Sherwin-Williams Unveils Urbane Bronze as its 2021 Color of the Year

Color has the ability to alter the feel of any environment. Reflecting an ever-increasing need to find comfort and serenity in the interior environments that we inhabit, Sherwin-Williams has selected Urbane Bronze SW 7048 as its 2021 Color of the Year. A rich and refined shade with gray undertones, the color evokes a sense of sanctuary within any space. “The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world, and color is an easy and effective way to create a personal haven,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal.” Wadden leads the Sherwin-Williams global color and design team to research and identify key trends that influence the way we interact with color each year. Urbane Bronze is the 11th official Color of the Year from Sherwin-Williams. Acting as a rich anchor that grounds the mind in calm and stability with its ties to the natural world, the new neutral can be used for both interior and exterior applications.

Photography Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Sense of Sanctuary

Urbane Bronze is both a bold and understated hue that can be used as a primary or accent color. Characterized by an anchoring aesthetic that reverberates a sense of respite, the color is part of the Sanctuary palette in Sherwin-Williams 2021 Colormix Forecast—a report that predicts a need for balance in design for the upcoming year.

Photography Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

The start of the new decade delivered a return to rich colors and a transition away from cool neutrals. With an understanding of the past year’s influence on interior design trends for 2021 and beyond, the color offers a compelling connection to the design of the decades prior with a contemporary twist. “Urbane Bronze is a comforting color, drawing from nature for a feeling of relaxation and serenity,” explains Wadden. “There’s also reassurance in its sentimentality, with nostalgic ties to the design of the ‘70s and ‘90s, but with gray undertones that give it a distinctly modern twist.”

Rooted in Nature

Sherwin-Williams suggests pairing Urbane Bronze with other warm neutrals and nuanced natural materials for a modern take on minimalism. “Complement the simplicity of Urbane Bronze with natural materials—like wood finishes, organic stone accents or woven textiles—and a variety of mixed metals to create a serene space grounded in nature, or with coordinating colors like Modern Gray SW 7632 and Messenger Bag SW 7740.” says Wadden. Moreover, a monochromatic look with Urbane Bronze can create an especially soothing site for reprieve.

Photography Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Recognizing the role that biophilic design will continue to play in commercial spaces, Urbane Bronze is an ideal accent color that grounds a space through organic appeal that is rooted in nature. “Urbane Bronze is just one more way to bring in nature through design and is a great color to accentuate window trim, columns and accent walls in commercial spaces,” says Wadden. “It works well with other elements of biophilic design, including large, light-filled spaces and indoor greenery.” Learn more about the Color of the Year and other color selection resources at