Gray is not a mood. Gray is the support and observation behind a mood. If your canvas was gray, a grounded and constant gray, the colors you add are what create the mood.
Imagine you are sitting in a room in a beautiful Tahoe home with gray walls. Does that sound depressing? The color gray can suggest cheerless overcast skies to some people. However, consider the root of gray in nature. Gray is in the pebbles beneath our feet, the streaks of gray in the seagull’s feathers, the snowcapped mountains of beautiful Tahoe that we so admire.
Now imagine the room with gray walls has a warm and bright splash of yellow. By using accent pillows, swathes, or painted window trim, that buttery pop of color adds a lively element to enhance the space.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Pantone chose Ultimate Gray and Illuminating as the 2021 Colors of the Year.
In a Pantone news release, the colors are described as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power,” and “emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation,” Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, respectively.
Warmth and dependability are precisely what we need after the roller-coaster of last year.
The two colors also pay tribute to the idea that we are in this together, that it’s not about one person, one group, or even one color. It’s an enduring union of independent energies and hope.
While gray is neutral, yellow is uplifting and joyful. Ultimate Gray is the perfect companion to the vivid burst of color that is Illuminating. Bright yellow can be overpowering in interior or exterior decor, yet with the right base like Ultimate Gray, it brings to mind happiness, vitality, and sun-drenched mornings.
This pair of colors is perfectly balanced. Gray kitchen cabinets won’t be gloomy with an Illuminating backsplash. Yellow chairs won’t seem out of place on an Ultimate Gray porch. One color is eager and in-your-face, while the other is durable and comforting.
We are taking gray and turning its focus to the solidarity, strength, and steel that it represents. We are now using it, not as a shadow, but in an embrace of the Ultimate Gray days behind us, and an invitation to the Illuminating, vibrant days ahead. What do you think?