How to Use the 2021 Pantone Colors of the Year in Your Home Interior Design

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow

Pantone announced not one, but two colors as the color of the year for 2021: PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray, a soft pebble-like gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, a bright and cheerful yellow. The two colors together convey a message of calm, resilience and hope for a brighter 2021.

“A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

— Pantone

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating make a beautiful color combination for any room in the home from your living room to your kitchen to your bedroom. We brought in our RNDD Designers and Showrooms to provide us with some design tips on how you can incorporate these colors into your own home interior design.

Add Yellow and Gray Accents with Tile

Warm and optimistic are the greatest attributes that sum up Pantone’s choice for color of the year. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating together create a color palette that brings hope and innovation into the new year. The two colors mix beautifully to create a space that feels warm like sunshine and optimistic like new beginnings. Daltile offers many tile styles in both colors as well as some styles that combine the two colors. Choose from a softer sophisticated gray tiles or bold and bright yellow.

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Custom Yellow Accent Furniture

In honor of the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2021, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, this
project from Donna Mondi Interior Design captures the essence of both colors beautifully. The challenge was to seamlessly incorporate this custom wall mounted yellow console into the living room design. Bringing in the graphic bold rug with hints of gray, the stunning blue chairs, and commissioned art by Pamela Staker, adds all the right touches of color and bold decisions to keep this living room space functional and fun at the same time.

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Find a Yellow or Gray Focal Piece

This year’s Pantone colors of the year are easy to incorporate into your home interiors. The sunny Illuminating yellow brings cheeriness and fun, while the Ultimate Gray fits… well, anywhere! Ligne Roset recommends to make one color stand out, select a central piece in the room to draw the eye and then balance it with other neutral or complementary hues throughout the rest of the space. Most of all, make sure you love the color you’re working with – colors of the year come and go but your furniture should last much longer, a lifetime in many cases.

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Use Yellow as an Accent Against a Gray Wall

Centaur Interiors (CI) is no stranger to a modern color combination like this quiet gray and sunny yellow chosen as the 2021 Pantone color of the year. CI was inspired by Pantone’s sleek pairing – particularly by the meaning behind it. “Illuminating” is a soothing, soft, and positive yellow, while “Ultimate Gray” is a dependable shade of gray – just what we all need going into the new year. CI envisions a beautiful gray sofa in a textured fabric with an assortment of yellow accent pillows. Or to really transform a room, paint the walls grey and add a pop of color with a statement yellow lounge chair like the ones CI used in this project below.

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Create Energetic Combinations of Yellow and Gray

Ultimate Gray (Pantone: 17-5104) is soft and tranquil and Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647) is a playful punch of yellow that can bring your interior design to life. Together, they create a fun and energizing combination that keeps viewers on their toes. Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors created this palette featuring yellow accents with Grey Lilac Marble from Calia Stone Boutique and soft grey textiles from Room and Board. The result is a fresh yet sophisticated design that you can use in any room in the home.

See more here.

Add Splashes of Color with Wall Decor

Casa Bella suggests the best way to bring the bold color of Illuminating into your home decor, is through original wall decor from Celadon Art.

Solstice Study incorporates the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2021 with other bold colors and neutrals on a clean white background.  Created by artist Sheryn Bullis exclusively for Celadon Art and available through

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Bring in Whimsical Bedroom Linens

Fly into the new year with whimsical bedroom linens in soft gray and bright yellow that uplift your spirit. Available through Chicago Luxury Beds.

Christian Fischbacher Linens in Mimosa. Plenty of white space allows the attention detail lavished on every single plant to be appreciated. The resulting effect is light and airy. MIMOSA is the perfect choice to brighten the mood. This botanical print on high-quality, long-staple cotton complements the trend for natural interiors.

Christian Fischbacher Linens in Hana. Both traditional and trendy, HANA boasts a lavish floral design with echoes of the baroque. Pastel hints and subtle contrasts create a soothing, stylish design which will enrich your home, whatever the season.

See more here.

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