I have to say that when the Pantone Institute announced its color(s) of the year for 2021 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and 13-0647 Illuminating, I wasn’t inspired. I should have been because, after all, grey and yellow are my brand colours and they do combine well

Illuminating is described as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” whilst Ultimate Gray “is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation”. The philosophy is to combine stability with optimism.

In this blog I want to share some suggestions for introducing these colours into your home.


Image of a lamp on a table in the corner of a room. The lamp base is composed of a series of pebbles one on top of the other with a simple conical shade in a natural fabric.

Ultimate Gray is designed to conjure feelings of calm and stability such as you might experience in nature. Pebbles on a beach are a symbol of something that has stood the test of time and who doesn’t feel relaxed when on a beach? A table lamp is a very easy way to introduce the look. If this is a bit rustic for your tastes or the coastal look doesn’t suit your space, and you prefer something more modern then take a look at my blog on the use of concrete


Image of wallpaper. The background is a mustard yellow and the design is an exotic jungle print in grey and white featuring tigers leaves, peacocks and feathers

Wallpaper is a good way to introduce a colour trend without going over the top and I love this jungle inspired version. It introduces the exotic element without the traditional colour palette of jewel colours that you usually see. I am itching to use it in a downstairs WC but it would equally add a fun element to a study, dining area or older child’s bedroom. It is also quite easily changed.


Image of grey stoneware crockery on a table. There are plates and bowls of different sizes and a table mat

Grey pottery taps into the theme of stability and nature that Ultimate Grey represents. Not only is it the colour but there is something about the sturdiness of pottery in contrast to the fragility of porcelain that is very reassuring. It doesn’t have to be boring either – look for a set that has a texture or a fleck. This type of tableware suits rustic kitchens/ diners but also fits in with more modern and contemporary spaces.


Image of an armchair upholstered in grey draped with a yellow fringed throw. Alongside is a grey plank side table on which  are a pile of books with a plant pot on top

Yellow is undoubtedly a cheerful and uplifting colour and adding accessories such as cushions and throws instantly brightens any scheme. At the same time as hinting of the spring, this cosy wool throw will keep you warm. The yellow edge of the mother in law’s tongue plant in the image echoes the colour whilst introducing greenery. A grey sofa or chair offers a neutral colour for what is usually our most expensive piece of furniture but you could flip the combination and have a yellow one as the centrepiece of your scheme with grey furnishings.


Image of a round tray on which there are candles and pebbles

If you think the pebble style table lamp isn’t for you but you like the inspiration behind it then create your own montage. Using a tray as the foundation, display pebbles of differing sizes and shapes together with candles or tealights. There is something very soothing and tactile about handling a pebble.


Image of a circular rug on a wooden floor with a triangular shaped table and two "Ghost" style chairs. The

My final suggestion for how to use Illuminating is through a rug. Rugs serve not only to protect the underlying flooring, they add comfort when your flooring is a material such as wood or concrete and they also work to zone different areas in an open plan space. This jute rug pictured has a natural texture tapping into the connection with the environment plus I like the neutral coloured edge.

I hope this blog has provided some inspiration and if you would like to have a chat about how to make it work for you, call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at judith@homestyle4u.com. I can offer consultations online.