Last week, The Pantone Color Institute announced its 2021 Color of the Year. This year, though, Pantone has decided to name not one, but two colors: PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray, and PANTONE 13-06047 Illuminating. 

Each year, Pantone selects a color (or two, as was also the case previous to 2021 in 2016), which is inspired by color influences from around the globe. It can take into account cultural trends, socio-economic conditions, the art and design industry, sporting, and more. 

This year's selection is a testament to the strength found in coming together. The pairing of a mid-tone gray and a very bright yellow are meant to, "conjoin deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day," Pantone explained in their release. The Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman said of the selection, “Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”

In an interview with Vogue, the Guardian reported Pantone color trend experts stated that one color was never going to encapsulate everything that needed to be expressed. They knew they would need two colors that, "could come together."

While the colors were chosen as a balance for one another, Pantone says they do not need to be used equally together. Either color can play a dominant role. But the two together, they recommend, can be beautifully applied in a home setting - whether a yellow door with grey exterior finishes, or grey walls or surfaces with yellow accents in an office or dining room. Illuminating can increase intuition, warmth, and open-mindedness, while Ultimate Grey provides dependability and stability. 

Pantone partnered with ARTECHOUSE, using their New York City location as the digital announcement location. In collaboration, Pantone and ARTECHOUSE created a social media reveal inspired by the color choices (preview below). Click here to watch it on Youtube.  

So, why do we love this selection? Aside from the reasons mentioned above by Pantone about why they work so well in an interior (which we share), we love these colors for two MORE reasons: First, Ultimate Gray is a perfect neutral that pairs well with many colors, while Illuminating is a warm pop that brightens a space and gives it life. Second, we love the meaning behind this combo. With 2020 having been such a difficult time for so many, we love the idea of rolling into 2021 with durable Gray and hopeful Yellow leading the way. 

Love the Pantone Colors of the Year as much as we do? We've identified a few pieces from the Sorelle collection to help you infuse these two brilliant colors into your home. 

Born to Be Wild - Print | Hazal Ozturk


Love Letter | Sofie Swann

Dreams - Print | Hazal Ozturk


Fields of Love | Sofie Swann

To read more about the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year, Classic Blue, click here


Image Credit: 

Featured Image: CNN / Pantone Color Institute
First Inline: Daily Mail UK / Pantone Color Institute


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