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Thursday, February 4, 2021


Enough with the gray already! Every year I write a blog post about the color or colors the Pantone Institute selects for their Color(s) of the Year. The choice for 2021 was announced about seven weeks ago. Sad to say, they really blew it this time. Really, guys? After what we went through in 2020, you decide to pick GRAY as one of the colors for 2021?

The two colors the experts picked for 2021 are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemony yellow. They describe the two-color combination as one of “strength and positivity…a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.” Their press release goes on to use adjectives such as “warming and optimistic”, “happiness supported by fortitude”, “aspirational and gives us hope.”


I can buy into that for a shade of yellow. We can all use more thoughtfulness, sunniness and friendliness right now after the year we’ve recently left behind.


But GRAY??? News flash: There is nothing sunny and friendly about gray, no matter the shade. It’s an absence of color. A gray sky blocks out the sun. A gray mood represents sadness, not friendliness.


You want colors that represent hope and happiness? How about looking to the rainbow for inspiration. Or Candyland. That’s what we need this year. But instead we’re going to be deluged with yet more GRAY!?! 


Haven’t we already been overwhelmed with gray for several years? You can’t turn on HGTV without seeing gray absolutely everywhere. Designers have been on gray overload for at least ten years. Walls are gray. Flooring is gray. Carpeting is gray. Kitchen cabinets are gray. Countertops are gray. Bathroom tile is gray. Furniture is gray. Exterior house colors are gray.


For a decade designers have been forcing gray on us everywhere we look—and not just in our homes. Check out every supermarket parking lot, every driveway. It’s hard to find cars that aren’t gray—unless they’re black or white. And now thanks to Pantone, we’re going to be seeing even more gray as the year progresses, when what the world really needs right now are happy colors.


Thanks a lot, guys! What were you thinking?


Barbara Monajem said...

Yuck. Grey is my least favorite color.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Gray and yellow are featured in all kinds of design stuff lately. I'm okay with gray, but not a huge yellow fan.


Thanks for stopping by, Barbara and Vicki! Both yellow and gray, IMHO, are colors that should be used sparingly. And gray during a pandemic makes absolutely no sense to me.

Paris said...

I don't find the color scheme appealing at all. The gray is dull and the lemony yellow is unappealing as well. I don't know anywhere in nature that this color combination might be found except maybe a lemon that's gone all moldy at the back of the fridge.


Ugh, Paris! You've definitely nailed it. Thanks for stopping by.

Maggie Toussaint said...

I don't care for a lot of gray either, Lois. My husband wanted gray appliances thought and I said we're getting white. My bugaboo about the appliances is that the gray appliances reminded me too much of the lab setting where I used to work. No thanks. I want my kitchen to be a happy place. My kitchen cabinets are a delightful burnished mint green, and they make me smile every time I walk into the kitchen.

My kids have sold me on wearing charcoal gray sweathirts and fleeces. That color goes with everything and I can dress the tops up/warm them up with colorful scarves.


Maggie, I do have a few pairs of gray jeans, mostly because it's so hard to find jeans that fit well and look good without spending a fortune that I'll buy any color that meets those criteria. But I don't want my entire house filled with gray, which seems to be the trend lately, thanks to HGTV.

Nancy K said...

When we bought the current home 18 years plus ago, gray, pink, and purple were the dominant colors. I changed what I could over the years, and Hurricane Matthew helped me change more. The only gray I still have is in the master bath tiles upstairs because it was just too expensive to completely redo that room when we were fixing flood damage downstairs. My hubby and I were both adamant that we scrub ever bit of gray possible from the house. And, yes, purple and pink, too. Of course the exterior of the house is still pink shell dash because that's pricey to change, too - more than I'll ever want to spend.

Thanks for your rant! I get you, but you also made me laugh on this (dare I say it?) gray Florida day. Happy weekend!

Marilyn Levinson said...

I like the gray and yellow combination. And now that my hair is gray, I find I even own some clothes with gray in them. Think of gray as being restful. Calming. A nice respite from all we're going through these days. And BTW, my car is blue.:)

Anonymous said...

Some shades of gray can be lovely, but it's a tricky color. It takes the right undertone and contrasting colors to make it work. For these times, we could use something cheery.


Nancy, gray, pink, and purple were a common palette in the 20's and 30's. I remember my grandmother's house had gray and pink bathroom tiles and a maroon/purple color for the trim. The walls in the living room and dining room were painted gray, and the carpets were gray. Way too much gray!

Marilyn, I guess you're the exception to the rule so far. I don't mind a touch of gray as long as it's the right shade, like a blue/gray, but it's become gray everywhere you look these days. And right now, I'm finding that really depressing.

Anonymous, yes, sometimes gray works as long as it's not overdone. Nowadays, it's become overdone.

Thank you all for stopping by and commenting.

Liese said...

Yeah, neither are my favorites. Although I believe they have their place. Yellow is at least "sunny."


Liese, yellow can be lovely as long as it's not a brassy yellow. Thanks for stopping by!