Chic and Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home With Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year

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Ready to makeover your home with this uplifting color combo? From a simple paint project to adding new throw pillows, designers share how they would decorate with Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year.

Today, Pantone, finally announced its 2021 color of the year, or should we say colors of the year. Illuminating described as a bright and cheerful yellow and Ultimate Gray described as solid and dependable will be top choices when it comes to interiors.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says, “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warm and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”


This is only the second time the Pantone team chose two shades, and to be honest, both colors are particularly not completely easy to add to your home’s interior since gray has a reputation for being boring, and yellow can sometimes be too vibrant and too much in the eyes. However, when combined, both shades can set the mood in any room in your home, a balanced dose of calmness and positivity.

Four designers share how they would decorate with Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year. If you want to use these shades in your space, check out their advice.

Choose Your Main Piece

Designer Colin King shared that the key to keeping gray feeling fresh is to not overuse it in a room. He says in an interview with Domino, “If you have gray upholstery, don’t put down a gray rug (it can quickly feel dull and flat). Simply use it as a canvas to experiment with marigold, green, blue, and rust hues.”

Drench Walls, Molding, and Yes, Even Ceilings

Benjamin Reynaert, the style director of Domino, shares in an interview that he find this combination to be a throwback to baby nursery palettes in the early 2000s. “I like the idea of drenching walls, moldings, and even ceilings in one of these colors. The gray would look really beautiful in a small galley kitchen (it reminds me of one of my favorite grays, Plummet by Farrow & Ball). I’d do a bright yellow mohair velvet on a modern sofa form, like a sumptuous option from Pierre Frey on a low Milo Baughman couch. That sounds like a dream to me.”

Go Big in a Small Space

Designer Anita Yokota shares that the two shades can be perfect in small spaces. She says, “I would love to do gray walls and a yellow door in an entry. I also think a yellow laundry room with gray shelves would be fun. Small spaces would be conducive to a playful combination like this.”

Revamp Old Furniture

Designer Mat Sanders said that Illuminating feels very vintage Parisian. He shared in an interview with Domino that he’d dig up modernist chairs at the Saint Ouen flea market (as soon as he can travel again) and splash this all over the upholstery. He adds, “Ultimate Gray is centering and would work great in transitional spaces, like on entryway walls. It’s a tonal reminder to breathe and collect yourself.”

Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year is packed with so much design potential. Ultimate Gray is such a versatile color, while Illuminating can add a ray of sunshine in any room of your home. You just need to know how to properly use it to get that bright and timeless interior. We’re excited to see these two shades take over 2021. Learn more interior design tips and ideas on Omysa’s Design blog. Happy decorating!

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