The Pantone Color Institute has shared its pick for this year’s Color of the Year and…2021 actually gets two colors! One dark and one bright, they are the perfect mix to represent a year full of hope—and we have some great ideas for how you can use these colors to give your interior a brand new look and feel.  

The respected color institute has chosen Ultimate Gray and Cheerful Yellow as “a message of happiness supported by fortitude,” said a spokesperson from Pantone. This is only the second time in the Pantone Institute’s history where two colors have been chosen as “Color of the Year.” (In 2016, a shade of rose and a shade of blue were both chosen.)  

Visit Pantone’s website to view the colors and notice the yellow has a bright, hopeful, happy feel to it. A lot of times yellows can look too dingy or bland, but this one seems to have just enough personality to brighten a room, but also the maturity to not overdo it. 

The Ultimate Gray is strong enough to support any color, but because it is devoid of color itself (it lands in this strange place between black and white) it is a perfect pair for something with a bit of panache, like a…you guessed it—yellow! The two colors work well together to showcase furniture and art, and they set a specific aesthetic that can give any home a strong sense of balance.  


First, Why Pantone Colors? 

Pantone colors are a big deal when it comes to color consistency, as they are the standard by which quality colors are measured. The institution has set the standard for color options for years, which has allowed designers to match specific shades (any chosen by the designer from a palette of options) to be produced on any type of machinery, computer, etc.  

Each year homebuilders, interior designers, clothing designers, all look forward to Pantone’s recommended colors and color combinations. This year’s choices are sure to be an immediate hit, and at Queen City Kitchen and Bath, we have some great ideas of how they can be used.  


Using Gray as an Interior Color 

Your home is so much more than a place to sleep and rest. These days we find ourselves here, in our homes, more than ever. These modern areas, big or small, come fitted with everything needed to make us happy and, now more than ever, our homes are unique spaces where we can do just about anything. We have become more industrial, more practical, and our houses have done the same: modern kitchens and bathrooms are sterile, sharp, ready to be used, while our dining and lounging areas are bright, welcoming, and alive. 

As we spend more and more time at home, shades of gray are becoming more popular as an interior color. In the past, grays have been seen as depressive and bland, but today the color is taking on a different persona. Gray brings an industrial feel and that causes some to see it as a threat or off-putting. But really, gray is a selfless color. It promotes those objects and colors around it while it sits back. It feels functional, utilitarian—somewhere back to the basics. There is a simplicity to gray that brings everything to the surface and it seems to be popping up in interiors everywhere. 

Use this color in rooms where you want corners to be lost and objects to be seen. For example, a gray kitchen can seem larger than what it truly is because the dark in the color blurs nooks and crannies while the light in the gray brings shiny objects to life. An industrial feel for an industrial room in the house, this color also works well for washrooms and bathrooms, really any room where you are there for a specific purpose other than to lounge.  


Using Yellow as an Interior Color 

Whereas gray may be the perfect shade to sit back and bring other objects to light, yellow places itself right upfront. It is bold, it’s bright—if gray is John, yellow is Paul, and both work together to bring about some amazing results.  

All colors have an effect on the human psyche. Gray is calm, clean, ready for action while yellow is optimistic, happy, a welcoming shade for sure. It brings energy and cheerfulness to living and dining rooms, even exterior walls, and there are few matches as perfect as gray and yellow in a home.   

The nice thing about using yellow as a shade inside the home is the brightness of the color makes interior rooms look and feel larger. It’s true, the color yellow creates an illusion of added space.  

Use yellow in the living room. Not only will it make the room seem larger, but yellow also looks wonderful next to furniture with earthy tones. Dark browns, wood-grained furniture, and picture frames, all look great in a room with yellow walls because the seriousness of light and dark browns (much like that of gray), paired with the bubbly attitude of yellow brings maturity to your home. It shows you are responsible and kind; stoic but ready to laugh and have some fun.  

If you do end up using gray as a color for the kitchen and/or bathrooms—and we do recommend this—yellow works well to counteract the seriousness of such a shade. These colors used together inside a home create a scene that is warm and friendly. Even if you only use the yellow as an accent wall, you will be amazed at the change in the atmosphere created in your home.  


More Ideas for Using Yellow 

Using gray and yellow as your primary interior colors don’t mean you have to get rid of other colors. In fact, you don’t have to paint with yellow at all if you like the colors you currently have on the walls. Consider this instead: odd numbers of yellow accents, such as two yellow throw pillows and one yellow vase. This provides the same feel as a yellow room without having to repaint all the walls. The odd number jars the psyche a bit, causing you to notice the color swatch and embrace the warmth and feel of the room.  

Consider standing out from the crowd by painting your front door yellow. This is considered an exterior element, but you can also paint the inside of your front door yellow to bring the shade inside your home—this is a great way to provide a pop of color without having to do a lot of work. Imagine, a yellow door with dark hardware—can you see it?! 

Whether or not Pantone’s colors of the year for 2021 work for you and your home, at Queen City Kitchen and Bath, we can help you find and create the best possible interior shades for your home. If we have learned anything in 2020, it’s that our homes are the safest, most important places we inhabit. So why not take the time to get them exactly the way we want.