PANTONE® Color Institute Announces its 2021 Color of the Year
It’s tempting to see this as a piece of sardonic humor; a joke to cement the dire state of a twelve-month period unrivaled in recent US history. Most of us are hoping for a sunnier time head, but the realists at PANTONE® Color Institute—a commercial entity standardizing color tones—have made a selection for its color of the year 2021. And it’s a doozy.
But perhaps it makes total sense. It’s time to embrace gray with a little boost, and PANTONE®’s choice as the marquee shade duo for 2021 does just that.
For the first time ever, the showcased tone blends two independent existing shades, PANTONE® 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE® 13-0647 Illuminating, a sunny yellow. The refined result reflects “a message of happiness supported by fortitude,” the entity claims. This hybrid gray-yellow tone is seen as adding vibrancy to an old favorite. That is inspiring.
A broad reach
PANTONE® serves as an essential gauge for navigating through design projects, which are most often settled in the home décor sector, but also spill over into textiles and clothing, as well as graphic design for digital art. Interior design experts delight in the additions to PANTONE® color banks, and this year’s contribution is in keeping with fashion trends.
Gray has become a household favorite in home design. As this decade’s newest fashionable neutral, it replaces the whites, creams, and beiges from yesteryear. More homes than ever before are treated to decadent shades of gray in wall paint, flooring, furniture, and artistic décor.
In selecting its color-of-the-year designee, PANTONE® takes into account developing color influences that arise in pop culture, industrial design, art, fashion, and overall lifestyles. The year 2021 marks a shade of gray due to its bridging of seasonal factors, popularity in all areas of design, and a forecast of how it will shape the future of color choices. Adding the uplifting yellowed tone may be intended as a mood lift for those of us who have waded through a difficult year, which is pretty much everyone. Or, it might just be a lot of fun for designers.
Seeing is believing
Here are some of the ways our friends at PANTONE® look forward to 2021 with hope of prosperity, joy, and some epic design trends:
Hands Up to commemorate the 2021 two-shade tone.
The design-forward shades sharing PANTONE®’s annual award mesh beautifully in all forms of interior design.
A retro vibe captures the dynamic blend of gray and yellow with modernizing effects.
Special effects drive home the captivating blend of PANTONE®’s blended 2021 Color of the Year.
The last days of summer are upon us and it is important to take some important self-care tips to make sure you get some proper relaxation. Between work and family, it can be difficult to plan some time for yourself to de-stress your mind. Before the summer ends, give yourself a mental break by creating a peaceful place in your home to mediate. Meditation is a very useful technique to lower your stress levels and become more balanced. This is great for people dealing with anxiety or has to deal with very stressful situations for their profession. Either way, this guide can help create a summer meditation space.
You don’t have to splurge on fancy spa or travel to an expensive hotel to feel like you are treating yourself. Instead, consider turning your space into a peaceful sanctuary at home. A good staycation can still help you feel rejuvenated and renewed with the right steps. You can create a small meditation corner in any room in your home and make it feel calming so you can ease your nerves. Believe it or not, it’s still possible to feel you are on vacation even while you at home.
Start by picking out a corner in your favorite room. This can be any room in your home, it just has to be comfortable. The next step is selecting a few stones to put in your space. Things like amethyst, rose quartz, and others promote good energy to aide in your mental detox. Ideally you want a room with a decent amount of sunlight as well. Consider purchasing a small stand to place stones and a small candle or incense. Pick a scent that is very soothing like lavender. Add throw pillows or even a low-slung chair to get comfortable and for vibrancy.
The last step is the ambiance. If you don’t have a room with good natural light, consider purchasing a dimly lit lamp or add a couple more candles for soft lighting. Consider downloading a meditation or white noise app to help you focus on clearing your mind and finding your personal Zen. Once you’re ready, sit in a comfortable position, take a deep breath and relax. You will finally find the peace you deserve.
I let the kids (well, teenagers, to be fair) put up the Christmas decorations this year. Scary? Yes. But they loved it and it turned out they did a really nice job. It’s turned into a welcomed update for our home. Not only that, it’s left empty the top of my sideboard in the dining room.
That can only mean one thing—it’s time to go shopping!
Browsing around got me thinking about exactly what I might want for that space, the vibe I wanted to create, the colors I wanted to use. Want I really wanted was to create a little vignette—a coordinated scene with pieces that fit together just right to tell a little story.
My dining room is lovely, but’s not the least bit formal. Despite that, I wanted something a little more upscale for this space. The kids are getting older, I’m worried much less about the breaking things, and my tastes have changed since we acquired the bulk of our holiday decor.
The opportunity to work from home seems like a dream come true. After all, who wouldn’t want to trade time clocks and micromanagement for more time with loved ones, a flexible schedule, and all the comforts of home at your fingertips at all times?
But if you’ve been lucky enough to achieve that dream, you know all too well that it comes with its own set of challenges. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable and uninspired when you settle into your home office, it can be all too easy to succumb to distractions and actually get things done.
Setting aside a dedicated work space that’s comfy, creative, and ergonomic - a place you’re excited to go to work in each day - can do wonders for your productivity. Whether you’re just getting started or have been at it for a while, these home office upgrades can amplify creativity, eliminate distractions, and create a healthy environment you’ll be proud to work in.
Winding Down at Bath Time Takes More Than Just Bubbles
Doesn’t it seem like there was way more to do in the bath as a kid?
If you’re anything like me, sitting at a desk all day hurts my neck and back. I spend entire days dreaming of stepping into the bathtub and slipping away into calm, fragrant bliss but when I finally pour in epsom salts, I’m bored. Immediately. My record shortest bath? Three minutes. Which, apparently, is only 4 seconds longer than the record for world’s shortest bath. Anyway, I’m just glad that my current apartment doesn’t charge me for water.
I still want to like baths, though. I’ve tried to battle this bathtub ennui by watching movies on my tablet (from the top of the closed toilet seat), using bath bombs, reading a book -- but the pages always get all wet and I can never drink water without dripping condensation all over the floor. The guiltiness of not working on anything always creeps up on me, as well -- my partner calls it a symptom of being a workaholic. But I’m determined to make baths work for me.
My jaw dropped the first time I saw the Me Time Bamboo Bath Tray Caddy at Urban Outfitters. Its sustainable bamboo construction fits in with the motif of my minimalist-inspired, plant heavy apartment and remains modern with metal arms. The bamboo also resists mildew, so that’s perfect -- especially since my apartment doesn’t have the best built-in ventilation (do they ever?). The metal arms are especially helpful, since they adjust to fit across any size bathtub, so I can take it with me when I move or go on longer trips.
3 Reasons to Update a Kitchen with an Island Solution
Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen is where family gathers and memories are made. Holiday baking and Sunday dinners are nostalgic recollections that many people recall fondly. Many a memory begins with laughter at the thought of the crowded kitchen, overflowing with people and love.
Sometimes… too crowded and too overflowing.
There are usually two choices when that happens: renovate or update. In a 2017 Home Renovation Survey, EmpireToday found that the most renovated room at 54% was the kitchen.
More and more, people are choosing to start with an update. It’s less expensive. It’s also a great way to solve an immediate need while setting the stage for a bigger project.
There are several big reasons for wanting a change. A little paint to freshen up a tired kitchen and an island or cart can be the answers that meets those needs.
The three top reasons for updating a kitchen with a cart or island are:
A-Glamping We Will Go.
Ahhh, summer in the rugged outdoors. Communing with nature in all its primitive glory. Drifting off in an inch-thick sleeping bag over the sensual feel of rocks and crevices. Awakening to a sociable, affectionate mosquito poised to engage in a blood-swapping ritual. It’s such a glorious human experience.
For other people.
Me? I have a hard time leaving the 1200 TC sheets behind, and slumbering less than 24 inches off the floor. Give me my electric lamp, hairdryer, and a piece of wall art here and there, and I’ll go camping.
Sometimes I think the concept of “glamping” was invented for me, or at very least for people like me. It’s an ingenious way to get your fill of pristine Mother Earth while not wandering too far from the comforts of home. And increasingly, merchandisers have discovered this captive market. A thirst for not-really-camping-but-camping has led to some cool inventions, and this glamping tent is one I’ve spotted.
Look, I can’t afford this. And I don’t even know how much it costs. Let’s file it under “pipe dream” for now. But plenty of outfits produce less glamorous versions that are within reach, and they include noteworthy features such as plush floors, shelving, mobile electrical outlets, and other signs of civilization.
You don’t need to strut your Jeremiah Johnson creds to participate in an outdoor adventure. Fishing is the same fishing, whether you sleep in a worn-out bag or a swanky glamping tent. These are just a more contemporary way to mobilize the finer points of home living.
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, you know it’s the best place to spend your free time in the summer. My backyard has become a great place to make the most of some of my hobbies, and I’m really looking forward to entertaining my friends outside of the house this year.
Cooking has become one of my favorite things to do recently. I love cooking inside the house, but I’ve been looking to expand my hobby so that I can enjoy it in my backyard. Recently, I put together a small herb garden, which has completely changed the way I use my space. Each herb has its own label, which looks great, and makes life easier when I want to garnish a dish.
It’s a fun thing to put together by yourself, or with a group, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is, and how much character it brings your space. I know all my friends are going to be impressed by my humble garden. There are tons of directions you can go with your herb garden, but if style is important to you, I love the look of a tiered vertical planter.
Now that I have an impressive selection of herbs in my backyard, my latest focus has been embracing cooking in the outdoors. While it isn’t necessary, having a reliable source for cooking in the backyard can be a tremendous upgrade. A barbecue of any size is an incredible addition to a backyard, and is great way to make the most of an apartment balcony, if your building allows it. It’s great for searing a couple of steaks for an intimate dinner, or for grilling burgers and hot dogs for a big family cookout.
Recently, I’ve had my eye on The Big Green Egg, which if you’ve never seen before, really lives up to its name. Available in 7 different sizes, it’s incredibly versatile, and sure to fit your precise needs. Not only will it help you achieve great results, its distinct look will become a focal point in your backyard.
When I finally got my own bedroom at the tender age of 8, I had an immediate décor request: All Paisley, All the Time. Okay, it was a different era, and paisley was trendy. My wish was granted in the form of a paisley print daybed cover in deep purple, a sheer delight for this grade-schooler.
But rather than cowering into obsolescence, paisley resurfaces every decade or so as a hot property in home design. And, it’s back.
Today’s versions are all over the map, ranging from splashy bold palettes to demure and subtle duo-tones. What they have in common is a timeless way to capture a nostalgic ambiance, and a delightfully artistic aesthetic.
You’ll find paisley prints in linens, rugs, and wall art with relative ease. But here’s an idea that’s catching on, and making a (back)splash: How about paisley ceramic tiles?
Let’s face it, this last part of winter, when it seems like it’s been months since we felt the warmth of the sun, it’s not fun. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. We’re going to talk about warming up your decor for winter, getting through whatever the winter equivalent of the dog days of summer are.
Can we start with the obvious? It warms up your decor and you. Add a gorgeous, plush throw blanket to the back of a sofa or armchair. We’re partial to this one from Pottery Barn, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to curl up in all that softness. A soft gray shade adds a contemporary touch to an already-appealing design.
We like this one from Ethan Allan, too. An oversized cable knit reminds us of snowed in days spent at grandma’s house, while maintaining a modern, updated look for the living room. Not only does this throw add warmth, it delivers a substantial dose of texture, creating dimensionality in any space.
Last throw we’re coveting this winter is from Wayfair, a cozy fleece Sherpa blanket that begs for an afternoon binging Netflix. It’s a classic for a reason, and softness and warmth simply radiate from this enticing throw. Great for the end of the bed and curling up in the afternoon, it’s stylish enough for the living room, too.