So what is Pantone’s ‘colour of the year’ and why is it a big deal?

The Pantone colour system is the most recognised colour matching system in the world. It is the simplest way to match and communicate colours across multiple industries. Every colour in every tone and every tint is given a number in order to easily identify it.

Pantone has been the colour matching system used by fashion, graphic and interior designers, along with textile, paint and plastic manufacturers amongst others for years. Every year Pantone, influenced by cultural happenings and international events, announces it’s ‘colour of the year’ which is effectively a prediction of colour that may prove popular with consumers.


Moving on to the colour(s) of 2021…  Ultimate Gray 17-5104 and Illuminating 13-0647

This year there has been a bit of a step change as Pantone has chosen TWO colours. The reason for this is largely based upon how cultural values have shifted over the course of 2020 due to the global pandemic and socio-economics. The realisation of the need for connection and relationships has been in the spotlight which is why the decision to choose two colours was made.

Ultimate Gray is bold and solid, whilst Illuminating is both bright and elevating. Individually they convey quite different messages but together they communicate a message of hope and strength. Almost like the sunshine emerging from storm clouds, which pretty much sums up the hope we all have for the forthcoming year!

As designers, we pride ourselves on being up to date on the latest trends and so we have put together just a few ways in which these trending colours can be used as inspiration in interior design.

Accent Furniture

Want to really draw attention to something in a room? Add in a piece of furniture in an accent colour. We love a beautiful yellow chair to bring a bright focal point to a living room!

Large Property | Nine ElmsApartment | Nine Elms


Grey and yellow really compliment each other well and they are colours that we have used in our house staging before. One of our favourite pairings is adding yellow cushions or other soft furnishings to a grey sofa.

Urban Living Portfolio

Artwork & Accessories

Subtle touches of yellow shades within artwork or accessories can really ‘illuminate’ (see what we did there?) a room without it being too overwhelming. We love the subtleties of yellow tones through wall art and soft furnishings.

Urban Living PortfolioApartment | Nine Elms

Accent Walls

Go bold with a single wall of colour! This doesn’t just mean painting either, think about using wallpaper, patterns, textures, fabrics etc.  Then really bring a room to life by adding touches of the same colour in other elements of the room.

Showhome | Upper Brailes Private Client | Battersea

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