Pantone has surprised us this year by choosing not just one color for 2021, but two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.
According to Pantone, Ultimate Gray is representative of dependability and strength. As with natural elements that endure throughout the ages, Ultimate Gray inspires feelings of resilience and equilibrium.
Illuminating, on the other hand, is a bright and cheerful yellow emblematic of the sun that encourages warmth, vivacity, and energy.
This color combination underlines the ability of different elements to complement and support each other, while also providing both the strength and spirit that we need going into the continued uncertainty of 2021.
“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”–Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute
To help you bring this resilience and hope into your own home or business, we’re sharing some of our favorite examples of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating tile.
Ultimate Gray Tile
Gray Stone-Look Tile
Stone looks commonly feature grays. Because this combination depicts the natural element that Ultimate Gray represents, gray stone-look ceramic tile can evoke even more strength than other gray designs.
This stone-look tile features creamy hues and extends across the living room floor and up the massive fireplace surround.
Concrete-look tile is another great way to add Ultimate Gray to your space while also establishing an industrial vibe.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Industrial Chic Tile]
Gray Wood-Look Tile
Not limited to just browns, wood-look tile can come in any color, including gray. The large gray wood-look ceramic tile pictured above gives the living room a modern edge.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Refined Natural Wood Looks]
Variegated and Patterned Gray Tile
This bathroom wall showcases two different Ultimate Gray tile options: variegated gray tile and patterned gray tile.
Featuring subtle shading differences, variegated tile creates a natural or rustic look. The patterned tile on the right side of the wall continues the variegated look while adding unique patterns with a hand-painted quality.
Gray Terrazzo-Look Tile
Speckle Ultimate Gray into your space with terrazzo-look tile. Terrazzo looks can include any color imaginable, but often are gray to imitate speckled natural stone.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Speckled Surfaces]
Pale Yellow Wall Tile
While Illuminating is a specific shade of yellow, you have many options to help you add the spirit of this yellow hue that most closely fits your interior decor.
This cafe nook opts for pale yellow wall tile to add a cozy feeling to an already earthy aesthetic. Sprinkling in some tiles with a different design adds visual interest to the otherwise monochromatic wall.
Lemon Yellow Wall Tile
A mix of historically-inspired tiles slightly subdues the bright yellow tile wall, just as the matching yellow paint color makes the warm hues in the patterned tile nook pop.
Muted Yellow and Chocolate Tile Backsplash
Pairing a muted yellow with a chocolatey brown for this tile backsplash lends the kitchen a warm glow. We love how the tiles’ high gloss reflects the greenery seen through the opposite window.
Bright Yellow Shower Tile
Make each day sunny (regardless of the weather) with yellow tile that’s as bright as the sun. Use this ceramic tile in a space that should feel energizing, like the shower. This shower tile features irregular shapes and a slightly uneven texture to make things interesting.
Earthy Yellow Tile
If bright yellow isn’t your favorite shade or doesn’t work with your existing interior decor, you can still incorporate an illuminating energy with a more toned-down yellowish hue, such as one of the earthy yellow tones above.
The first image incorporates orange-yellow tones to create a feature wall that stands out in just the right amount. The second image features yellowish end-grain wood-look tile to add warmth to the cafe’s industrial aesthetic.
[Related: Tile Color Psychology: How Your Tile Color Affects Your Mood]
Bringing Them Together
To make the most of Pantone’s 2021 colors of the year, combine them. Here are some inspiring tile designs that feature both Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.
Gray Wall Tile With a Yellow Stripe
The yellow strip of tile behind the built-in shelf highlights the items displayed there and adds a fun detail to the gray tile wall. Together, the gray and yellow tile help strike the right balance between calming and energetic in this cafe.
Multicolored Tile Wall With Grays and Yellows
This tile wall features multiple colors on the spectrum from Ultimate Gray to Illuminating, including soft gray, white, and beige. Wood-like veining gives all of the different tile colors a unifying characteristic and ties the wall together.
Gray and Yellow Stone-Look Tile
These gorgeous stone-look gauged porcelain tile panel/slab designs balance Pantone’s two colors of the year perfectly. While the tile feature wall / fireplace surround is mostly gray with yellow veining, the tile flooring is a yellowish beige with darker yellow and gray veining.
Gray and Yellow Terrazzo-Look Tile
To incorporate yellow and gray tile into your home using terrazzo-look tile, you have two options: Juxtapose yellow terrazzo-look tile and gray terrazzo-look tile, as in the photo above, or choose a terrazzo-look design that features both gray and yellow!
Add Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Tile to Your Space
We’re already jumping on the gray and yellow tile bandwagon, and we can’t wait to see more impressive examples of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating tile in the months to come. In the meantime, you can find even more design inspiration on our Pinterest boards: