How to Incorporate Illuminating and Ultimate Grey into Your Home

Creativity & Design

Each year, the Lombardo blog reviews Pantone’s Color of the Year selection and offers suggestions on incorporating this color into your home’s décor. This year, Pantone selected two colors for the Color of the Year. Pantone chose two colors for 2021 because of how the two colors support each other, balancing light and dark, liveliness and thoughtfulness. The hardy, rock solid Ultimate Gray (Pantone: 17-5104) fortifies the cheerful, friendly optimism of Illuminating (Pantone: 13-0647). The story of these enduring and uplifting colors is of resilience and hope for the future, a vision we can get behind in 2021.

How should you bring these two colors into your home? If you’re looking to make your home more lively, open, and bright, your statement pieces will be in Illuminating, while accessories and other décor will be in gray. If you want to ground your space with a more dependable and calmer aura, Ultimate Gray will be more prevalent, with yellow as your accent. Let’s delve into the ways these colors work together to help bring out the best in your rooms.

Great Room

The great room is often filled with lively conversation and activity, and Illuminating’s warm and sunny yellow is perfect for reflecting that aura back to your family and guests. Add it to your walls or sofa as a statement or accent color, then balance that out with Ultimate Gray by adding pillows or vases in the color, proving a relaxing place for eyes to return to when they need a moment away from the bright yellow. Alternatively, create a subdued and thoughtful atmosphere by using gray as your main color, and add pockets of warm brightness with a rug or other accessories in yellow.


As a busy area in any home, the kitchen is a good place to use Illuminating. This active color will match the often hectic space and can increase our creativity and efficiency. Cabinets or backsplash in this color will stand out and provide energy. Add accessories in Ultimate Gray to provide that tranquil resting place for your eyes. On the reverse end, gray is often used on kitchen cabinets, countertops, walls, and appliances, so setting up Ultimate Gray as your main color won’t be too overbearing and will make sure that your yellow isn’t too much.

Dining Room

The dining room is probably the easiest place to bring in any color, depending on the mood you seek to create. Use Ultimate Gray on the walls to keep dinnertime more peaceful, evocative, and open. Place settings or centerpieces are quick and simple ways to incorporate the color. A tablecloth or chair covers in Illuminating can then create that energized aura. Add both colors to the background by including them in your display art, flowers on your tables or cabinets, and candles.


Incorporating Ultimate Gray and Illuminating into your study can help provide that perfectly balanced mood between reflective and active needed while working. Keep your study calm and relaxing by painting some or all walls in Ultimate Gray’s resilient color. Add touches of Illuminating by including plants, tables, chairs, artwork, or other accentuation décor throughout the area to provide an encouraging environment for you to work.


An accent wall, door, or duvet cover in either color can be a focal point to provide a comforting backdrop that will bring comfort and positivity. Use an ottoman, day bed, or chairs to give the bedroom a grounded space to focus on when one needs a moment to slow down. Shelving, toys, and small decorations can also quietly provide interest to the room without going all out in either direction.


Ultimate Gray will work to keep the room calm and soothing. Towels, bath rugs, sink accessories, and frames are a simple way to cycle in Illuminating without making it be too much of a distraction. For a focal point, use this color on your shower curtain. Add ambient candles to bring color to this space with minimal effort.


Have you already incorporated the Pantone Colors of the Year into your home? Will you be trying any of these tips? Let us know in the comments!


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