2021 Color Palettes




I am so sick of hearing this, but I can't think of how else to appropriately start this post:


Thank God 2020 is over. Will 2021 be better?? Who knows. But at least we can move on from that... traumatizing date.


I am a huge believer in manifesting and making shit happen for yourself. One way I do that personally is create the space for it. I create emotional space, space in my calendar, and literally will alter my physical living space to help keep me inspired to pursue whatever "it" is.


A sure way of changing a space is by changing the color through paint colors, curtains, throw pillows, and a myriad of other design elements (like a wall hanging perhaps?).


I recently covered the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year in another gig of mine, and I am giving myself permission to share here what I shared there:


Let's talk color palettes for the new year.


Pantone, the paint company, has announced a "color of the year" for over two decades and has become a deciding factor in design trends for that year, from interior design to fashion. This year's colors are a beautiful gray and bright yellow, specifically, "Ultimate Gray" and "Illuminating."


According to Pantone’s announcement:


“A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.”





The neutral gray and bold, contrasting yellow create a perfect harmony of nature and humanity.


As I wrote in my previous piece, "The strength of nature and the necessity of hope come together to create an atmosphere of rejuvenated optimism and perseverance."






So... it's not so much about the actual gray and the actual yellow. It's about finding the right natural tones and bold contrasts that can bring this atmosphere to life in your home.


Now let's get started.


First, choose a neutral tone that appears naturally in nature.


Imagine the sand on the beach, the pebbles on the lakeshore, the limestone in the hills, the quartz on the mountaintops, the soil in your garden, the bark of a 150 year-old oak tree...


Off-whites, beiges, grays, ashes, tans, browns... comforting and warm. Strong and enduring.


Next, choose a bold color that pops. Something cheerful and eye-catching.



Yellow is the most cheerful and optimistic color. Orange is probably the happiest and most joyful. Red is a passionate color. Pinks and more subtle "reds" are loving and daring. Plums are strong and feminine.


So what does this look like?


The 2021 gray-and-yellow combo pulls in varying shades of the two colors:




If yellow isn't your thing (it's not really mine, though I do love me some gold or mustard), then opt for a joyful color that's more your taste.


This palette pulls a yellow beige and even the khaki green, I'd argue, as those base neutrals. Those are earthy, grounding colors that bring comfort and endurance. The contrast comes in the pinks, and that bold pop is brought by the mauve.




The pinks can also look like this, as just another example or idea. This is a gorgeous use of tans and beiges:


You could even scale it back by going more neutral and adding that one color that puts a smile on your face:


Now, what does this actually look like in a space?


Here are some decor and palette combos to give you that bridge:







And finally, how this looks in a room:






Happy new year to y'all! Looking forward to seeing your beautiful spaces. :)


- H

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