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It’s Official: We Have The 2021 Color of the Year


You’ve heard of the Grammy’s Artist of the Year, the Oscar’s Film of the Year, and Time magazine’s Person of the Year— but do you know about the 2021 Color of the Year?

This tradition goes back decades. Pantone, a New Jersey company that started as a printing service in the early 1950s, made a name for themselves with their Pantone Matching System (PMS).

You may recognize their innovative system if you’ve recently made a trip down the paint aisle at your local hardware store. PMS presents customers with a color-coordinated booklet with more than 500 color swatches to choose from. If you’re looking for red paint for your new accent wall, Pantone is the reason why you’ll know whether you’re looking for more of a Chilli Pepper Red than a Ruby Red. 

The demand for this simple concept was, unpredictably, overwhelming. By the 80s, Pantone began working with Adobe and Microsoft to help give their users an unlimited way to design. 


Why Home Buyers and Sellers Should Care about the Color of the Year


So why does anyone pay attention to this company’s color of the year? 

Well, because they’ve turned this tradition into a million-dollar marketing gimmick.

Each year, Pantone introduces its new “official” color of the year. The Pantone Color Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, decides the color (or colors) every year.

And the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year award goes to Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow. 



When Did Pantone Start Color of The Year?


Pantone began publishing a color of the year in 2000. The first nominee, Cerulean, celebrated the new millennium with this calming, powered blue. 

Each color of the year loosely ties with color psychology. According to Eiseman, the reason they choose this particular shade of blue is because it, “brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit.”

Think about it: what scenes do you imagine when you see this color? Perhaps you see yourself walking along a Florida beach or enjoying the outdoors near a lake or spring. Blues bring about feelings of relaxation, reminders of adolescence, and even symbolizes manners of empowerment.

In the years since, colors have ranged from 2006’s Sand Dollar to 2016’s duo winners, Rose Quartz and Serenity. The colors essentially “set the tone” for the upcoming year. 

And since 2020’s color of the year, Classic Blue, was a hard miss (the color represents dependability and reassurance), we can only hope that the 2021 color of the year is more telling of the future ahead of us. 

Even if you’re not interested in the meaning of colors, you’ll still see Pantone’s color of the year play out into marketing around the globe. These colors become popular players in everything from fashion and footwear to home decor and automobiles. 



The 2021 Color of the Year


Pantone announced two contenders for their 2021 color of the year: Illuminating 13-0647 and Ultimate Gray 17-5104. 

These colors represent resilience and hope for our future. On choosing these two colors, Eisman noted they are “Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic… We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”

Because of last year’s disparaging views, Pantone decided to choose two colors that represent different things and yet, mold well together. 

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one.”


Ideas For How To Incorporate These Colors Into Your Lifestyle


While Pantone isn’t the only company to claim their own 2021 color o the year, it’s certainly the most popular. Because so many consumers will be seeing this color this year, it’s a smart move to incorporate these hues into your own home— especially if you’re looking to sell.

So whether you’re planning on putting your home on the market this year, or you simply want to impress your guests with your contemporary style, here are five ways you can use Pantone’s 2021 color of the year into your life:

1. Accent pieces

Not everyone is a fan of bright yellow, but it’s a nice way to make your place look lively. So start small. Look for a gray throw blanket with hints of that Illuminating yellow in its design. Then, place it at the end of your bed or across your couch for an easy accent decoration.

Yellow framed pictures, kitchen utensils, and small yellow vases or flowers are also easy ways to bring some modern color into your home. 

2. Couch

If you’ve been thinking about refurbishing 6your home this year, keep an eye out for that Ultimate Gray color. 

You’ve probably noticed that grays and whites have been the epitome of modern design these last few years. So sofas, coffee tables, and dressers in this shade of gray will be easy to come by. 

If you’re feeling particularly bold, why not try to find an armchair or a full love seat in Illuminating yellow? This bold pop of color can really play into the psychology that your home is up-to-date, fresh, and ready to buy.

3. A garden 

For spruced up curbside appeal, think about planting a garden under your front window sills. Sunflowers, daffodils, and tulips are all terrific light yellow colors that coincide with the 2021 color of the year. 

And forget the mulch— that Marsala color is so 2015. 

Instead, ease your garden around a pool of Ultimate Gray pebbles or rocks.

4. New comforter 

Looking for a more private way to plant these colors into your living quarters? Try out a new comforter for your primary or guest bedrooms. Go for the gold with a bright Illuminating yellow bedspread, or keep it sleek with a gray comforter with the yellow accent pillows. 

5. Appliances

What color are your kitchen appliances right now? We’re willing to bet they’re either white, black, or gray.

If they’re gray, then you have significantly more remodeling money in your pocket. However, homeowners see black and white appliances of the 1990s and early 2000s as outdated. Think about getting that gray appliance upgrade if you really want your home to feel updated and ready to sell.

Retro home decor lovers can rejoice as well— bold color appliances were a hit back in the 1940s (and much more durable, too). See if you can find an antique yellow refrigerator to add some life back into your kitchen!

Or you can always settle for a nice yellow toaster. 


Are you looking to buy or sell your home? Make sure we inspect it first! Contact Stephen of Whitt Inspections to set up your inspection date. 

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