For several months interior designers have been predicting that gray is on its way out, and that our interiors will begin to trend toward shades of beige and brown. The Pantone Color Institute clearly disagrees! With the unexpected announcement of their 2021 Color(s) of the Year as Ultimate Gray paired with Illuminating (yellow), gray is clearly here to stay and consumers agree. Many homeowners continue to use gray on their interior walls or cabinets and don’t plan to change, because quite simply they like gray!
Pantone knew that the new year needed a pairing of colors, because quite frankly if they had only selected Ultimate Gray as the only color for 2021, we would have all thought, “Well, that’s depressing!” So, they paired it with Illuminating, a cheerful, happy, hopeful yellow. It alone would have been too bright or overly optimistic after 2020, so pairing it with a gray makes it the perfect combination. Combining gray and yellow is not a new combo, it is one we often see, from a bright yellow door on a gray house making the gray house smile and say welcome. Or that transitional outfit that says, “Yes, I am confident and professional, but I am also an optimist and like to enjoy life. “
In fact, according to Pantone, the colors tell a story of strength mixed with happiness. Ultimate Gray standing for fortitude and resilience like a large “rock-solid” stone that has been around for a very long time. While, the complementing yellow tone of “Illuminating” brings a sense of optimism, and hope that sunny days are ahead.
“We do see the light ahead. We just have to carry the resilience, the fortitude and the composure that Ultimate Gray signals into 2021. To be patient and positive, knowing we will get there.”, says Laurie Pittman Vice-President of the Pantone Color Institute. As consumers the colors signal to us that while we are comfortable and safe at home in our gray sweatpants, we need to look forward to sunny days and new chapters as we venture out into 2021. Because, just like the daffodil that peaks out of a cold gray season to remind us that winter does not last forever and spring always comes, this pair of colors is Pantone’s way of saying there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
That is why this selection hits home with all of us, the two colors are better when used together. As we look at this pairing let us each remember that the same could be said of us, we are much better together! In 2021, let our goals include more collaboration, pairing our grounded reality of resilience with an optimistic view of the future that includes, once again, enjoying life together!