How to Use the Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

Thistlewood Farms

Calming the world’s existential anxiety is a tall order for a shade of paint, but Sherwin-Williams has embraced the moment to name Urbane Bronze SW 7048 as its 2021 Color of the Year.

“The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world, and color is an easy and effective way to create a personal haven,” Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, said in a press release. “Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal.”

A warm nature-inspired brownish-gray shade, Urbane Bronze is a versatile and easy-to-live-with dark neutral that, like all paint colors, changes subtly with the light, and works well in a range of interiors and applications big and small.

“Urbane Bronze is a comforting color, drawing from nature for a feeling of relaxation and serenity,” explained 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.”

Ahead, you can pull inspiration from the following rooms for incorporating the Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year into your own home.

  • 01 of 12

    Outdoor Sanctuary

    Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams

    Anita Yokota

    Interior designer Anita Yokota created a backyard "outdoor sanctuary" using Urbane Bronze in a satin finish on mid-century modern-style fencing. The color creates a soft, natural backdrop for greenery and hanging potted plants. "I wanted to give this outdoor space a little more depth," Yokota writes on her blog, calling the color "a rich, grounding brown with gray undertones that lends sophistication to any space."

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  • 02 of 12

    Fluted Statement Wall

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

    Vintage Revivals

    Mandi from Vintage Revivals used Urbane Bronze on this fluted statement wall to add personality and drama to an open plan dining room. "I feel like Urbane Bronze is the perfect moody color for those that love a warmer neutral," Mandi writes on her blog. "It’s welcoming and statement-making, especially when you use it in a large way."

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  • 03 of 12

    Dressing Up a Dresser

    Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams

    Vintage Revivals

    If you're not convinced enough to cover a statement wall in Urbane Bronze, why not experiment with a low stakes project like this repainted IKEA dresser from Mandi at Vintage Revivals? It adds a dramatic touch of deep color to an otherwise light and airy space.

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  • 04 of 12

    DIY Mantel

    Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams

    Mary Elizabeth

    Mary Elizabeth created a simple, rustic DIY mantel for her farmhouse and painted it in Urbane Bronze, which she describes in a how-to video as having "a muddled quality to it," with notes of gray, charcoal, green, brown, and eggplant, depending on the context and the light. She says it's "a really pretty, rich color" that creates depth, dimension and a soothing feel.

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  • 05 of 12

    Kitchen Cabinets

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

    Native House Photography / John McClain Design

    Using Urbane Bronze on lower cabinets in this kitchen from John McClain Design creates a grounding element that complements a dramatic wall of tiles and works well with wood tones.

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  • 06 of 12

    Paneled Accent Wall

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

    Thistlewood Farms

    Blogger KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms did this makeover for her mother's guest room, which includes an accent wall painted in Urbane Bronze. KariAnne writes on her blog that she chose "a color that brought a little of the outside in and created a warm and inviting place that my mother could relax in and feel secure." The soothing color adds warmth and depth to the light neutral space.

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  • 07 of 12

    Hallway and Millwork

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

    Dawn Trimble

    Atlanta-based interior designer and architect-turned-artist Dawn Trimble used Urbane Bronze in a hallway to paint doors and intricate millwork, pairing it with decorative accents in crisp white for contrast.

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  • 08 of 12

    Home Office

    Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze office

    Stephen Allen Photography / John McClain Design

    Urbane Bronze sets the tone for a warm and inviting home office from John McClain Design. A metal desk brings out the wall color's gray tones while chocolate-colored wood flooring and a cowhide rug bring out its earthy brown notes.

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  • 09 of 12

    Dressing Room

    Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams

    Probably This



    Beau and Matt of Probably This created a makeshift dressing room using Urbane Bronze as a starting point. "While we’re all for being bold with color, we’ve never dipped quite this dark," they write on their blog. "For such a small space, we thought the rich warm and moody tones of Urbane Bronze would add drama and dimension and a feeling of luxury." They added brass elements "to further bring out the warmth of the Urbane Bronze," including a chandelier and large antique-style mirror that adds glam and opens up the space. "We spray painted a curtain rod and clothes rack in an antique brass color to match, and added a new brass wall hook to the right of the mirror."

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  • 10 of 12

    Upstairs Landing

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

    Stephen Allen Photography / John McClain Design

    An upstairs landing from John McClain Design is transformed into a cozy and inviting place to sit and relax thanks to an enveloping coat of Urbane Bronze on the walls.

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  • 11 of 12

    Front Doors

    Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze door

    Young House Love

    John and Sherry from Young House Love used Urbane Bronze on the twin doors of a duplex in in Cape Charles, Virginia, adding contrast to the light exterior house color.

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  • 12 of 12

    Home Exterior

    Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams

    Brightwater Homes

    Urbane Bronze has become a go-to exterior house paint color for the team at Georgia-based Brightwater Homes. "From farmhouse to classic Tudor, Urbane Bronze lends a sophisticated yet organic appeal," they write on their website.