2021 Colors of the Year Reflect Hope & Renewal

Posted: May 20, 2021
Category: Paint & Sundries Feature

Color can be soothing and uplift the spirit. DIYers are discovering that a can of paint can transform a dreary storage space into a cozy home office infused with the colors of nature. For many people, 2020 was a challenging year—physically, emotionally, and financially. Completing inexpensive home projects gives DIYers a sense of accomplishment and helps them feel more secure in this time of uncertainty. According to the J.D. Power Paint Satisfaction Study, 44 percent of Americans planned to repaint their homes last year. Selecting the perfect color can be a journey of discovery that begins online and often leads consumers in-store to make their final purchases.

“People are doing projects at home. They’re focused on staying safe and staying inside and staying close to home. They’re noticing the trim needs a fresh coat of paint, or they’re zooming and hate their backdrop,” Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, told Fox Business.

Going Online for Inspiration

Selecting a color is an emotional decision that requires research and time. DIYers often visit Pinterest and social media sites to get inspiration and tips for their painting projects. Paint manufacturers are also finding creative ways to stay connected to consumers online and increase sales. When Sherwin-Williams’ paint stores closed during the pandemic, paint chip ordering became available online for the first time. To date, the company has shipped more than one million home orders.

Reflecting on the 2021 Colors of the Year

Typically, the Colors of the Year selected by Pantone and paint manufacturers reflect popular trends and events in our society. Previously, the palette has ranged from shades of beige, blue, gray and green, to vibrant bursts of color such as coral, pink, purple, and red. However, this year COVID-19 has dominated the headlines and forced us to reimagine the meaning of home. More than ever, people want to feel that their homes are havens that provide comfort and safety.

Erik Woelfel, vice president of color at Behr, says, “The societal changes introduced in 2020 have significantly altered the meaning of “home.” From walls to walkways, color has never played a more important role in setting the mood in a space, creating a positive atmosphere or providing a sense of well-being. As the home adapts to a “new normal,” color will continue to play an impactful role in ensuring living and workspaces—whenever they may be—feel pleasant, light and productive.”

Pantone Chose Ultimate Gray and Sunny Yellow “Illuminating”

When it comes to color, Pantone is the global authority. Whether it’s paint, fashion, appliances, interior design, or technology, most industries are influenced by the color palettes the company selects. For 2021 their top picks are two contrasting shades—Ultimate Gray, a practical neutral, and Illuminating, a sunny yellow. “The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one,” said Leatrice Eiseman. “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity, supported by fortitude.”

Sherwin-Williams Spotlights Urbane Bronze

Recognizing that our society has a collective need for serenity and stability, Sherwin-Williams names Urbane Bronze as its 2021 Color of the Year. The warm gray-brown color is described as a rich-bold neutral inspired by nature. “The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world, and color is an easy and effective way to create a personal haven,” said Sue Wadden. “Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal.”

Aegean Teal Tops the List at Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s 2021 Color of the Year celebrates both nature and wellness. In describing the color as a soothing blue-green, Aegean Teal combines tranquil blue and green associated with wellness, with a gray undertone for a modern touch. Hannah Yeo, color marketing and development manager describes the color as “an intriguing blue-green that creates a natural harmony and invites us to take a moment to reflect and reset.”

Valspar Selects a Range of 12 Colors

Rather than choose a single Color of the Year, Valspar chose 12. The colors are a mix of versatile neutrals, warm organic colors, and cool blues and greens. “Our homes have become offices, entertainment centers, and classrooms, which means the colors, sights, and sounds in our rooms have an even bigger impact on our daily lives,” said Valspar color marketing manager Sue Kim.

Looking Forward to New Beginnings

Similar to a change of season, new paint colors remind us that there are brighter days ahead. On many levels, 2020 was a tumultuous year for our society. However, we are resilient and find ways to adjust to unforeseen challenges. This new year is an opportunity to be hopeful and move beyond the gloom cast by Covid-19 that has overshadowed our lives.