Step into a state of clarity as you experience a sense of optimism and practicality with Pantone’s Colors of the Year, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. Achieving a balance of energy and calm, this color combination perfectly contradicts itself as it radiates a feeling of warmth and security. Eliciting emotions of serenity, Ultimate Gray emanates stillness and composure through a subtle, cool gray tone while Illuminate is a bright, warm yellow giving us happiness and hope. As we take on the new year, we look forward to seeing this color combination used in a variety spaces whether it’s a home office, kitchen or home gym. We believe any room is a place that could use positive energy and help keep our minds focused on the good things to come.

We're loving these interiors from some amazing designers that capture this color combination in unique ways. See our tips for using Illuminating and Ultimate Gray in your home along with products to get the look!

Shop Stacy Garcia, Color Crush - Pantone's Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, Pantone Color of the Year

Spice things up in your home this year even if it's just one room! Use Illuminate to make a daring statement on an accent wall or large upholstered pieces and allow Ultimate Gray to serve as the accent color. Typically we see it the other way around, but we believe our homes are dying to be brought back to life and what better way is there to do that than with color? Paint is one of our favorite ways to switch things up because it's inexpensive and you're not tearing any wall down, and if you don't like it, you simply paint over it! This lovely bedroom in the home of Susi Bellamy uses artwork to help break up the bold wall while using pops of gray on the headboard.

Shop Stacy Garcia, Color Crush - Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, Photo by James Balston Photography
When working with a bold color such as Illuminate, it's more approachable to use as an accent color, such as on your furniture upholstery. You're still making a statement in the space, but it isn't too loud. The calm tone of Ultimate Gray will help to keep the space grounded  while allowing Illuminate to really shine, bringing in that sense of energy the space needs. This stunning space designed by Sandra Funk speaks to this concept perfectly as she uses a mostly gray room as the backdrop for the happy pop of yellow on the upholstered chairs. 
Shop Stacy Garcia, Color Crush - Pantone's Color of the Year - Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, Interior by Sandra Funk

Stacy got a chance to sit down and talk with Pantone Color Institute's Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman - virtually, of course. When Stacy asked Leatrice "why gray", she says, " it's a reflection...not necessarily the hot new trend". She continues to tell us, "Gray for many people means something that is solid and enduring and what we call a 'classic color'. It doesn't skew to one side or another (cool or warm) so it really is a true neutral." At a time like now where many people are redoing their homes and starting fresh, they want spaces and items that serve longevity and will withstand for many years. When you bring yellow into the picture, you're introducing that sense of optimism and warmth or "ray of sunshine". "It's like walking into mama's kitchen. It brings back those happy feelings," Leatrice says.

Shop Stacy Garcia, Color Crush - Pantone's Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, Pantone Color of the Year for Home Decor


January 12, 2021 — Aimee Williams

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