Pantone's Colour(s) Of The Year: How To Get The Look In Your Home

Pantone’s Colour(s) Of The Year: How To Get The Look In Your Home

In an unexpected turn of events – apt after the year we’ve had – international colour experts Pantone revealed not one 2021 Colour of the Year, but two. This is only the second time this has ever happened. The last time we had two colours of the year was in 2016 when they selected Rose Quartz and Serenity – light shades of pale pink and blue – to represent “wellness” and “movements toward gender equality and fluidity”. Appropriate for the time when the world was struggling with gender inequality and gender bias.

Now, again, we seem to be experiencing particularly turbulent times – unprecedented, some might say. And the decision by Pantone seems to, once again, be right on the money. While some critics have called it cheating to offer two notable colours instead of one, the company is standing by their decision and asks that the colours be seen as unified and in harmony. The colours for 2021 are ‘Ultimate Grey’ and ‘Illuminating’. One a shade of dove grey, and the other a cheerful buttercup. According to the trend forecasters, the dual shades are meant to represent “a message of happiness supported by fortitude”. As opposed to emergency lane road paint.

No matter how we feel about the unusual choices, the two shades are bound to be everywhere in 2021. If you want to stay on trend and incorporate Ultimate Grey and Illuminating into your home, we’ve got a few ideas.

Here’s how to get the Pantone colours of the year in your home…

In the lounge

The wonderful thing about the two chosen colours of the year is that they tone very well together. So, if you already have a grey lounge suite or even muted colours like cream or beige, it’s easy enough to make a few small tweaks to bring in Pantone’s two shades. If you can, pick something that incorporates both colours – some stores were ahead of the trend, we suspect. Or, choose the accessories you’d like to use to give a nod to Ultimate Grey and Illuminating. Things like scatter cushions, throws and lamps will work wonderfully in the lounge…


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In the kitchen

If you love the idea of incorporating the colours of the year in your home, think about creating a focal wall painted in either grey or yellow. The backsplash in the kitchen could be the perfect spot. Otherwise, go for small accessories you can display like pepper grinders, pretty pots or utensils. We also love the idea of carrying the trend into your dining room with bright table runners or placemats.


30cm Salt Mill, R769, Le Creuset


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In the bedroom

Add a pop of buttercup colour to a muted bedroom with accessories like scatter cushions or bed spreads. For ultimate impact, mix yellow and grey decor with a bright piece of furniture offset by a grey background. And, if you can track down an artwork that ticks both the yellow and grey boxes, all the better. It may seem odd at first, but the Ultimate Grey an Illuminating shades in a bedroom can make for a totally dreamy space…

Fine living oscar studded double headboard – ash, R3 299, Sixth Floor at Superbalist 


In the bathroom

Liven up a small bathroom with a mix of yellow and grey accents. What’s great is that you can change things up as you please, without incurring too much cost. Swap yellow and charcoal bath towels – or use one of each. You could also experiment with bathroom accessories like soap dishes, bath mats, soap dispensers or candles. For even more joy, add a lush hanging plant in a cool grey planter – perfect for a chic bathroom.

Resin Terrazzo Dispenser, R129.99, Mr Price Home

2 Piece Textured Cotton Bath Mat Set, R229.99, Mr Price Home


We’ve offered a few ideas about how to get the ‘Pantone colours of the year’ look in your homes. There are probably loads more options, so get creative and celebrate 2021 with Ultimate Grey and Illuminating. It could be exactly the right feel after a particularly unpredictable year…

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