Pantone Colors of the Year 2021: how to use it in decoration

In the second week of December, designers, architects, advertiser, and many professionals from areas that dictate market trends were eagerly awaiting the Pantone Color Institute’s announcement of what the color of the year 2021 would be and, to everyone’s surprise, not one was announced, but two colors.

The choice of color that will represent the following year is usually a reflection of the moment society goes through and, after a cloudy year as it was 2020, the choice of gray, named by the company Ultimate Gray, makes perfect sense, but would not bring any positive message alone, which changes completely when it comes accompanied by a vibrant yellow named Illiminating.


The two colors together represent the need for unity awakened in 2020, a year marked by a pandemic that changed everyone’s life, and reinforces the idea that we need to follow.

According to the Pantone Color Institute’s own vice president, Laurie Pressman “no individual color could convey the meaning of this moment. We all realize that we cannot move on alone, and we have a better understanding of how we need each other, emotional support and hope.”

Below, learn more about the duo colors chosen to represent the year 2021 and see ways to use them in your decor.

Ultimate Gray


The color, new to Pantone’s catalog, was added in early 2020 as color 17-5104 and by the #939597 code in hexadecimal, represents something concrete, safe, and above all, the much-needed resilience at this time.

Illuminating Yellow


The vibrant tone is also recent in Pantone’s catalog, represented as color 13-0647 in the company catalog and by the #F5DF4D in hexadecimal. Color represents hope and positivity, and can be termed as “the light at the end of the tunnel”.

The choice of the two colors


According to Pantone’s statement ( on the choice of the duo, they consider that the combination of the two tones “is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly”.

Check out the following two colors applied in the decoration of different environments.

From classic to modern

Even in a classic environment, the combination that at first glance exhales modernity can be used.


The light background in neutral tones can be discreetly complemented by gray and yellow as points of light, bringing more life to the environment.


comtemporary pantone

In a contemporary decor, the combination of gray and yellow reinforces modernity by uniting two unusual colors.

On the walls

Yellow Pantone

The duo of the year can be used from floor to ceiling, creating environments full of style and personality.

Bold environments

The combination mixed with concrete in the decor gives an even more modern tone to environments such as lofts, which blend modern elements with an industrial style.

yellow gray modern

To complement the pair of gray and yellow, black and white are perfect, reinforcing modernity in space.


The choice of the color duo by the Pantone Institute brings much more than trends to the beginning of 2021. It represents the power of the union between resilience and hopes to start over.

Using these colors reflects the search for a new path and the certainty that after a cloudy period, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.