The hottest interior design colours for 2021 revealed

Women's hands hold swatches of the trendy colors - yellow and gray. Selection of colors for design

Ultimate Grey and Illuminating are this year's big colours, as chosen by Pantone - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The start of a new year opens up the door for a variety of new trends, and the experts at the Pantone Colour Institute have recently revealed their colours for 2021.  

While the authority on global colour trends usually picks just one hue for the prestigious accolade, this year they decided to opt for a powerful duo – Ultimate Grey and Illuminating. 

White frame on yellow and gray background. Creative Flat lay Top view Mockup Copy space for text. Tr

Yellow and grey can be used in a number of ways throughout your home this year - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Described by Pantone as ‘a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting’, yellow and grey harmonise together to create the ideal palette that will give your home a much-needed yet subtle boost of cheer as we look forward to spring. 

The beauty of having not just one, but two colours means you can experiment with this pairing, and really tailor them to suit your tastes. The last time Pantone decided on more than one colour was back in 2016, when it chose Serenity, a light blue, and Rose Quartz, a delicate, rosy pink. 

Whether you’re leaning towards a yellow room with grey accents throughout, or an overwhelming grey colour scheme with pops of yellow, you really can take this colour palette and make it your own in any of the rooms in your home. 


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To help give your home a welcoming feel as soon as you walk in, Risby Taylor Interiors Limited T/A Michael Morgan Interiors director Paige Taylor suggests combining the two in communal areas to help spread some instant cheer. 

“Ultimate Grey has become a staple colour across most interiors, and a good grey can go with many other colours to create a gorgeous combination. Illuminating Yellow is a colour that uplifts, and has most certainly been picked by Pantone to give a ray of hope to the world in the difficult days we are going through. 

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“These colours can prove harmonious in the right setting - think breakfast room, entrance hall or an informal dining area. Together they provide the perfect balance between bright and cheery without becoming cheesy or gimmicky.” 

Jill Barrett, from Barretts of Woodbridge adds: “We are always super excited to see the new Pantone colours, and we weren’t surprised when the 2021 ones were unveiled. In fact, we think Woodbridge is ahead of the game because our customers have been into grey and yellow for a few years now - it’s great to know we’re on trend in sunny Suffolk. If you’re finding grey a little austere, yellow is certainly a great way to jazz it up.” 

Mike Harper, director of Ipswich-based Harper’s Furniture has long been a fan of grey in the home, and is thrilled to finally see the two colours come together. “We have a range of grey furniture and furnishings, and have seen the trend continue for several years.  

“Yellow and grey are an ideal pairing, as the yellow stands out particularly well against a grey background. Grey also provides you with a blank canvas, and allows you to change your accent colours as often as you like.” 

Gavin Flatman, director of Kitchens Continental Suffolk, is particularly keen on grey kitchens, noting how timeless this year’s Pantone shade really is. “Grey is still really popular and stands the test of time when other colours come and go. It’s the new ivory,” he says. 

For anyone looking to follow the Pantone trend in their kitchen this year, Gavin says to pair grey cupboards and appliances with wood tones for a Scandi look, while yellow accents will help make the neutral grey hues pop.  

Glasswell’s interior design consultant Helen Moss suggests combining the two colours by using grey as a base, and adding yellow as a complimentary colour in either your living room or bedroom. “These colour combinations are an ideal collaboration in any room of your home. A living room could have muted grey wall tones, but why not add an accent furniture piece such as a statement armchair in yellow? Or accessorise on the walls with yellow frames placed on the grey backdrop. 

“Alternatively, opt for a bedroom with accent cushions and curtains. Why not add a dash of yellow to an end-of-bed ottoman for that extra wow factor? Whatever way you incorporate these compelling colours in your home, they certainly promise to lift your spirits and keep you smiling - even when it’s still winter.” 

Get the look this year... 

A cut out shot of a grey two-seater sofa

Orlando two-seater sofa - Credit: Aldiss

Orlando two-seater sofa, £849, Aldiss 

Kick back and relax on this gorgeous, comfortable grey sofa from Aldiss. Whether you’re looking to add a neutral touch to your living room or home office, this two-seater is both stylish and sumptuous, and features solid hardwood feet, luxurious foam arm pads and fully reversible seat cushions. 

A cutout shot of a yellow studio chair

Funk sunny yellow studio chair - Credit: Harper's Furniture

Funk sunny yellow studio chair, £239, Harper’s Furniture 

If you’re looking to invest in a piece of statement furniture this year, make it this yellow studio chair from Harper’s Furniture. Scandi-inspired, this eye-catching seat has been upholstered in smooth chenille-effect fabric, and features four tapered wooden legs. 

A styled shot of a grey and yellow bedding set in a yellow bedroom

Paramo duvet cover set - Credit: Aldiss

Paramo duvet cover set, from £22.49, Aldiss 

Stay on trend in the bedroom this year with this yellow and grey duvet set from Fox & Brooke. Available in single, double and superking, this geometric bedding is subtle and mature, but will still give your room an addition of colour. 

A grey kitchen showroom

A graphite grey Sheraton kitchen - Credit: Kitchens Continental Suffolk

Grey Sheraton kitchen, Kitchens Continental Suffolk 

Go grey in the kitchen this year with these graphite grey cupboards, drawers and fittings from Kitchens Continental Suffolk. Go full Pantone by adding yellow appliances such as a toaster or kettle. 

A styled shot of a grey table lamp

A Clifton Magnum lamp - Credit: Barretts of Woodbridge

Clifton Magnum lamp, £158, Barretts of Woodbridge 

Light up your life with this modern glass table lamp - perfect for the bedroom, living room or hallway. 

A cut out shot of a yellow and grey triangle print cushion

Dali triangle printed cushion - Credit: Glasswells

Dali triangle printed cushion, £14.50, Glasswells 

Yellow meets grey on this modern, graphic triangle cushion. Try adding a few on your sofa to really nail the 2021 Pantone look. 

A cut out shot of a yellow ombre kitchen utensil holder

Kitchen utensil holder - Credit: Aldiss

Kitchen utensil holder, £14.99, Aldiss 

Part of Aldiss’ Kitchen Pantry range, this yellow utensil holder will seamlessly fit into any kitchen. Crafted from ceramic, it has a honeycomb embossed design and comes with a silicone seal airtight lid. 

A styled shot of a yellow tweedmill lambswool throw

Tweedmill lambswool throw - Credit: Barretts of Woodbridge

Tweedmill lambswool throw, £48.86, Barretts of Woodbridge 

Made from 100% lambswool, this cosy throw in Beehive Yellow will instantly brighten up any room.

Carnival blackout roller blinds

Carnival blackout roller blinds - Credit: Norwich Sunblinds

Carnival blackout roller blinds, Norwich Sunblinds 

While there not be much sunshine at this time of year, these bright yellow roller blinds will certainly help you feel sunnier. 

Morris and Co Willow Yellow Wallpaper

Morris and Co Willow Yellow Wallpaper - Credit: Michael Morgan Interiors

Morris and Co Willow Yellow Wallpaper, Michael Morgan Interiors

Commit to the look this year by decorating your room in this vibrant take on classic Morris wallpaper. Whether you opt to do an entire room or just a feature wall, your mood will instantly feel lifted. 

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