Pantone splashes sunshine on the grey of the past year

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The Pantone Colours for 2021 — Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Grey — should bring sunshine, happiness and stability to the world. Or at the very least, to our homes.

New colours are decreed every year by Pantone, an American firm founded in 1963 by Lawrence Herbert who created a system for identifying colours in the print and textile design industries.

Home staging expert Yvonne Laanstra says the combo of yellow and grey is a solid one.

“Yellow will always make you smile. Grey might reflect how we feel after all that has happened, but it grounds everything,” she says.

Yellow can be fun, especially with things like a sports car. It’s not often used in home decor and can be overwhelming as a dominate colour. But will brighten the mood in small doses.

“This year we’ll see yellow in any type of product. Appliances, pillows, wallpaper and shower curtains. Think of how much fun a yellow patio umbrella would be,” she says. “I like to use bold, trend colours in items you can replace faster than say, an appliance.”

For the cautious home decorator, Laanstra says slashes of yellow in accessories will bring in the sun and keep it fun.

“It’s a colour that invites one to be a little less serious,” she says.

Grey has warmed up in the last decade, becoming light, soft and warm like a cozy sweater. As a neutral, it’s best used on walls, floors and cabinets. Be careful choosing grey, especially at the paint store Laanstra says. Just like whites, greys can turn pink, blue or purple depending on the undertones.

“Don’t just ask for grey. There are endless possibilities,” she says.

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