New Year, New Hues! All the Shades Someone Has Named 2021 Color of the Year So Far


The very neutral “Ultimate Gray” and a sunny yellow dubbed “Illuminating” are the colors that global color authority Pantone predicts will come to dominate 2021.

In a press release last week, the color forecaster explained that Ultimate Gray is meant to evoke “solid and dependable elements, which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation,” something we could likely all use after a tumultuous 2020.

Illuminating, on the other hand, looks ahead. It’s “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power,” Pantone’s experts said.

And while Pantone is the dominant player in the color-prediction field, others have weighed in with their own — very different — hues.

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This year, Sherwin-Williams has chosen a color of the year that they believe can turn any room into a personal retreat: “Urbane Bronze.”

Rich and calming with ties to the natural world, the color has moody grey undertones and plenty of depth.

“The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world, and color is an easy and effective way to create a personal haven,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at the paint company. “Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal.”

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Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore believes that the colors in your home can have a big impact on your emotions — so their color of the year choice for 2021 is soothing and serene after a trying 12 months. Introducing: “Aegean Teal.”

The blue-green shade is the centerpiece of the paint brand’s “Color Trends 2021 palette,” which features 12 hues total.

“Aegean Teal and the corresponding Color Trends 2021 palette express a welcoming, lived-in quality that celebrates the connections and real moments that take place within the home,” said Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore Director of Color Marketing & Development.

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This year, Valspar couldn’t pick just one color — so they named 12! Each was selected for its simplicity and versatility in the home.

“Blissful Blue,” the muted shade pictured here, is the first color on the list, designed to mimic “the organic tones of a morning mist.” 

The other 11 subtle colors chosen by the paint company are: Soft Candlelight, Granite Dust, Cherry Taupe, Arizona Dust, Garden Flower, Academy Gray, Unforgettable, Gallery Gray, Dusty Lavender, Maple Leaf and  Lucy Blue.

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Stitch Fix

Every year, personal styling service Stitch Fix uses their data insights to track color trends, selecting a color of the year that they expect to dominate runways, homes and more. This year, their info points to the green-yellow hue “Aloe.”

“2020 has been a stressful year and Aloe, with its healthy, spa-like feel, responds to our gravitation toward a greater need for peace and tranquility,” the brand said in a press release. “For many, plants and nature have been an important part of quarantine and aloe, the ultimate self-care plant, is the perfect embodiment of that.”

The color also goes well with yellow and white, two colors Stitch Fix believes will continue to be popular in the new year. 

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Paint makers PPG decided to create a 2021 Palette of the Year featuring three unique hues they have named the “Be Well” trio. 

The colors include “Transcend,” seen here, as well as “Big Cyprus” and “Misty Aqua.” Each nature-inspired hue is designed to encourage people to seek out the restoration of mind, body and soul.

“This organic and hopeful palette represents what we have been longing for after decades of overstimulation and overconsumption – simplicity and restfulness,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager, architectural and industrial coatings. 

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York Wallcoverings

What’s more familiar than your favorite broken-in denim? York’s 2021 color of the year, “Blue Jean Jacket,” aims to evoke that classic American feeling while promoting joy and comfort. 

The wallcovering company says the light blue has been a mainstay in some of their most popular wallpapers over the years, remaining timeless yet chic.  

“There have been a lot of challenges this past year, and looking into 2021, people are craving spaces that provide relaxation — similar to the familiar happiness you get from wearing your favorite denim jacket,” said Carol Miller, York’s trend and color expert.

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Graham &Brown

Perhaps the boldest of the bunch, Graham & Brown’s 2021 color of the year is as dramatic as it is chic. 

“Epoch,” a regal burgundy hue, looks daring at first sight, but can be used in different ways around the house for a toned-down look, the brand promises. They believe the color can relax the mind and promote creativity. 

“The launch of Epoch as color of the year begins the celebration of Graham and Brown’s 75th Diamond anniversary,” the brand, which was established in 1946, announced. “The rich, deep amethyst is the key color for 2021 and beyond and fits neatly into our history, as amethyst is the birthstone for February.”

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