Illuminating Houseplant Design with the 2021 Pantone Colors Of The Year

Illuminating Houseplant Design with the 2021 Pantone Colors Of The Year

Every December, the design trend powerhouses at Pantone forecast the hottest colors of the year with one color dominating fashion runways, home decor catalogs, and digital designs for the upcoming year, but in an exciting twist, Pantone chose not one but two colors of the year to share the title for 2021! 

We couldn’t be more excited about this unexpected color combo—a stark contrast from 2020’s simple, classic blue. Discover the trendiest, modern shades for the new year and how you can pull off a stellar houseplant display by incorporating these colors strategically into your design. 

What Are The 2021 Color Trends Of The Year?

The two colors chosen by Pantone really couldn’t be more different from each other, and yet they pair so perfectly together! While they look lovely on their own, there is a certain type of sleek modernity and stimulating effect achieved when you pair them together, creating invigorating energy that breathes new life into tired spaces.

illuminating and ultimate grey pantone colors of 2021

The first color is an absolute showstopper: Illuminating Yellow. This electric lemon shade is all sunshine and positivity. It’s no surprise why it earned its name—it really does light up the room! Yet, at the same time, there’s a sensible and smart quality about this primary color, so it doesn’t feel ostentatious or gaudy. Plus, studies show that rooms filled with bright yellow help to improve focus and work motivation, so it’s great if you’re still trying to figure out the whole work-from-home thing.   

The second color is a much more subdued, classic neutral: Ultimate Grey! This ultra-versatile shade helps ground the intensity of Illuminating Yellow, bringing a cool sophistication that brings to mind modern studio lofts and the old-meets-new aesthetic of repurposed industrial materials. Think concrete, steel, and stone!  

Using Illuminated Yellow in Your Houseplant Design

One of the great things about bright yellow is that it occurs pretty commonly in the plant world, so there’s an impressive variety of houseplants to choose from that sport this sunny shade. An easy way to add a splash of yellow into your houseplant display is by picking up some variegated plants with yellow accents. Houseplants with multicolored foliage are hugely popular right now, so a yellow variegated plant will hit all the right notes.

Some of our favorite yellow variegated plants include:

We’ve even got a few houseplants in store that are almost entirely yellow, such as:


illuminating yellow pantone color 2021 houseplants

Some houseplants even produce yellow flowers, like the kalanchoe: an easy-care succulent with gorgeous scalloped leaves and thick clusters of ultra-vibrant blossoms. Cacti often produce yellow flowers as well—be sure to double-check which variety you’re purchasing to ensure you get the bloom color you want, though! 

If you really want to brighten things up, you can also repot some of your existing houseplants into bright yellow containers. You might be able to find some if you shop around, but to get the color just right, you could also buy and paint some terracotta plant pots to match the exact Pantone shade. 


gray and yellow concrete planters

Houseplant Styling with Ultimate Grey

The easiest way to add Ultimate Grey into your houseplant decor is with containers! Concrete planters in 3D geometric designs are taking the design world by storm, and their artful, cubist aesthetic is effortlessly cool. Smaller decorative concrete planters are perfect for succulents and cacti, but you can also find some larger ones (or make your own if you’re into DIY projects) to pot up your bigger plants.  

Plain metal pots look great as well, particularly when made from repurposed metal with a bit of a rustic patina finish. That being said, try not to have too many of the same kind of container in grey. When you’re working with a neutral shade like that, you still want to have some variety, and the best way to do that is by playing with different textures and finishes. 

Shiny metals, tarnished metals, glazed grey clay pots, and matte concrete all have entirely different appearances. Yet, they’re all the same tone, so creating a mixed assortment can add significant visual interest in the most subtle, simple way. 

If your potted plants are near the window and the sun tends to dry up the soil a bit quickly during the hot summer months, it might be worth layering some decorative grey pebbles on top! They’re certainly a lot prettier than plain old soil, and they help retain water by slowing the sun from evaporating all the moisture in the soil. 


ultimate gray pantone color 2021 plants

Believe it or not, we’ve even got some grey houseplants in store to break up the sea of green that makes up your houseplant collection. Check out some of these incredible grey foliage plants you can buy from Plant Decor Shop:

Even if you aren’t big on following trends and copying the design experts, there’s no denying that these contemporary colors look amazing when paired together for home decor. To give your home or office a fresh, updated look to ring in the new year, visit Plant Decor Shop and see all the incredible new houseplants ready to be shipped right to your door.


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