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The Footstool in Turmeric by Snug Sofa
Contemporary poster by Desenio
James Morrison from Lumison

Living Life In Colour 

Have you ever wondered who decides which colours are ‘in’ or ‘out’ in the world of interior décor? Just like the fashion industry, interior designers, manufacturers and retailers are influenced by particular colours each season and one such major influence is the Pantone Colour of the Year.

Amander Meade explains how this year’s colours will filter their way into homes in the Rutland area this year.

Cream-Yellow KooKoo 'Singvögel' wall clock

The Pantone Color Institute is recognised globally as a leading source of colour expertise. The Institute collaborates with clients all over the world, helping them to develop colour and design approaches consistent with their brand vision. At the end of each year the Pantone Colour of the Year is announced which always causes a little flurry of excitement in the world of interiors.

The colour of the year is a trend forecast for consumers and helps furniture, textile, fashion, accessory and technology designers make decisions from season to season. From the moment the announcement is made each year, the chosen colour begins to appear everywhere – from lunch boxes and cat collars to cushions, curtains and home accessories.

Blanket by Heating & Plumbing, London

This year Pantone announced not one but two colours for 2021 – a pairing of ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Gray’. The Institute explained that ‘Ultimate Gray’ brings a sense of comfort, and ‘Illuminating’ a sense of positivity, making these two shades the perfect combination for 2021’s colours of the year. They went on to describe ‘Illuminating’ as “a bright and cheerful yellow, sparkling with vivacity; a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power,” and ‘Ultimate Gray’ as being “like pebbles, emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.”               Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said the colours were “Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic. This is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, it’s  essential to the human spirit.”

Mini Yellow Glaze Vase by Mint and May

On a more practical level how does this translate? Well, yellow is a  happy colour and gray is an ideal neutral. Many people already have a neutral palette in their homes which can be easily added to with dashes of brighter, bolder shades like ‘Illuminating’. Because bright yellow is quite a difficult shade to use, I think it’s more likely we’ll be adopting it in small doses and pops of colour which can still achieve a strong visual statement. Accessories are the best way to do this – a couple of cushion covers or a throw will put you on trend without breaking the bank and children’s rooms are the ideal candidates for a brighter palette.

If you’re not a fan of gray, navy blue or forest green would pair up with ‘Illuminating’ just as easily – if  not better in my view. 

Cream-Yellow KooKoo 'Singvögel' wall clock
Contemporary poster by Desenio

Get the look in and around Rutland: Rutland’s Elizabeth Stanhope Interiors elizabethstanhope.co.uk and Sarah Harding Interiors sarahhardinginteriors.co.ukas well as Hunters Interiors huntersinteriorsofstamford.co.uk and H Works in Stamford hworksdesign.co.uk will all be delighted to advise on how best to adopt the colours of the year into your décor.   

Last year’s colour was ‘Ultimate Blue’ which became spookily correct in describing the events of 2020. If the Pantone Colour of the Year really does reflect what is happening in the world, we can only hope that this year’s forecast of hope and stability is just as accurate.


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