Pantone Colour of the year 2021 is announced – it’s perfect to set the tone for a happy home

The colour experts give us not just one but two on-trend shades to brighten the year ahead

Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 was announced earlier today. But it's colours, not just one but two shades setting the scene for happiness in our homes next year. And after such a difficult year in 2020 who could argue that next year deserves more.

The two colours selected are 'Ultimate Gray' and 'Illuminating' – a warming yellow. Described by the experts as 'a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.' A welcome colour combination to brighten our homes in 2021.

Related: A colour expert explains why yellow front doors are the next big thing

Pantone Colour(s) of the year 2021

pantone colour of the year

(Image credit: PANTONE)

Every year the leaders in colour announce a shade predicted to be the next BIG thing in the world of interiors and design. And for 2021 we get two for the price of one.

The grey and yellow colour combination is thought to 'highlight how different elements come together to support one another'.

Ideal Home sees the grey as the shadow of 2020 and the bright yellow as the hope of moving into the new year of 2021. This perhaps best expresses the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021.

A Pantone spokesperson says the colours are, 'Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic. The union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity.'

table with sunflower and bowl

(Image credit: Pantone)

'We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit' say the colour experts.

Grey and yellow home decor

As we look for energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, we need to surround ourselves with positive and uplifting colours. 'Illuminating' is a bright and cheerful yellow who the experts say is 'a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.'

living room with grey sofa and yellow lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

'Ultimate Gray' represents the solid and dependable elements which are everlasting. Ideal for decorating our homes, to provide a firm foundation – which has never been more important than right now.

The light grey represents 'pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time'. Grey is a steady, dependable and quietly reassuring colour that continues to dominate decorating our homes.

Grey ideas: 27 grey living room ideas – from pale hues to deep charcoals for creating gorgeous spaces

Is your home ahead of the curve with a glorious grey and yellow colour combination?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.