Every year I eagerly await the “color-of-the-year” announcement from the PANTONE Color Institute. So, even though we talked about home furnishings and décor in last week’s TrendCast, I wanted to share the information with you.

As I’ve mentioned over the years, the “color-of-the-year is essential news for small business owners. PANTONE’s announcement is not just about the hot colors homeowners should paint their houses to keep up with current trends. These colors (notice the plural) will be turning up in paint colors and home décor items to be sure. But they’ll also be incorporated in fashion, car colors, office décor, and more.

For next year PANTONE has decided one is not enough. There are two “colors-of-the-year” for 2021— Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104) and Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647), colors that might, at first, appear to be at odds.

PANTONE says Ultimate Gray represents the “practical and rock-solid,” while Illuminating, a “bright and cheerful” yellow, reflects “strength and positivity.” Together, “the two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to support one another,” which, says PANTONE, “ best express the mood” for 2021. PANTONE says the two hues “encapsulate deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.

“Happiness supported by fortitude” is how PANTONE describes the color combination, and after the year we’ve had, we all could use a dose of Illuminating’s promise of hope. As PANTONE says, “We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter—this is essential to the human spirit.”

Amen to that.

Photo courtesy Pantone