For the second time in 22 years, Pantone selected two colors as the “color of the year” for 2021. The two colors are Ultimate Gray (Pantone 17-5104) and a bright yellow called Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647) to represent strength and hopefulness for 2021. 

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating are two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another. Pantone felt this color combo best expresses the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021. According to Pantone, this combo is “practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”

Pantone’s description of the color combination: 

“As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”

“Emboldening the spirit, the pairing of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 highlights our innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognized, to have our voices heard. A combination of color whose ties to insight, innovation and intuition, and respect for wisdom, experience, and intelligence inspires regeneration, pressing us forward toward new ways of thinking and concepts.”

How to Incorporate These Colors into your space?

Gray is a tranquil, neutral color that you can easily incorporate into your design scheme. Think of gray as a base color—you can use it for wall color, flooring and furniture. If you only use gray, it can make your space seem sterile. You can incorporate wood grains for texture. For example, you can add decorative items, flooring, furniture or frames in gray. 

Yellow provides energy and a punch of pizzaz, so it can be too much if it’s used for an entire room. Perhaps you can use yellow as an accent wall or accent color in tile or decorative pillows. A vase of yellow flowers or a bowl of lemons adds a pop of color. If you want to use yellow in a bolder way, balance it out with a neutral color. 

Want to use gray and yellow together? Look for rugs, pillows or other decorative details that use yellow and gray in a design. It’s a great color combo! 

Want some ideas on how to update your home for 2021? We have talented designers who would love to help refresh your home!  

If you’re curious about Pantone’s past colors of the year, head to: