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We’re celebrating 2021’s Pantone Color of the Year today, which is actually a mix of two colors—Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lively yellow that pairs perfectly with the gray hue.

INSPIRATION | January 20, 2021 | By Saxon Henry

The Pantone Color of the Year

We’re celebrating 2021’s Pantone Color of the Year today, which is actually a mix of two colors—Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lively yellow that pairs perfectly with the gray hue.

The Pantone Color of the Year 2021

Pantone says of its choices for this year’s two independent colors: “They highlight how different elements come together to support one another.” They call them practical and rock solid while also being warming and optimistic, and they see the union of these two hues as one of strength and positivity. “It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly,” they go on to say. “A message of happiness supported by fortitude…the combination is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter—this is essential to the human spirit.”

The 2021 Pantone Color of the Year

We can certainly use a bit of brightness right now to be sure. Pantone’s powers that be have truly captured where we are as we move through the first month of this new year: “As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality.” They deem Illuminating a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. About the Ultimate Gray, they say it is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time.

The History of the Pantone Color of the Year

For over 20 years, the Pantone Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. The Pantone Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

Tried and True Products in Gray and Yellow

Two of our lamps that mimic the Pantone Colors of the Year

We are among those manufacturers who study colors carefully to identify both timeless recurrences of hues and trending tones we want to include in our offerings. “Color is the first thing we humans react to and so it is of utmost importance to pay attention to the hues that are influencing a current moment in time,” says Cecil Adams, our Vice President/Creative Director. “With categories ranging from table lamps and accessories to furniture and chandeliers, color plays an immediate and long-ranging role in design. We must be current and timeless at the same time. It is a challenge that drives our design process and keeps it interesting.” These first products are among our tried-and-true favorites in gray and yellow:

The Currey & Company Mamora Pale Table Lamp.

Knitting itself a perfect profile, our Mamora Pale Table Lamp is made of ceramic with a pale glaze. This table lamp with its slight feminine feel perches atop a metal base. The texture in the natural linen shade perfectly complements the leafy trellis pattern that runs along the body of the peanut-shaped lamp.

The Currey & Company Flaxen Table Lamp in a sunny yellow.

Made of speckled yellow ceramic, the Flaxen Table Lamp will bring a sunny personality to a space. The surface of this lamp will lighten up its spot in the room when the illumination strikes it. We’ve topped this yellow table lamp that harkens back to early Americana with a white marshmallow burlap shade.

The Currey & Company Briallen Gray Nightstand.

The impressively sized silver flower pull on the Briallen Gray Nightstand is a stunning ornamentation. Tonally in sync with the winter gray stain, the floral motif in an antique silver finish brings the nightstand a sophisticated feel and illustrates the skill of our artisans who hand-cast the handle in brass. We offer the Briallen in a number of designs and in two finishes.

The Currey & Company Urbino Table Lamp.

The Urbino Table Lamp has a terracotta body with a classic gray and white color scheme. Separating the dark from the light is a thin band of metal in a Pyrite bronze finish. A crackle white finish and lightly distressed metal add patina to the dark gray lamp fitted with a natural linen shade.

The Currey & Company Upbeat Table Lamp salutes the Pantone Color of the Year for 2021.

The Upbeat Yellow Table Lamp is mod in style. The shapely terracotta body has a center ball with cones extending up toward an off-white linen shade and downward to its culmination. The shade is fastened with a wrought iron finial. The Upbeat also comes in teal, orange, and white.

Our Newest Products in Gray and Yellow

Royce Silver Gray Chair by Currey & Company.

The newest introductions that have just debuted with our winter releases include the Royce Silver Gray Chair. Director of furniture Aimee Kurzner says of the product, “I really love this exposed wood front with solid wood fretwork.” The gray chair has loose seat and back cushions, and a fully upholstered seat deck. The chair is made of solid oak in our Winter Gray finish, which has tremendous character to it. The Royce, which is upholstered in F0236 Swagger Silver fabric, also comes in muslin. We also offer the Royce in a green fabric with Chanterelle-finished wood frame.

Polydore Table Lamp by Currey & Company.

Also new this winter is the Ploydore Table Lamp, a white and gray lamp with a luminous glass body that requires great talent to create. The white ovals swimming in a gray background echo the hue of the pale off-white linen shade. The optic crystal base and hardware in a polished nickel finish bring the glass lamp extra sheen. The Polydore was designed by Clarence Mallari.

The Currey & Company Oldany Pendant, one of our offerings in the Pantone Color of the Year.

Introduced last fall, the Oldany Pendant is a standout. About his design of the pendant, Tom Caldwell notes that a commanding feature on the gray pendant is how the metal shade in a Hiroshi gray finish is suspended. “The wood turnings in a washed wood finish are linked together to create a unique and unusual ‘chain.’” Given the industrial feel of the pendant, he adds, this fixture with its sugar white finish on the interior of its shade is a shoe-in for the modern farmhouse style.

Sun and Clouds

Just like the gray clouds will always give way to the luminous sun, we at Currey & Company look to brighter times ahead when we can gather with our friends in the industry again. Stay safe, everyone!