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Introducing Pantone’s Colours of the Year for 2021 into your décor

Pantone COTY2

It’s that time of year where the world of interior design holds it breath to find out what tones and pallets will be the go-to choices for the year ahead.

But for only the second time in its history, Pantone has named two colours of the year for 2021 – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Ultimate Gray has been chosen to create the idea of strength, endurance and dependability, whilst Illuminating conjures cheerful yellow vibes with vivacity to bring a warming feel to any space.

The colour giant has taken a different route to Dulux, which announced in September that it had opted for the soft hues of Brave Ground as its COTY for 2021.

What the experts are saying

Commenting on why the two colours were used, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of The Pantone Colour Institute, said: “The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one.

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit”

How to use Pantone’s 2021 colours of the year in your home

Pantone’s choices for its colours of the year come with one major benefit – they effortlessly complement each other in any interior style. Here are our three top tips on how you can introduce both these hues into your home and create an on-point décor for 2021.

Subtle style with your seating

It can often be difficult to find the right sofa for your space (you can read our top tips on this here), especially when it comes to choosing the colour. Yet the Pantone’s latest COTY are timeless classics which will evidently stay en vogue longer than they hold the acclaimed titled.

Bring the simple boldness of Ultimate Gray with a corner sofa that will work well with any décor backdrop and doesn’t run the risk of overpowering a space. For chic style, opt instead for a cute three-seater in Illuminating hues to add a touch of sophistication to your space.

For something a little more practical yet still on-trend, try the Haura butter yellow sofa bed from – the perfect addition to any guest bedroom.

Accent with accessories

This is the easiest way to bring big style points to your home without making wholesale changes. Scatter cushions should be your starting point – MADE offers a beautiful range of cushions which evoke the hues of Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, whilst bringing an alternative style through circular options too.

Throws are the perfect accessory to suit any home. To combine Pantone’s COTY, why not opt for a yellow and grey throw from Maisons Du Monde, or try an Ecru print throw for something that is a little bolder with its style offering.

Elsewhere, look to bring pops of colour to your home through trinkets, ornaments and light fittings – all these are simple ways to achieve maximum style.

Taking to the walls

Of course, choosing to decorate with Ultimate Gray and Illuminating may seem a big task – but it doesn’t have to be. Opting for a feature wall using these colours is an effective way to make a space look on-trend.

For a geometric backdrop, this wallpaper from Graham & Brown is sure to bring a pop of Pantone’s colours to your space, whilst this textured paper with overlapping sequins brings an edge of chic sophistication to your space.


Image sources:

Cult Furniture; Desenio; LimeLace; Lujo;; MintMay; PepperSqLtd; The Design Gift Shop; Tom Taylor; Wayfair