How to Incorporate Pantone’s Color Of The Year Into Your Décor

When Pantone announced the 2021 Color of the Year, it was a little different than previous years — this time, there were two! After the challenges both faced and overcome in 2020, the dual color combo was meant to serve as a message of inspiration and unity, a fitting move for how many of us felt going into 2021.

A Power Couple

The colors in Pantone’s 2021 Color of the Year are called PANTONE 17-5104 “Ultimate Gray” and PANTONE 13-0647 “Illuminating.” Pantone’s vision for this combination is best expressed as “two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another.” Their focus was on the strength and stability expressed in “Ultimate Gray,” paired with the bright and sunny optimism of “Illuminating,” hoping that the marriage of the two colors could inspire growth and resilience of the human spirit.

You might not think so, but these two hues of gray and yellow actually fit exceptionally well together, and are easy and natural to pair together in home décor. Throughout the home, they can be incorporated to simultaneously provide a neutral base while adding a pop of radiant color. From linens and lamps to paints and plants, these versatile shades are simple to include as much or as little as you like. Here are some of our favorite ways to add them to every room in your house!


If you’re starting with the bed, gray sheets paired with a yellow duvet or woven blanket can still keep a neutral atmosphere while including a burst of color. For added oomph, use decorative pillows or a simple throw rug. You can also take it a step further by painting a gray accent wall and hanging yellow curtains (or vice versa!). Little knick-knacks like a retro yellow alarm clock or jewelry dish set on top of a gray dresser can also bring those two colors together.

Kitchen and Dining Room

Because of their simplicity, yellow and gray are two colors that can be easily incorporated into the kitchen or dining area. For example, a gray table runner under a dish of lemons or gray placemats under yellow serving wares can create a beautiful focal point for the dining table. In the kitchen, a yellow and gray tiled backsplash or even wallpaper in white and gray with yellow decorations can bring everything together. In both spaces, flowers, seatback pillows or hanging planters can help tie the combination of colors together without feeling too stark.

color of the year

Living and Family Room

These two rooms hold plenty of potential when it comes to decorating options. A neutral gray couch can be spruced up with a pop of color by adding a yellow blanket and accent pillows. Adding a yellow armchair or rug to a gray room can be both complementary and uplifting. By hanging yellow wall art or even painting a yellow accent wall, you can liven up a dark room while still keeping the color scheme simplistic. This is truly an area you can have lots of fun with, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Front Porch 

Create a welcoming invitation and bring some cheery brightness to your home’s entryway by painting your front door yellow and the exterior finishes gray. If you’re looking for a less involved project, gray planters filled with yellow daisies, chrysanthemums or marigolds can bring that marriage of colors to your front porch with ease. If you’re wanting something even more simple, or perhaps don’t want to dedicate your front door or exterior to these colors, you can always find a door mat or front door wreath to showcase them without the commitment!

The options for incorporating Pantone’s 2021 Color of the Year are virtually endless. Because they’re a natural color combination, they can be easily included in the décor of any room in your house. How will you incorporate them?

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