The color experts at Pantone begin each year by selecting a color to feature. The color of the year award is not given lightly. Serious thought goes into not only its overall appearance, but also the feelings it evokes and the message it conveys.
Traditionally, Pantone’s color of the year has been a single color. For example, in 2020 the color of the year was Classic Blue. This decision was made because Pantone wished to instill a feeling of calm and confidence through their color choice.
In 2021 Pantone broke with tradition for only the second time and appointed two colors—Illuminating (a bright positive vibrant yellow) and Ultimate Gray (a simple rock solid gray). Neither color captured the feelings they wanted to convey on its own, so they decided to use both. The selection team believed the combination of Illuminating and Ultimate Gray represented their chosen essence of enduring and uplifting.
When you observe Ultimate Gray, one half of the color of the year, you see a dull, neutral gray. Why would Pantone choose something so humdrum? This characteristic of neutrality allows Ultimate Gray to work well with every color, style, and fashion.
Gray is also considered emotionally neutral. It is not a chill blue or an exciting red. Gray carries with it no extremes and is very stable. Gray is the color equivalent of a cup of room temperature water.
Peace and harmony is exactly what Pantone wished to convey through the choice of Ultimate Gray as the color of the year for 2021. Following the chaos of 2020, they wanted 2021 to elicit a sense of comfort, stability, and familiarity.
The strengths that made Ultimate Gray one half of Pantone’s color of the year are the reason it should be included in your home. Gray acts as a neutral foundation, creating a unifying theme throughout your home without distracting from your personality or style.
A neutral gray works well in both hardwood and soft carpet flooring options. It creates a stable framework that will not take away from the rest of your room’s design.
Pure grays, like Ultimate Gray, are neither warm nor cool and are truly neutral. They extend the most neutral and flexible options to the rest of your design. Regardless of whether you long for a sleek modern look or a warm, inviting traditional style, pure gray carpet will blend with and complement your design.
Another flooring trend you might consider is the greige color family. Greige is a gray with a hint of tan or beige mixed in. This combination creates a warm neutral that pairs well with warmer designs.
The choice of gray tile flooring no longer translates to boring, monochromatic tiles. You can easily attain the benefits of a neutral gray using wood-look porcelain, ceramic, or luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
For office and retail spaces, a gray tile should replace your outdated beige and tans. Simply switching your flooring to a neutral gray can create a modern, updated aesthetic.
For both residential and commercial flooring, consider a soft gray vinyl tile. The term “soft” applies to the behavior and feel of the tile, not the color. Unlike ceramic and porcelain tile, vinyl tile dampens noise and offers a warm soft feel as you walk on it.
Gray colorways of LVT, with waterproof plank options being highly popular, are perfect for your bathroom, mudroom, laundry area, or kitchen. These styles provide a cohesive look in flooring that is neutral enough to pair with any design or aesthetic without taking away from it. Grey-washed engineered woods and solid hardwoods work well in rustic, farmhouse, or transitional styles.
Neutrals are not just for floors. Ultimate Gray also works well in your window coverings. A clean, neutral backdrop allows color from other design elements in the room to shine.
The decision to use blinds does not limit you to plain or off-white shades. In fact, you may wish to stay away from whites as they tend to showcase dust and dirt. Blinds are available today in a host of color choices.
Painted horizontal blinds come in a variety of neutral colors and work great in any space. Blinds offer you more light control options. With curtains, you are confined to very strict opacity and color when they interact with sunlight. Blinds offer flexibility to adjust the amount of light flowing into a room as needed.
Neutral gray flooring affords unlimited design options for your selection of window blinds and shades. Matching your blinds and shades with your flooring conveys the feel of coordinated sophistication while also conserving energy and adding privacy.
Schedule your free in-home appointment to learn how Ultimate Gray can revitalize your home and become your color of the year. Schedule your appointment today.
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