What is the Pantone colour of the year 2021?

What is the Pantone colour of the year 2021?

Using Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (Yellow) in home decor

Pantone has announced its Colour of the Year 2021. Well, in fact two colours: Pantone Ultimate Gray and Pantone Illuminating. Illuminating being a vibrant shade of yellow.

What is the Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 - Claude & Leighton

Pantone describes this combination of grey and yellow as "a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting". Pantone also suggests that Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (yellow) are a great combination to set the mood in any room in the home, adding a dose of sunshine and positivity.

Well, after everything that 2020 dished out, we could certainly use some of that, couldn't we?

During the mainly annus horribilis that is 2020, our homes have become so important in our lives, even more so than before. For some, the home feels like a haven of safety. For others, more like a cage.

Furthermore, homes have now become places of work for so many more people. And however much we love our homes, we can all get sick of lengthy confinement to the same four walls.

So it's more important than ever to make our home spaces work, to get the feeling, and the mood, just right. To choose the right colours, furnishings and accessories in our living spaces, our sleeping areas and our working zones.

What is the Pantone colour of the year 2021

Pastel leaf art prints by Claude & Leighton in a Pantone 2021 yellow room

Pantone suggests that using Illuminating yellow and Ultimate grey together in table linens, bed linens, soft furnishings and home accessories will bring vitality and a sense of liveliness to a space. We have to agree that combining yellow and grey in accessories and furnishings can make a space feel fresh and happy. Think cushions and throws and, of course, artwork and wall art prints (so important 😁).

Abstract female face line art in Pantone 2021 Iluminating yellow & Ultimate Gray at Claude & Leighton

The colour combination can work well in a home or commercial office too, using grey as a base colour, with touches of vibrant yellow. As long as you get the balance right. Pantone suggests that these colours will "heighten awareness and enhance intuition, resulting in open minds, intellectual curiosity and originality". Indeed, yellow is a colour associated with creativity. Haven't we all experienced feeling more inspired and open to ideas and possibilities when the sun is shining? But in a work-focused or creative space yellow should be used in moderation as too much yellow can lead to loss of focus.

Typography & ampersand posters in Pantone illuminating and ultimate grey by Claude & Leighton

Pantone suggests that painting a front door in bright yellow Illuminating conveys a warm and welcoming message when supported by solid and dependable Ultimate Gray in the exterior finishes. Have to say that we're not keen on that suggestion. That would be a yellow step too far for us. One that we think you could get sick of fairly quickly. What do you think?

Instead, in our opinion, adding a set of lovely art prints, full of warmth and optimism, as a bright and happy welcome into your home would be just right. And (pro tip here 😉) you can easily swap the prints for others, once you're ready for a change.

 Claude & Leighton nude female line drawing art prints in Pantone 2021 colours

Have you used a combination of yellow and grey anywhere in your home? Or are you planning to? We'd love to see. Share your pics with us by email or on social media. Let us know your handle and we'll tag you.

 View all the art prints featured in this blog just below.

All the best,



Jayne Leighton Herd

Jayne Leighton Herd is a British professional artist and designer. She has been successfully selling her original abstract and landscape paintings for over 17 years. She co-founded Claude & Leighton in 2020 with her husband Laurent, as an online art destination for fine art print reproductions of her original art, her figurative work, and her original digital artwork. Jayne regularly writes blog posts and articles to share her knowledge and experience of art and working with colour, and to help and inspire people to bring art, colour and design into their homes and offices.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Other articles you may enjoy reading

View all