8 Easy Ways to Add Pantone's 2021 Colors of the Year to Your Home

That yellow is the cheerful pop we need right now

living room with gray and yellow accents

Style by Emily Henderson

We’re certainly not ones to wish the festive season away, but the recent news of 2021 Pantone’s Colors of the Year already has us dreaming of the post-holiday refresh we’re going to give our homes. After announcing that this year’s colors are a bright and vibrant yellow called Illuminating and a cool neutral called Ultimately Gray, we’ve been pouring over inspo images for how to bring these shades into our day-to-day.

  • 01 of 08

    In the Kitchen

    yellow and gray kitchen

     Heide Hendricks

    Our love of a bold, yellow kitchen is already well documented here at The Spruce, but if you’re not ready to take such a big leap, you can still add little pops of sunshine into your existing space. Think small appliances, like tea kettles and toasters, textiles, like dish towels and aprons, or accent furniture, like chairs and barstools. 

    Framed by a gray space, the yellow brings life to the room and shines as playful and fun.

  • 02 of 08

    On the Table

    kitchen nook with yellow and gray accents

    Benjamin Moore

    Nothing brightens up a room like fresh flowers, and while we love a rustic wildflower bunch, there’s something to be said for a structured bouquet of bright yellow tulips or daffodils, or a decorative bowl of lemons. This yellow and gray nook might be one of the most cheerful places we can imagine having our morning latte, but even if that chipper accent wall weren’t there, the yellow vase full of sunflowers packs a punch—especially paired with the quiet, charcoal gray throw pillows along the bench.

  • 03 of 08

    In the Living Room

    living room with gray and yellow accents

    Style by Emily Henderson

    One of the best ways to add a new color to your life is to incorporate it with accent pieces. If you’re working from a neutral space, it’s easy to swap in new things like vibrant throw pillows or colorful art pieces. We love how these yellow cushions and throw blanket look on the gray sofa.

    Or perhaps 2021 is the year to go all-in? Consider a bold yellow sofa, softened with gray accents, or standing on its own in a neutral, gray room.

  • 04 of 08

    In the Bedroom

    yellow accent chair

    Instagram / @jhinteriordesign

    Sure, we could suggest yellow bedding against a gray headboard. That’s a great way to incorporate the happy color into your bedroom. But this yellow accent chair against the gray wall, with a hint of gray on the bed, is so much more nuanced.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    In the Bathroom

    bathroom with yellow and gray accents

    Bang On Style Blog

    A powder room or small bathroom is the perfect place to play with color because most bathrooms are neutral by design. Consider removable wallpaper as one option, using gray accents to tone down the initial impact.

    If it still feels like too much, then start small. Lead with gray, and add texture and brightness with yellow accents, like towels and candles.

  • 06 of 08

    In the Nursery

    grey and yellow nursery

    KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images 

    Yellow has been a long-time favorite for gender-neutral nurseries, but combining gray and yellow elevates the entire look. The sunny tones immediately warm up the gray space, and it’s an easy palette to add to as your little one grows and develops their own love of color. 

  • 07 of 08

    On the Floors

    yellow rug with gray cabinets


    An area rug is another great way to liven up a neutral space, and we’re ready to rush out and buy this on-trend gray and yellow beauty that shines against the gray cabinetry. Bonus pop of color: the yellow roses on the vanity.

  • 08 of 08

    On the Walls

    yellow accent wall

    Instagram / @grillodesigns

    Painting an entire room yellow sounds like an intimidating feat, but what about painting an accent wall? Or even just a piece of an accent wall? Count us fully on board, especially after spotting this golden arch by Medina at Grillo Designs.

No matter what, one thing is for sure. Once the holiday festivities are through and the tree is packed away, we’re ready to bring the color in to get us through the long, gray days of January and February. And we can all thank Pantone for encouraging us to let the sunshine in.