New Colors for a New Year: Decorating with Pantone’s Picks for 2021

Living room with gray and yellow decor
May 31, 2023
By: Eangee Home Design

Suffering from the mid-winter blues? Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow, but six more weeks of winter doesn’t have to mean gloomy days ahead. For anyone who’s ever seen beauty in a cloudy day, it’s time to meet Ultimate Gray–a cool, neutral gray that is the perfect pairing for (surprise!) Pantone’s other color selection for 2021: Illuminating Yellow, a bright lemon-like yellow that exudes optimism and positivity.

Yes, that’s right! The folks at Pantone have bucked tradition for only the second time ever. Back in 2016, they chose Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue, but this time they’ve chosen an achromatic shade (read: gray) that symbolizes a return to the basics and paired it with the yellow light seen at the end of a long tunnel.

Why not use this inspiration to do a little updating in your own home? We could all use a sense of renewal and adding a new piece or two can really brighten up a space–and a mindset.

Light It Up!

Leaf Nightlight in yellowDo your walls already sport the classic suburban “greige” (a neutral gray that has replaced beige as the default color for homes)? Jumping on this 2021 color trend will be even easier for you! Just add a pop of yellow.

As we’ve discussed previously, adding a lamp is often the quickest and easiest way to add color to a room. Several of our lamps come in bright, sunny shades that can be used in any room of the house. Try the Leaf Nightlight in yellow for a bit of light in your kid’s bedroom. Or add a little warmth to your home office by nestling a yellow Mini Square Table Lamp on one of the bookshelves. If you’re feeling a bit more whimsical, then hang a crawling Gecko Wall Sconce on the wall. It’s a great conversation starter, and the little yellow lampshade is sure to make you smile every time you walk by.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Ready to put in a little more time and effort for maximum impact? Ultimate Gray is a timeless neutral you can use anywhere! Spruce up those kitchen cabinets where you’ve made countless family meals, or finally invest in that work-from-home space you’ve grown accustomed to. It’s a soothing option that’s bound to have a positive impact on your psyche.

Painting doesn’t always require a huge change or time commitment. Consider making a big statement with a small can of paint. Give your peeling front door a fresh coat of Illuminating Yellow paint and see how it transforms your home’s curb appeal. Another idea is to paint an accent wall in your master bedroom. Wake up every morning to a room full of sunshine regardless of the weather outside.


Wire Sailboat Sculpture in graySpice It Up with Wall Décor & Accessories

If you decide to go bold with yellow paint, there’s no better way to dress up your revamped space than adding some positive vibes in Ultimate Gray. One option is the Elephant Wall Décor in gray. According to feng shui, an elephant with its trunk raised will shower good luck on those around it, and we could all use a little extra luck these days.

If you’re more of the sea-faring type, consider the Wire Sailboat Sculpture or Galvanized Metal Marlin instead. The large marlin is two feet long and could anchor an entire school of metal fish if you’re interested in a building a bigger sea-inspired display.


Refresh Your Fabrics

While accent pieces are one great way to try out new colors, another option is updating the textiles in various rooms of your house. Choose some gray and yellow throw pillows for the couch in your den or get a patterned rug to finally pull together the living room décor.

Want to relax with a good book? Get a throw blanket for your sofa and get comfy in style. Or hang some gray curtains with yellow detailing to block the light for your next television binge. Warm details can add a cozy feeling to the room, no matter how chilly it is outside.

Regardless of the path you choose, we hope these colors inspire you to take a deep breath, recenter yourself and move toward a lighter and brighter tomorrow.


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