4 Ways to Use 2021’s Pantone Color of the Year in Your Home

The results are in, and as of earlier this month, Pantone released their annual “Color of the Year” announcement, inspiring artists and designers everywhere to build upon the selected palette. Pantone is the color matching system used by virtually all professions that deal in color, allowing for paint and textile manufacturers to categorize and match colors across a wide variety of industries. Every year, the color of the year helps influence said industries. In 2020, the color was 19-4052 Classic Blue, perhaps appropriate because of how “blue” a year it turned out to be. 

The pandemic has inspired the color palette for 2021 as well, although maybe not in the way you might think. In a rare move, Pantone selected two colors to inspire the upcoming year – 17-5104 Ultimate Gray (a light, warm gray) and 13-0647 Illuminating (which is a soft yellow). According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of The Pantone Color Institute, “the union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.” In the midst of the pandemic, we’ve all had our gray days and we’re all looking forward to sunnier days ahead. This palette reflects that. In light of the new color palette, we wanted to take a look at three ways you could use the new Pantone color(s) of the year on your next home remodeling project. 

1. In your nursery.

When it comes to decorating your baby’s nursery, design trends are moving away from the more gendered pastel pinks and blues, and towards gender-neutral colors or whimsical patterns. 13-0647 Illuminating is the ultimate gender-neutral color, while also remaining light and uplifting. Consider a white and grey chevron wallpaper paired with a yellow crib or rocking chair. Yellow ducks are also a popular theme when decorating nurseries and could be used to match with the yellow of 13-0647 Illuminating. 

2. In your kitchen.

When describing the ideal kitchen, most people attest to wanting the same thing: clean, bright, and organized. 17-5104 Ultimate Gray would be a well-suited paint color for kitchen cabinets and is a timeless pairing with a white quartz or marble countertop. 13-0647 Illuminating can be utilized for contrast in the way of dish towels, wall paint, or even a quirky appliance (such as a Kitchenaid mixer). The yellow and gray combination lends a vintage feel to a kitchen and is also great for anyone trying to achieve a midcentury modern style in their home. 

3. In your home office. 

In the midst of the pandemic, most of us have had to adapt to working from home for some length of time, with many companies making permanent work-from-home arrangements. With that said, it might be time to update your study or an available nook in your home to create the perfect home office environment. While grey communicates sophistication and a certain level of seriousness, yellow brings an upbeat contrast. Consider painting your home office walls 17-5104 Ultimate Gray with one statement wall in 13-0647 Illuminating. You can select whichever wall best suits your zoom background, or maybe switch it up depending on the meeting.

4. In your laundry/mudroom.

If you have a dedicated laundry or mudroom, chances are it provides alternative access to your house (typically connected to the garage), so it’s the first room you see even though it’s rarely seen by guests. That gives you license to be as adventurous with your decorating as you please, and if you want to experiment with fun color combinations, it’s a pretty low-risk environment to try it out. We could imagine some nice, stacked cabinets in 17-5104 Ultimate Gray with cloth hampers or a built-in bench seat in 13-0647 Illuminating. A yellow rug or runner could be a nice addition as well.

While planning any remodel, we recommend taking into consideration the style you’re trying to achieve with respect to your decor and furnishings, but you shouldn’t be afraid to play around with paint colors or switch things up from time to time. Paint is easy to swap out and can go a long way towards changing up the look and feel of your space. You can also change up your decor if you keep your staples neutral while opting for pops of color in things like throw pillows or blankets which are easily exchanged if you get sick of your current palette. 

These are some of the areas in your home that we could imagine the character and vibe of this color palette works well. That isn’t to say you couldn’t get away with a gray and yellow master bedroom, but these are the interiors we feel lend themselves best to this specific color combination. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Pantone colors of 2021 will inspire interior design around the world and whether these color choices will crop up in any of our clients’ homes.