Yellow and Gray are Okay! Decorating with Pantone Colors Part 2

Article provided courtesy of Staged Ryte

2021 is the year of yellow and gray, according to color leader Pantone. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Hop to our blog post on What IS Pantone Color? Here we go!

Why does it seem like every home goods store you go into features the same colors? We can tell you: it’s not a coincidence. Since 2000 the Pantone Color Institute has promoted a Pantone color of the year (sometimes, as in 2021, a pair of complementary colors) that they believe evokes the spirit of that year. This year’s Pantone colors are yellow and grey — Illuminating 13-0647 and Ultimate Gray 17-5104. In an unmistakable nod to our pandemic reality, the company describes the colors as “A message of happiness supported by fortitude…We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.”

So when you see this yellow and grey color scheme everywhere you look–clothing, makeup, graphic design products, even some kinds of specialty foods, like cakes and cookies—it’s the result of a carefully orchestrated marketing effort that is meant to saturate the market with the year’s color.

So let’s get down to the point of this article? If your client is painting and decorating a home for sale, they may be choosing a new color scheme. They are likely to see this profusion of Pantone color of the year everywhere when looking for inspiration  and they might be tempted to go whole hog with one of these beautiful, trendy colors. And, that may be just fine for attracting a buyer today. But might not be right for years to come. It will seem trendy and on brand this year but by next year the color is bound to feel dated.

Yellow May Not be Mellow

Also, it’s better to be more cautious with these very vivid Pantone colors because they are, in our experience, attention-getting shades that work better as accents than as the major color in a scheme–unless of course you are a highly skilled professional. Good examples in this Ideal Home UK article.

Pantone’s yellow – illuminating – is a bright hue that, like most yellows, requires major knowhow to pull off. It’s a major commitment. As a friend once asked when another friend was considering a deep Venetian red dining room, “Hon, do you really have that much to say?” The same goes for yellow. Do you really have that much to say? Most people don’t. In fact, by pairing it with gray, Pantone pretty much admits the necessity of using yellow with a more neutral tone.

Yellow is also problematic in the sense that it’s a fussy color that reads differently in rooms facing west than in rooms facing east; in morning light versus dusk. Although the idea of happiness, optimism and energy it conveys is very attractive, yellow can also signal danger (think of the blinking yellow traffic light).

What do you think?

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Staged Ryte is a boutique home staging and design firm powered by two women who understand design and business. We create homes where buyers see themselves in the story we create – living their ideal lives. Our attention to detail and ability to understand what buyers want is unmatched. And no two spaces ever look alike because of our extensive inventory of unique curated pieces. Our goal is to Wow! home buyers, and make home owners – and real estate agents – VERY happy with faster-than-expected sales at the best price. Staged Ryte specializes in home staging and design in the Berkshires, New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Eastern New York State, and Western Massachusetts.