Experts' Corner

2021 Colors of the Year Reflect Hope and Renewal

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, it’s been 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 this 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 safe 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.”

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