Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 in Interior Design

Residential Interior Design

What’s the Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 and how does it affect the world of interior design?

Each year Pantone, one of the most regarded colour institutes in the world, as well as other colour specialists announce their colour of the year. The selection is based on many criteria and some in-depth trend research as it relates to lifestyle, fashion, beauty, travel destinations, political views and the overall socio-economic climate. Pantone’s colour of the year always appears to be a step ahead.

Last year’s colour of the year was Classic Blue, sometimes nicknamed the anti-anxiety colour. In hindsight, they truly couldn’t have picked a better colour for 2020. Blue is known to calm us down and also helps promote confidence and connection.

As an interior designer with a weakness for History of Styles and trends in general, I’m fascinated by Pantone’s colour of the Year and the research behind it. Looking back in time, it is captivating how trends in architecture and interior design are so strongly connected to world events and changes in society on a whole. Major events, such as wars, the landing on the moon, industrial and technological advances as well as behavioural changes in society, all affect how we build and design our homes and public spaces.

gray and yellow

Colour Psychology, symbolism and the message of the Pantone Colour Institute

We’re surrounded and influenced by colours on a daily basis, whether we are aware of it or not. Although colour psychology isn’t an exact science, because the way we experience colour also depends on our associations, past experiences and cultural environment, they do impact human emotions and behaviour. As Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychologist once said: “Colour Psychology is the language of the subconscious mind.”

With this said, I can see how PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating were selected as the colours of the year 2021. By selecting two colours this year, Pantone presents us with a union of colours and emotions. Gray symbolizes composure, steadiness and resilience, whilst yellow represents positivity and hope. As such, the union of illuminating and ultimate gray deliver a message of strength and hope, something we all need in these current times. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, describes the message of the Pantone Color Institute as follows:

The last time and first time for that matter, that there were two colours, was in 2016. The colours Rose Quartz and Serenity. This selection was seeking to find balance and was also referring to the gender blur in fashion as it relates to (baby) pink and (baby) blue.

Incorporating Colour Trends in Your Home

As an interior designer, I’m an advocate for timeless and highly personalized interior design and therefore don’t necessarily follow trends. Nonetheless, if a trend catches my attention, I love to find ways of integrating it into my design concepts.

Although, I much prefer taupe over grey, for I find it much more soothing and easier to combine with other colours and materials, I really like the combination of grey and yellow. It’s contemporary and fresh. I particularly like illuminating yellow because it’s an uplifting colour that promotes clarity and focus, something we all need in these current times.

So let’s look at how you can add the Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 to your home to help uplift your spirits.

7 Ways to Bring the Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 into Your Home

1) Add Fresh Flowers to Your Space

Fresh flowers are always a good idea, regardless of the season. They add a splash of colour and style to your space. At the same time, they are a symbol of life. Bright yellow tulips in spring, yellow roses in summer, sunflowers in fall and a multi-colour bouquet in winter for example.

yellow tulips

2) Add a Pop of Yellow Through Home Accessories

Home accessories are a great way to add a pop of colour and you can easily change them according to season. In addition to all the benefits mentioned above, yellow seems like the perfect spring colour. Small items, such as cushions, throws, vases and candles can have a big impact on the overall feel and look of a space.

yellow home decor

3) Add some Yellow Art to your Walls

Art has a huge impact on the overall look and style of a space. At the same time, art is a great way of adding colour. Imagine how a beautiful piece of art such as the ones shown below by artist Patrizia Zoller, combined with some elegant yellow home accessories could truly transform your space.

abstract art

4) Add a Feature Wall in one of Your Rooms

Obviously, painting a feature wall in illuminating yellow or ultimate gray would be one of the most impactful ways of adding the Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 to your home. However, this of course needs a bit more planning as it will affect everything else in your space. Most people tend to play it safe when painting their walls, in which case ultimate gray would be quite suitable. Alternatively, painting a wall in illuminating yellow would really make a statement. This choice may not be for the faint hearted, but could be a great colour for your home office promoting focus and positivity.

colour fans gray and yellow

5) Add Wallpaper Featuring Yellow and Gray to Your Space

Wallpaper not only adds colour, but also texture to your walls. Having a feature wall covered in wallpaper is a great way to create a focal point and add an element of surprise to your space. With wallpaper growing in popularity over the last few years, there are endless options out there. Wallpaper is sure to set you apart and help you personalise your space.

abstract wallpaper

6) Add Yellow and Gray Fabrics to Your Space with Upholstery

Fabrics are yet another great way to add colour, texture and coziness to your space. Cushions are a quick and easy way to do so. Alternatively, you could add curtains or blinds or even reupholster a beloved piece of furniture, such as an armchair, daybed or even a sofa. You could use textured linen, plush velvets or patterned fabrics, depending on your preference and the style of your home decor.

sample board for interior design

7) Add an Area rug to Your Space

Area rugs are like art for the floor. Additionally they add warmth, coziness and improve the acoustics of your space. The type and style of rug will depend on the use of the space, the style of your home and your preferences.

yellow and grey striped rug

So here you have it – 7 ways of incorporating the Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 into your home. Hopefully, you feel inspired to add Illuminating Yellow, Ultimate Gray or both into your home, bringing some of that resilience and optimism into your daily living.

If you need some guidance and specific ideas on how to bring illuminating yellow and/ or ultimate gray or any other colour for that matter into your space, then an Interior Design Consultation may help. You can book a complimentary Discovery Call to find out more.

Colourful wishes

Simone xx


Useful links: Pantone Colour Institute



About the Author

Interior Designer and Blogger

Welcome to Global Inspirations Design’s Blog!

I’m Simone Aïda Baur and I invite you to embark on a design journey with me. My blog is your passport to global inspirations and where I share my passion and discoveries from the world of interior design.

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