COLOUR TRENDS: For the past two decades, designers and fashionistas around the globe have drawn inspiration from Pantone’s  ‘Colour of the Year’, selected to reflect the evolving zeitgeist.

In 2021, Pantone has chosen two colours which simultaneously embolden and ground the spirit. Viewed as a pair, PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating Yellow both underscore “our innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognised, to have our voices heard.”

“[This is] a combination of colour whose ties to insight, innovation and intuition – and respect for wisdom, experience and intelligence – inspires regeneration, pressing us forward toward new ways of thinking and concepts.” – Pantone, 2021

The juxtaposition of vibrant yellow with a more neutral gray allows endless permutations. Whether you harness the gray as a base with a splash of yellow or go bold with one colour on a feature wall or statement piece, be inspired by Pantone to experiment with the colours of 2021.

Image: @casamereki

Open Up Your Paint Box

It’s been said (by us) that walls are the windows to an interior designer’s soul. We love this geometric yellow feature wall from Casa Mereki, a hip and happening interior design studio based in Mexico City.

While it is a flagrant burst of sunshine and happiness, breaking up the yellow with white also ensures that the inhabitant isn’t overwhelmed!

Getting creative with wallpaper is another way to introduce bold colours and play with light and texture.

At Decor + Design, we love British interior design heavyweight Kit Kemp, who spoke as part of our 2020 virtual program for the Australian House & Garden International Seminar Series.

Famed for her interiors as Creative Director of Firmdale Hotels, Kit’s deft and charming use of colours, prints and textiles has inspired thousands of designers around the globe.

An example of how brilliantly Kit uses yellow can be seen in Room 116 at Firmdale’s Covent Garden Hotel. The walls have been lined with her ‘Willow’ fabric for Christopher Farr Cloth in Lemon “to amplify the light and add depth to the walls.” (See more at Kit Kemp’s Design Thread).

Room 116 at the Covent Garden Hotel in London. Image:

Use Gray as a Neutral Base; Add a Splash of Yellow

Soft furnishings and textiles are a great place for the risk averse to slowly add in some yellow touches, whether that’s in a cushion, throw or curtain.

We love this gray and yellow tableau from LaForma Australia, who have been a regular exhibitor at Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF) and will be showing again at the 18th edition from 15 – 18 July 2021 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

With an ethos of ‘Barcelona Living’, Laforma’s extensive outdoor collections and vibrant indoor ranges are a great match for the Australian lifestyle. We love this COMPO Sofa in gray, plus the gorgeous ITRI throw and cushions featuring a dash of yellow and an on trend geometric print.

LaForma COMPO Sofa, ITRI Throw & Cushions. Image:

Do You Need a Hero? 

Finally – if you’re ready to make a real statement with yellow – choose an unforgettable sofa which will be the hero of any room.

The ‘Soft Modular Sofa’ from Vitra was designed by Jasper Morrison as an updated interpretation of a modern classic – the low-slung modular sofa. With great proportions and precise finishing, its streamlined design also lets the vibrant colour do the talking.

The modular design also means it can be taken apart and used in different parts of the house.

Soft Modular Sofa from Vitra. Image:

Looking to get up close and personal with the latest indoor and outdoor collections from Australia’s favourite brands? Decor + Design, Australia’s No.1 Interiors Trade Event, will be returning to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 15 – 18 July in 2021.

Entry to Decor + Design is free but restricted to trade visitors. Subscribe now to receive notification when visitor registration opens.

Go here to find out more about exhibiting at the show.