For the past 22 years, the Pantone Colour Institute has sat down, looked at the year just gone, discussed their hopes for the year ahead and chosen the colour they think will best reflect the next 12 months. But this year is different because, for only the second time ever, Pantone has unveiled not one but two colours: Illuminating Yellow (Pantone 13-0647) and Ultimate Grey (Pantone 17-5104), which it describes as “a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”
After the year we just had, this is exactly the kind of trend forecast we’d all been hoping for; a colour combination that is practical and rock solid, warming and optimistic, full of resilience and hope. They show how two totally different colours can come together to convey an uplifting message that it’s not about one colour or one person, it’s about unity. There is the enduring fortitude of ultimate grey and the vibrant positivity of illuminating yellow.
The way we see it, this warm shade of yellow makes us smile as we think of better times ahead, while the more natural grey reminds us of tide-washed stones on the beach and a feeling of resilience against the elements.
The question is: how can you use these newly announced colours throughout your kitchen?
To help you answer this question, we asked our interior design experts for their top tips to help update your kitchen with dashes of grey and yellow. Here’s what they had to say.
From our experience, yellow and grey kitchens are so full of energy and personality, they can lift your mood the moment you step through the doors and, best of all, they can work in both modern kitchens and those more traditional spaces.
For those that want to keep things more neutral with splashes of colour dotted throughout, you could bring our Scandi-inspired grey shaker kitchen to life with illuminating appliances. You could simply decorate your island with an array of sunflowers or spruce up your kitchen worktops with a bright yellow kettle and toaster combination, the choice is all yours.
If you’d rather go all in with a vibrant yellow kitchen, however, our ivory shaker kitchen provides the perfect canvas for an illuminating paint job, balanced out with plenty of soft grey neutrals. Think light fixtures, countertops, barstools, appliances and so much more.
The moment Pantone announces its colour of the year, manufacturers and interior designers rush to create pieces in these colours and then fill their store windows with them, making it so much easier to source some of the most incredible items — especially in the world of furniture.
From eclectic bar stools and Eiffel dining chairs to statement armchairs and bold sofas perfect for your open plan kitchen, there are some smart and exciting ways to use this bold yellow hue in your kitchen design. What’s more, you can go as bold or momentary as you like by mix-and-matching your yellow accent pieces with natural grey versions.
You could opt for two yellow dining chairs and four grey ones, or you could go with a range of all-yellow bar stools but ground them with a traditional grey kitchen island. And should you want to change them in the future, they’re a relatively small dash of colour to swap out.
If you’re wondering whether yellow is too overpowering or whether it can work in large doses, we urge you to look at photos of Lisbon; a city that celebrates vibrant tiles in ways that you won’t quite believe. So much so, you will probably want to make a more permanent statement with your flooring.
Paired with a lighter kitchen that encompasses modern simplicity – such as our ivory shaker – you will be able to use bold and beautiful tiles to create an unexpected focal point in an otherwise neutral kitchen of whites, greys and black. Tiles are also great for anyone wanting to add a combination of yellows and greys in a subtle but creative way.
Walk into your kitchen and there are always a handful of moments that catch your eye, but none more so than your cooker or stove — and now is your chance to truly celebrate that notion with our range of Everhot cookers. Whether you have the space for the 120i with it’s three ovens or you want to keep your current proportions with the 90 Series and it’s two generous-sized ovens, Everhot’s colours will steal your breath every time you go to make your morning coffee.
There is graphite grey colour for those that want a neutral kitchen brought to life with little moments of yellow, a dove grey shade that looks stunning with our grey shaker kitchens and, for those that want an absolute show-stopper, there is a lively mustard cooker that promises to fill your kitchen with the kind of fun, energy and positivity that will always be in vogue.
*As official Everhot partners, you can contact us to learn more about the Everhot range of cookers
Kitchens are your chance to get creative in so many ways and none more so than your lighting fixtures. Give the space above your island an industrial look using a row of low hanging lights with classic grey shades or make your kitchen table steal the show with a sparkling yellow-hued light fixture, whether that’s a traditional chandelier or something more eclectic. And if you want to celebrate the marriage of colour between grey and yellow, try creating a feature wall with the opposite colour to serve as the perfect backdrop to your centrepiece pendant.
Colours have an ability to influence your mood, so if you’re looking for a way to boost yours, add a fresh pop of colour to your backsplash using Pantone’s illuminating yellow. Whether you opt for the straight edges and clean lines of yellow tiles, an affordable yet captivating acrylic number or a geometric hexagon pattern to create interest and warmth, yellow backsplash are able to turn a drab kitchen into a bright area without it being too overpowering.
One of the simplest, most budget-friendly and exciting ways to bring colour into any room – especially your kitchen – is through a painted accent area. And because Pantone’s ‘Illuminating Yellow’ can feel overpowering in large doses, adding a gentle splash of it here and there, combined with large areas of grey, will not only make a strong statement visually, but create a space that feels sunny even on the most overcast days.
Find a wallpaper pattern that hits different and use it to create a feature wall behind your dining room table, paint a yellow triangle in the corner that comes down from the ceiling and gets wider as it nears the floor for that something different or turn your deep skylight into a piece of modern art by painting the inside walls bright yellow and the rest of your ceiling a subtle grey. Whatever excites you the most, run with it knowing you can always paint over it down the line.