Expert Tips for Using the Color Combo of the Year

Jupiter-based designer Angela Reynolds offers advice on how to incorporate this year’s hottest shades into your living space

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Decorating with Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Photo by Living Proof Photography
Decorating with Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Photo by Living Proof Photography

For Pantone’s highly anticipated 2021 trend forecast, the color-focused institute decided that two is better than one, choosing Ultimate Gray and Illuminating as its colors of the year. “I absolutely believe that the relationship between these two colors is a metaphor for life as we know it now, transitioning into what we hope to be the end of this terrible pandemic,” says Jupiter-based designer Angela Reynolds. “The transition from 2020 to 2021 marks the reawakening of our spirits, where radiance and joy are represented with a bold sense of color. Pairing the yellow with gray underlines this change, bringing in a new layer of balance and composure.” Here, Reynolds offers tips on how to bring this delightful duo of hues into your home.

Inside: The design maven recently finished renovating her 19-year-old daughter’s bathroom by playing up the dichotomy between the two colors. “The gray is stabilizing, sophisticated, and calm, while the yellow accent radiates energy and creativity,” says Reynolds. The space features a photography mash-up of iconic faces and places from the New York City fashion and art world from the ’50s through the ’80s. Says Reynolds: “The incorporation of gold and brass tones and the unexpected pops of yellow in the art and accessories awaken the muted gray tiles.”

Outside: An outdoor living space Reynolds designed is grounded in a newly installed fire pit mimicking Ultimate Gray. “The 12-foot linear pit creates a central hang-out spot by the barn, again, creating this incredibly tranquil space,” notes Reynolds. She brought in yellow accents through accessories like glass vases, pillows, and a rug to brighten up the neutral gray palette.

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