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How to use Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year, Ultimate Gray & Illuminating in your London Interior

Over 20 years ago, Pantone created the Pantone Color of the Year, a concept of trendsetting in branding, marketing and other creative industries such as interior design. As soon as Pantone reveals the Color of the Year, the shade influences everything from consumer products to social-media posts. Pantone forecasts the colour trend, that will dominate in the upcoming year, influencing the colour of products and designs.

This year Pantone came with a twist, and named two colours as Color of the Year for 2021.

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another, best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021.

– Pantone, 2021

Image credit: Pantone

What is interesting in this colour combination that grey tends to be a calming, neutral colour in comparison to a bright bold yellow that reminds us to a sunny day. The contrast makes these two colours work so well together. But how to use them in your interior?

Our advice is to limit using Ultimate Gray and Illuminating as accent colours. Don’t rush to the nearest paint shop to recolour your whole home to yellow or grey. Interior design trends can change quickly so focus on decoration items you can easily change if you are no longer fond of them, or they are out of style. Here are our top tips on how you can adapt Pantone’s 2021 Colours of the Year to your home.

Small Changes

If you don’t like drastic changes, go small; buy a yellow vase or bright yellow flowers and put them in your living room or on your dining table. It’ll definitely change the atmosphere of the whole room, adding a colourful edge to it.

Image credits: Crate and Barrel / Etsy / Crate and Barrel / Little Deer / Anthropologie

If yellow is not your colour, or you don’t like colourful accents overall, go for grey. You can buy a set of plate for a starter in the shade of Ultimate Gray. If you are a fan of plants, look for some unique pottery or other table toppers to incorporate the colour.

Image credit: Pottery Barn /

Mix Textures and Materials

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.

- Pandone, 2021

If you are looking for a more characteristic change, we advise you to go for the cushions, blankets, rugs and sheets. This way, you can create a dynamic style. We suggest you to mix different textures and materials for a more interesting effect.

Image credits: AllModern / AllModern / Chameleon Design / TLC Interiors / th2designs / westelm

Go Big

If you are open for bigger changes, here are some tips on what furniture to buy. If your kitchen or dining room has a neutral, greyish colour scheme, feel free to add bar stools or dining chairs in the shade of Illuminating. To stay on that line, make your living room pop and place one or two yellow armchairs in it.

Image credit: Pinterest / San Francisco Chronicle / BRABBU

If your interior is more on the high-end rage or you prefer elegant furniture, go for sophisticated design. You can find modish pieces like dressing table ottoman at several retailers. Still, if you are looking for a unique piece, you can get a bespoke furniture design, tailored to your interior.

Image credit: TOV Furniture

If you still have questions on interior design or have an enquiry for us in West London, don't hesitate to contact.



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