bright red ones from J Crew is the perfect winter accessory.

5. Luxurious Relief for Parched Winter Skin

Have you heard of hyaluronic acid? It sounds toxic, but it is your skins natural defence against dehydration, a major challenge for most of us in the winter months. This highly rated moisture attracting mist is a best seller at Sephora.

6. Coffee Table Books

There are SO MANY great coffee table books about decorating. What could be better than the gift of eye candy and inspiration? I just love the premise of the title of Vern Yip’s new book. I truly believe that your home should be your sanctuary! Especially this time of year.

7. My Favourite Iittala Glassware from Finland!

Since I was in Finland this past summer, I have started collecting Finnish Iittala glassware. I use this particular (beer) glass daily just for water. It is lovely to look at and to hold. Here I am drinking my green juice from one in Finland with the wheat fields behind me. Introduce a friend to this authentic Finnish design, or snag some for yourself.

In fact, if you’re really stuck, all you have to do is look up Iittala glassware and you’re bound to find something.

8. Faux Pearl Drop Earrings

Love these delicate pearl earrings with a gold bow detail to dress up even a casual outfit. They would make the perfect gift for for the classic gal on your list.

9. Decor that Doubles as Serveware

A collection of pretty wood cutting boards in interesting shapes is ideal for styling a kitchen. And they are also perfect for charcuterie for holiday entertaining.

10. Copper Watering Can

For the green thumb in your life, this stylish watering can has such a pretty shape and colour, she will want to display it along with her happy plants. Ideal for that friend who just can’t wait for the warmer months.

11. Bejewelled Bee Pin

This is such an adorable piece of whimsy in the most current colour combination of emerald green, blush pink and gold. Filigree pins are such an underused accessory. They can be pinned to jacket lapels, scarfs bags, the options are endless.

12. Sculptural White Vase

White vases with interesting shapes and textures are a staple for the savvy decorator I love Jonathan Adler’s line of edgy and fun vases and vessels.

I’m not sure how many vases I own but it’s definitely over 100. Vases with a flower/s are a staple in any vignette.

I like this one that references traditional hobnail glassware with a studded texture and a tapered shape. In the past few years I have been collecting hobnail milk glass (below). I like it because it reminds me of polka dots! Always happy like circles are reported to be!

Related post: What Everyone Should Know About Joy

Maria’s White Kitchen

13. Chic Ice Bucket

This pretty ice bucket with a basket weave texture would be the perfect gift for your friend who loves to entertain.

14. My Exclusive Colour Board Collections

My colour boards are the most essential tool in any designer or colour enthusiast’s kit. Give the gift of excellence and ease in choosing colour with my curated collections of colours, where they will find the perfect colour every time.

15. Pretty Candles

The scent of the season is captured in this pretty jewel toned Fir and Firewood scented candle from Anthropologie.

16. Also for the Entertainer

Designers love things that are well designed. How brilliant is it to have all your bar accessories tidily hanging from a stand to put out for fixing cocktails?

17. My Best Selling eBooks

Give the gift of colour confidence! My two best selling ebooks, How to Choose Paint Colours, It’s all in the Undertones, and White is Complicated, A Decorator’s Guide to Choosing the Right Whitewill set your design savvy friend on a journey of transforming the way they work with colour.

Over to you my lovelies! What do you think of Pantone’s colour of the year?

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My Take on Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year: Ultra Violet

19 pins


  • Glenda says:

    Please research how cashmere is “harvested”. These sweet goats deserve to keep their hair. It’s cruel and I suspect as a vegetarian, you’ll likely ditch your cashmere for something more ethical. Thanks for reading.

  • marina says:

    Hi Maria,

    Oh interesting information. Also “… Besides the coastal-inspired colors mentioned, she expects sand-like whites and cool green hues to play an important role …. And sure enough, it looks like the corals and pinks that have been big in the last year are definitely transitioning into sea-inspired blues and cool greens… ”


  • Lorri says:

    Now I’m sitting here wondering what gift made Terreeia cry. 😉 I think anyone would cry when they get something that proves someone they love really really knows them.

  • Janet Romanuk says:

    Lovely ideas.

  • Mary Anne says:

    Blue Color is always a favorite !! Love my 2 Cashmere wraps from the following site. I have a BLACK and a TAN color. I use for travel too !! Very versatile. I thought I’d add about their Cashmere since they do care about their products. GARNET HILL CASHMERE:
    Garnet Hill cashmere is made from the fine, downy undercoat of Kashmir goats. We create long-term relationships with the herdsmen who raise them on multi-generational family farms in Inner Mongolia, where changeable weather has evolved goats with longer, loftier, softer fibers. Those fibers are harvested once each year in the spring, typically combed by hand. The purebred goats are treated like pets, never crossbred for higher yields, as some farms do. This produces the highest-quality fibers, which are washed, carded, and spun into sumptuous two-ply yarns twisted to resist pilling without compromising strength.
    Merry Christmas !!

  • Lynn says:

    Wonderful gift ideas. Thank you to Mary Anne for providing information about Garnet Hill Cashmere. Just ordered a beautiful black shawl just for me!

  • Brenda says:

    May I just say I think it’s lovely how you offer links to your favorite people/sites. I spent some time on your stylist site last week and now the gifted. You are very thoughtful! I too am wonder what the gift was that brought tears. Thanks for the gift suggestions. They are lovely and I agree that your boards and books are great gifts. How nice though that you merely tucked them into the list rather than leading with them!

  • lynn says:

    Would the color of the year be great for an exterior home color?

    • Maria Killam says:

      It so depends on what it looks like, what colour the windows are, if there is any stone. . . right now the trend is white or cream or black. I would say if your home is real modern black is still appropriate. However, colour is always more timeless than the current trendy neutral. White or cream is still in the realm of timeless for sure but if every other new house on your street is white (which it is right now) I would choose a colour! Blue, green, yellow, etc. Hope that helps, Maria

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