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Pantone Colour of the Year 2021

pantone color of the year 2021
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Pantone Color of the Year 2021 announced – and it’s a pair of colours! This week we were surprised to see Pantone announce – not just one, but – two hues as Color of the Year 2021…

pantone colour of the year 2021
Image: Pantone

Experts at the Pantone Color Institute have chosen 17-5104 ‘Ultimate Gray’ and 13-0647 ‘Illuminating’ for 2021, declaring that they are a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

Bold, bright, and uplifting, Illuminating is a cheerful yellow that is reminiscent of a child’s drawing of the sun or the visual zing of zesty lemons. By contrast, Ultimate Gray is steady and calm – resembling pebbles or sturdy urban concrete landscapes – and has a more timeless and resilient connotation.

After the tumultuous events of 2020, it’s no surprise that the experts at Pantone weren’t able to settle on just one colour to represent the year ahead. A Pantone representative reflected:

“It became apparent that there was never going to be one colour that could express everything that needed to be expressed — that it was, instead, critical to have two independent colours that could come together.”

In choosing the contrasting hues – sunshine yellow anchored by a steely grey – Pantone were not simply ‘hedging their bets’. They have chosen a pair of colours that reflect the world as we have come to know it: a juxtaposition of hope and despair; light and heavy; bright and subdued; dynamic and inert; fresh and enduring.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, commented:

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity s upported by fortitude. 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; this is essential to the human spirit.”

opinion on pantone 2021

The announcement has been met with a mixed response. On social media, many have objected to the colours, likening them to hi-vis safety clothing, industrial cement and road markings, and the grey sweat pants of lockdown (!).

However, Vogue referred to the combination as “a chic colour duo for 2021, guaranteed to have a positive effect on your mind and wardrobe”. Pantone has justified the selection by stating that the colours are “conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.”

how to use pantone colour of the year 2021

The experts at Pantone have created five colour exploration palettes that showcase Ultimate Gray and Illuminating to illustrate their versatility – we especially like the mood evoked by Sun and Shadow, with dramatic Blue Nights and earthy Wild Ginger and Oil Green.

pantone color of the year 2021 sun and shadow palette
Image: Pantone

We’ve been looking through some of our previous collections and have used a softer combination of these two hues in several of our designs.

Check out our collection of grey and yellow wallpapers on our website here.

elizabeth ockford wallpapers to match pantone color of the year 2021

If you would like any more advice on interiors or have any general enquiries then please don’t hesitate to contact us! enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Colour theory: immersing ourselves in green

W-01013 Kitts fish wallpaper in the colourway aqua

Whether vibrant or subtle, we’re passionate about colour: how it makes us feel, its role in our designs, and how we use it in our homes.

Studies show us that colour can alter our brain waves, affect the autonomic nervous system and our hormonal activity, and can stimulate our emotions: we react physiologically and psychologically to colour.

From dazzling lime and vivid emerald to muted olive and moss; to delicate celadon, peppermint and eucalyptus through calming sage and aquamarine to deep teal and forest green – we love green in all its iterations.

Green is synonymous with nature and the natural world – it is the colour of grass, trees, woodland. An environment containing plenty of green vegetation indicates fertile land and the presence of water – little danger of drought or famine – so green is considered to be reassuring on a primitive level. These lingering associations with nature mean that green can make us feel grounded, tranquil, fresh and healthy.

green-woodland
english-countryside

Being in the centre of the colour spectrum, most shades of green require no visual adjustment and therefore, this is deemed restful. Green is also said to be soothing, uplifting and healing – in the presence of green, the pituitary gland is stimulated, muscles become relaxed, and blood histamine levels increase (decreasing allergy symptoms). In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and also invigorating – researchers have found that green can improve reading ability and creativity.

For centuries, artists searched for a stable and truly green pigment – it was a notoriously difficult colour to manufacture from available natural substances. Egyptians used earth or malachite before the ancient Romans developed verdigris – a process where copper plates were soaked in wine or vinegar, causing a vivid blue-green surface residue to form – which they used as a pigment in mosaics, frescos and in stained glass. Subsequently pigments such as cobalt green, emerald green and viridian were developed in the late 18th century by heating and combining certain chemicals.

green verdigris

Green features in many of our designs – here’s a few examples of its use and explanations for our choices:

green wallpapers on the elizabeth ockford website

Our Pearl River design features a deep emerald ground with large circular Eastern-inspired illustrations. In this context, the green chosen as the background provides a calm coolness while also matching the strength of the saturated colours of the illustrations, allowing the eye to scan the design in its entirety.

The use of muted aqua and olive for the linear design on a neutral linen ground gives a ‘heritage’ feel to our Coleton design. It’s very classical and would work beautifully in many locations including a conservatory or orangery, where there’s a transition between being indoors and out.

We chose a soft aqua as a ground for a host of vividly coloured fish as this gentle shade allows the bright shoal to ‘pop’.

Inspired by crystalline structures, the small coordinate design of Pyrite is enhanced by the use of a precious jewel-like emerald green with touches of shimmering raised gold metallic ink.

Although the overall design isn’t dominated by green, we love the energy and fizz created by the use of lime, aqua and jade on the lobsters in this version of Aruba. As well as using different green shades, we’ve played brights – hot pink, coral and turquoise – against softer lavender and olive to create a zing against the grainy black linen background.

If you would like any more advice on interiors or have any general enquiries then please don’t hesitate to contact us! enquiries@elizabethockford.com
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Interior inspiration: 5 ways to use THAT colour blue that will be in interiors everywhere in 2020

W-01062-Faroe

Back in December 2019, Pantone announced that its colour of the year for 2020 would be 19-4052 Classic Blue. But what does that mean for the average person, who wants to decorate their home in the latest trend?
I have always loved having a blue bedroom- and have painted at least three bedrooms in different houses in a Sanderson Boy Blue – to me it is the perfect shade of English Sky blue. Each of those bedrooms always felt full of celestial light; calm and relaxing.

But this shade as advocated by Pantone is much stronger and bolder- so how can it be used?

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1 Don’t be afraid of the Dark

Strong colour does not necessarily mean a dark and unwelcoming interior. Using rich jewel tones adds depth to a room, and saturated colour tones change with the time of day and the daylight - making a room feel mysterious and entrancing. It gives an Interior Designer an opportunity to add depth of character to a space.

Lindfield - WP0080112

2 You don’t have to use only one colour in an Interior scheme.

So, yes, this strong blue is the ‘fashion’. But what if you just can’t face having an entire room or even a whole wall, in it? Then choose a wallpaper design where the strong blue is well balanced with a neutral ground. You are then free to add perhaps a gorgeous dark blue velvet sofa, to bring out the colour, but your room still can breathe.

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3 Re-interpret the classic Blue and White colour scheme

Use a design that is effectively navy and white- always a smart colour combo. This nautical design, Martinique, has over-sized shells in clear blue on an off-white ground- and will reflect light around a room, whatever the weather.

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4 Go for glamour and interest

Choose a design that has the strong blue as its main colour but also contains many other jewel tones. Also, a pearlescent ground on a wallpaper will help darker colours to reflect light and will lift the wallcovering’s appearance.
You could pick out many different colours from this design, for instance, to accessorise your room.

W-01062-Faroe

5 A smile goes a long way

I love designs that make me smile, and also seem to have a story to them. Just because dark blue has a serious mood to it, you can still find characterful designs that use it. I bet you will find this design is a talking point in any interior.

I am hopeful that at the start of the new 20’s, we will see a much greater use of characterful design and rich, jewel like colours. Embrace them- as a healthy, happy antidote to the grey years of the noughties.
The trend for sophisticated neutrals has gone on too long- Long Live Colour!!!

Visit my Instagram @elizabethockford to follow my designs and colour inspiration.