8 Creative Ways to Incorporate Pantone's 2021 Colors of the Year Into Your Child's Space

·5 min read
An image of paint brushes on a colorful background.
An image of paint brushes on a colorful background.

Getty Images.

1. Use Wallpaper

Wallpaper not only makes a fun backdrop for any space, according to Purzycki, but it can be used as the jumping off point for the rest of the room design. "Just pull from the colors, pattern, and style of the wallpaper when making the rest of your design choices," she notes.

A few wallpaper picks that spotlight Ultimate Grey and Illuminating, according to Purzycki:

  • Tempaper x Nesting with Grace's removable wallpaper called "Lemon Drop." "This would be so sweet in a little girl's room," says Purzycki. "It has a peach background that complements the Illuminating-yellow lemons perfectly."

  • The Marit Bird wallpaper in Mustard would be a lovely jumping off point for a vintage or traditional nursery design, she notes.

  • Cole & Sons Nuvolette wallpaper in Soot/Snow is a gorgeous choice that is both sophisticated and whimsical thanks to the cloud print, she says, adding that it would be best to keep the rest of the room soft and muted with this one.

2. Try a Rug

"Never underestimate the power of an amazing rug, even in a kid's room," says Diana Hathaway, a west coast-based color expert and interior designer. One she likes: Ruggable's Outer Space Soft Grey Rug.

As for incorporating this year's Pantone colors, Hathaway recommends Ultimate Gray rugs with boho or abstract patterns with touches of Illuminating. "If the colors in your rug pattern include white, it can highlight your baseboards or trim, other colors can bring more opportunities for accents around the room," adds Hathaway.

Paint Upcycled Furniture or Opt for New Pieces in These Colors

Whether you're snagging a rocking chair from a garage sale or have an old dresser you want to freshen up, Purzycki says that adding a few coats of Illuminating or Ultimate Grey paint to furniture can be a simple way to incorporate the colors.

"Sand down an old side table, rocking chair, or dresser, and add a few coats of bold yellow or deep gray to reinforce the color scheme in your room," she advises.

You could also make a point to choose Ultimate Gray or Illuminating-inspired furniture. "We personally chose Ultimate Gray-inspired furniture for our toddler instead of white pieces," says Leigh Spicher, National Director of Design Studios at Ashton Woods Homes. "It's slightly unexpected but really warms the space. One of my favorite pieces of furniture is a simple, gray storage bin that she can reach easily."

For older kids' bedrooms, Spicher also loves the idea of looking for a bed that's upholstered in Ultimate Gray fabric. "As a parent and designer one of the things that bothers me about children's bedroom furniture is that it often has sharp corners or hard edges—like bed rails or corners on a dresser," she notes. "And the bed is often the focal point of the bedroom, so why not make it a focus that's soft and cozy instead of hard and cold?" Try Pottery Barn Kids' Payton Upholstered Bed in Fog.

RELATED: Nursery Paint Colors: What Always Looks Right

4. Go Monochromatic

Pair Ultimate Gray with other varying shades of gray around a nursery for a soothing effect, suggests Hathaway. You can then use that monochromatic color scheme as a canvas to add bright colors and bold pattern accents in moderation—like striped or bold flower pillows and bedding in the style of Marimekko, she explains.

5. Search on Etsy

If you want to find playroom furniture pieces that are crafted in these particular Pantone colors, check out Etsy, suggests Purzycki. You can get a Pikler triangle in a shade of Ultimate Grey or a kids' desk and chair set in a vibrant yellow, she notes. And the uber-popular Nugget sofa also comes in colors very close to Illuminating and Ultimate Grey.

6. Try an Ultimate Gray Wall as a Backdrop for Other Details

Hathaway says that neutral gray walls offer flexibility when planning decor for a nursery, playroom, or child's bedroom.

"Cheery yellow accents on the neutral walls look best when the design includes white, to create visual space between the two colors," she notes. "A wall [design] of a child's name, a patterned shape like a heart, and even birds and animal shapes, create an instant focal point with the bonus of being easily changed for childhood ages and stages."

And don't be afraid of putting large art and decor elements on the walls, says Hathaway: "Because a child's space is always evolving with their age, a few large decor items are easier to update than many small ones."

7. Use Textiles to Add Layers and Incorporate the Hues

Purzycki says textiles like throw pillows, drapery, and bedding are another easy way to bring these colors into a kids' space.

Spicher adds that these details can give layers to a room. Go with soft and cozy, as those textures tend to inspire security and safety. "One of my daughter's favorite blankets is a plush Ultimate Gray, cable-knitted blanket—with attached silly poof balls of course," she notes.

RELATED: Easy Kids' Room Decor

8. Pull Them in as Part of a Larger Color Scheme

There's no need to stick to these two colors alone. "If you don't want to make them the focal point of your space, each also makes a beautiful accent colors," points out Purzycki. "Illuminating is a pretty complement to blush pink, while Ultimate Grey goes well with soft powder blue, or in a neutral space paired with cream tones and brass."