Design Considerations Of Pantone’s 2021 Colors Of The Year
Color authority Pantone names two Colors of the Year for 2021: Illuminating yellow and Ultimate
At every end to the year - and what a year 2020 has been globally! the world’s design authorities share their colour choices for the upcoming year. One of the leading and most influencial colour houses, Pantone, is naming two for 2021: A vivid yellow called Illuminating (13-0647) and Ultimate Grey (17-5104).
What difference do these colour declarations make? Simply put, they’re the colours you can expect to see well-represented across a wide range of products, from fashion to beauty to home decor.
Since colour scientists point to the importance and influence our environmental hues have on our well-being, With Pantone’s 2021 Colours of the Year 2021 announcement this December is an opportune moment to look at where and how you might want to use its two selections and, perhaps more important, where they might not work as well.
With the corona virus pandemic not going away anytime soon, we are finding ourselves put into high level tier lockdowns throughout the United Kingdom and having to spend more time in our homes, and what better way of beating the isolation anxiety by improving your living space with fresh vibrant colours, when combined with geometric shapes it creates a modern industrial fresh feel.
Here’s how Pantone describes its COTY pair for home décor in its announcement release: “Ultimate Grey and Illuminating are a great combination to set the mood in any room in the home adding a dose of sunshine and positivity.” But should you really use both in any room? Colour psychologists suggest this is probably not the best idea.
Colour psychologist attribute happiness and optimism to this primary shade and point to its associations with sunshine, spring and new beginnings. However, in its brightest tones, (like Illuminating), yellow can also cause irritability, they report.
Some great places to include the colour yellow are hallways that don’t get enough natural light, breakfast rooms and kitchens. Places to avoid it are large-scale bedroom applications – especially nurseries, since babies can be particularly color-sensitive.
If bright yellow is a must-have for your own bedroom, consider using it for a small accessory, like a vase, accent pillow, planter or throw, rather than for an entire set of bedding, a wide swath of draperies or wall paint.
With the vast majority remote working during the pandemic why not add a bright yellow background to yourr Zoom meetings or video projects in your home office, but if the room gets extensive sunlight, its intensity can create a feeling of overheating.
Pantone also suggests that Illuminating “heightens awareness and enhances intuition, lighting the way to the intellectual curiosity, originality, and resourcefulness of an open mind.” While being potentially accurate, its irritability factor may also exacerbate work tensions. Keeping it as a background, perhaps as an accent wall behind your webcam view, rather than slathered across the wall you gaze at while working all day, may be the more wellness-inspired option.
Since yellow works well in breakfast rooms and, in many cases, kitchens, Illuminating can be a fun choice for countertop appliances, table linens, dishes, cookware and décor items. These can provide a festive element to typically neutral big ticket kitchen elements like cabinetry and appliances, and complement the greys and whites often selected for marble look counters and contemporary wood or tile floors. Yellow also contrasts smartly with stainless steel.
Pantone describes Ultimate Gray as a “firm foundation for Illuminating,” meaning a cool grey space sparked with bright yellow accents. Cool grays have grown extremely popular in recent years for wood (and wood-look) flooring and cabinetry, as well as for the veins in marble-inspired countertop styles.
Marble-look porcelain adds low maintenance, cool gray style to kitchen countertops.
Thousands of kitchen cabinets are now topped by marble-look quartz or porcelain slabs that look like real stone, but offer fewer maintenance requirements. In this application, the grays are accents on a white background, so less impactful than a row of cabinetry or roomful of flooring in the same tones.
The Ultimate Grey selected by Pantone for 2021 is somewhat lighter than the saturated shade often chosen for upscale, traditional dining rooms, libraries, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. That lightness helps a room feel more casual than serious, making it a healthy choice for living spaces, bedrooms, even offices, and allowing a neutral palette for the sunny accents of Illuminating — or for your own long-time personal favorite accent colour.