How to Incorporate Both of Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year

It’s a new year, which means that it’s officially time to start using Pantone’s annual Color of the Year around the house! Pantone has been designating a color of the year for over 20 years, and for 2021 the company chose not just one, but TWO colors. Allow us to introduce Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a color combination that, according to Pantone, conveys strength and positivity following a year unlike any other.

Here’s how you can use these two colors at home:

Living Room

Illuminating is a bright, warming yellow that represents sunshine and positivity. Showcase the color in your living area with bold furniture pieces such as armchairs or couches, or with smaller items like end tables, pillows, throw blankets, and accessories that provide a contrast to more neutral elements. Add dimension by playing with different textures such as velvet, as seen here on this sofa from Blu Dot.

If you’re feeling hesitant about using yellow for larger furniture, Ultimate Gray is the perfect alternative. The neutral makes a great base, and can easily be paired with bolder accent pieces (cue Illuminating). Toss this throw pillow from West Elm on a gray sofa like this one from Interior Define, or add an eye-catching yellow end table to your space.

Photo by Room and Board

Dining Room

Bring light into your dining room with a shade of yellow like Illuminating. The vivacious hue adds vibrancy to mealtime and is fun modern addition to the space. Incorporate the color with your dining room chairs, or opt for yellow-toned glasses that offer a unique twist.

Keeping things neutral? Try incorporating colors similar to Ultimate Gray throughout various elements of your dining room, such as your placemats or dinnerware. The color keeps things sleek and grounded, and, as in your living room, can be paired with yellow accents for even more dimension.

Photo by Article


Add a pop of color and trendiness to your bathroom with an Illuminating-inspired yellow. The lively color is sure to brighten your mornings and bring visual interest to your space. Use the hue for larger items like bath towels, or simply spruce up your countertops with accessories like a candle or toothbrush holder.

Contrasting the brightness of Illuminating, Ultimate Gray is more reminiscent of natural elements such as pebbles on a beach, giving it a peaceful, spa-like quality. Create your own oasis by bringing the color into your bathroom through bath towels and a bathmat or with countertop accessories.

Photo by @ksears on Instagram

Everywhere Else

Whether you’re looking to redesign your bedroom, home office, or kitchen, yellow hues can add some much-needed brightness to your home. Dress up your windows with yellow curtains or drapes, pop a yellow lamp in your bedroom or office, or add fun accent pieces and yellow utensils to your kitchen.

Ultimate Gray can also be incorporated in any room of your home. Place gray agate or marble coasters on your coffee table, add a cozy throw to your bedroom, or add a gray chair to your home– the possibilities are endless!

Photo by lilpengeeGems

Written by @properties
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