The 2021 Colors of the Year

The Pantone 2021 colors of the year

Does anyone remember Pantone’s color of 2020? It was blue. No, really. It was “classic blue.” It’s as if they chose a color for how everyone in the world would feel throughout 2020. Maybe that’s why it’s not surprising that the colors this year promote calm and joy. If your space is in desperate need of some new paint, Pantone, Benjamin Moore, and Behr release either the color of the year or color trends of the year. These suggestions can be beneficial if you have no idea how you want a room to look--all you do know is that you don’t want to see “classic blue” ever again.

Pantone colors of the year 2021

Pantone’s colors of the year: ultimate grey and illuminating (yellow)

This year, Pantone went as far from blue as they could get, with two very bright colors that, when combined, promote “strength and positivity.” As Pantone further describes, the combination of Ultimate Grey and Illuminating (it’s a bright yellow without using yellow in the name) is “practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic.” Sure, “ultimate grey” doesn’t sound either warming or optimistic, but the combination certainly gives off a positive vibe.

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Pantones colors of the year 2021

Best places to use ultimate grey and or illuminating

The trick here is to find ways to get these colors to compliment each other without looking busy. If your house has a stairwell and hallway to the bedrooms, this is an ideal situation. Paint the hallways Illuminating and the rooms Ultimate Grey. This allows a sense of security and comfort in the room, but happiness and energy when coming out of it.

Another great way to use this combination is if you have an open kitchen and living room concept. Paint the kitchen Illuminating and the living room Ultimate Grey. The grey living room promotes a strong family, while the illuminating kitchen brings life to every meal.

Benjamin Moore color of the year: Agean Teal 2021

Benjamin Moore’s color of the year: Aegean Teal

Our good pal Ben has just one color suggestion, but it’s a little more versatile than Pantone’s dual combination. Benjamin Moore describes Aegean Teal as creating “natural harmony.” Indeed, it’s a lovely color. Sure, Teal is in Blue’s family, but it’s like Blue’s cool cousin. Literally, the color has a much cooler feel to it. Will it make you feel like you’re sailing on the Aegean Sea? Only if you had too many drinks on game night. Will it make you feel more at ease at home? Most definitely.

There’s almost no wrong way to use Aegean Teal; however, less is more. Pick one or two rooms to use this color, especially if they are rooms where you need to reduce stress: your bedroom, the family room, a home office, or even the bathroom. If you use the color too much, it loses its value. Using it in a limited way creates pleasant little oases in your home.

Go teal!

Benjamin Moore color of the year pairings 2021

Pairing Aegean Teal

Benjamin Moore doesn’t just give us one color, though. On their page for the color of the year, they provide an entire pallet, with colors such as “Charlestown Bluff,” “Amazon Soil,” and “Beacon Hil Demask.” These colors work as great accents to Aegean Teal. The lighter shades are ideal for crown molding and baseboards, while the darker colors work well with cabinets and wooden furniture such as a headboard.

Behr 2021 colors of the year

Behr’s 21 colors of the year

Instead of one or two, Behr goes all out, creating palettes for several kinds of moods and needs. In this way, Behr has the most helpful “color of the year” page, but the many colors and combinations they provide can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry--we’re going to scroll down a little more to where they get really creative. Here, we get into “experiences."

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Behr 2021 paint colors

Casual Comfort

This experience uses the various shades of brown in their color selections. Use this palette in work areas, such as home offices. This is especially good if you work from home. The light browns look very professional over a Zoom call, but you’ll also feel much more relaxed in that setting.

Another option is a dining room if you have one. Most families only use the dining room when they have guests, so what better color palette than one that will make them feel laid back?

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Behr 2021 paint colors

Calm Zone

This is how you use blue. Well, various shades of blue. Just as it sounds, this color palette is about peaceful vibes and healing. It could work well in a family or living room, especially if you have young kids that need some soothing colors. However, it’s an excellent palette for bathrooms too. Why not start your day by getting ready in a calm environment? Or, on the flip side, end a hard day in those peaceful blue tones, soaking in a spa tub with a lavender bath bomb?

Behr colors of the year 2021

Subtle Focus

This palette is similar to Casual Comfort, but a little lighter and with a touch of grey. And while it would also look great in an office, it’s also ideal for a kitchen. Cooking takes a bit of focus, but preparing meals, big or small, with this palette would feel more meditative than tedious.

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Behr colors of the year 2021

Quiet Haven

This beautiful array of greens might work in several places, but it belongs in one above all the others: the bedroom. The deep green brings us down to earth, reminding us of a peaceful forest. Whether you’re getting dressed for work in the morning or collapsing in bed at the end of the day, Quiet Haven is about much more than tranquility. It helps you feel safe and comfortable.

Behr Colors of the year 2021 Golden Hues

Optimistic View

This is Behr’s most unique blend, using some burnt orange, green, and maroon. It’s somehow bright without being, well, “Illuminating.” It looks like a golden sunset, that magical hour where the setting sun covers the landscape with a beautiful yellow. This makes it an excellent palette for small spaces that get a lot of natural light. If you have a breakfast or reading nook, using Optimistic View will bring you joy--yes, you can have even more pleasure as you drink your morning coffee!

It’s also a great palette for a foyer. It’s a nice, small area and the welcoming area for guests coming into your room. This way, they enter with a smile.

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Behrs 2021 paint colors of the year

Outdoor Escape

Well, obviously, this is best used outside. Outdoor escape is kind of the sister to Quiet Haven. The palette contains different green shades, but on the lighter side--almost teal in some cases. And after 2020, when we had to spend our days cooped up inside with our families, doesn’t “Outdoor Escape” sound more like a wish than a color palette? Don’t worry; we’re almost there. And in the future, when you’re coming home from work and see this color scheme on the front of your home, you’ll feel like you did get to escape, even if only for a short while.

Rainbow colored pencils

The Color of the Year is...YOU!

Regardless of what Pantone, Benjamin Moore, or Behr suggests, when it comes to painting, the best color of the year is the one that makes you happiest. If you want to paint your bedroom mustard yellow and baby blue, go for it, if that’s what makes you happy. Want a salmon pink bathroom with pea-green accents? You do you. And if you hire a Zaarly pro to help you paint your kitchen midnight blue and Garfield orange, they won’t judge--they’ll happily bring your vision to life.

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