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Set Sail Champagne: 2021 Color Trend

Every year Shutterstock analyzes search data to find the colors that designers and photographers are using more and more in their work. Set Sail Champagne is one of the top colors.

In their annual 2021 Color Trends report, Shutterstock analyzes search data to find the colors that creatives are downloading and using in their work. By analyzing the HEX code data in each pixel, they can identify the colors that are set to dominate design in the year ahead.

One of the trio of top colors for 2021, Set Sail Champagne is a serene and soothing blank canvas of escapism—a color that provides welcome relief from a turbulent 2020.

Scroll down for ten on-trend color palettes that make the most of this natural, organic hue, and read more about the theory and psychology behind this tranquil color.

Set Sail Champagne

A warming, creamy hue with a soft hint of orange, Set Sail Champagne is an ultra-flattering and comforting alternative to white. While white can feel stark and bland, Set Sail Champagne appears to glow. It brings a calming and organic feel to website backgrounds, interior design, or even lifestyle photography. Containing small doses of yellow and magenta, the color is warm and rosy, with an elegant, antique tone.

A fresh color that presents a chic blank slate for designers, Set Sail Champagne is inspired by the paler hues that naturally occur in desert and coastal environments, mimicking the tones of sand dunes, bleached wood, or limestone.

While Set Sail Champagne is a natural choice for minimal color schemes, it can pair with stronger, earthier colors, such as our other 2021 trending colors, Tidewater Green and Fortuna Gold.

The Historic Impact of Neutral Colors

Set Sail Champagne is a neutral color, meaning that it can act as an anchoring element alongside a wide-range of other brighter or stronger colors. However, this doesn’t mean Set Sail Champagne lacks impact. In fact, historically, off-white colors such as ivory, alabaster, or cream were cherished for their aesthetic beauty and religious symbolism.

Pale shades of ivory and cream have an ancient association with purity, cleanliness, and beauty. The color of age-old stone monuments, ivory statues, and cathedral columns, antique white shades constructed the calm and contemplative palette of the ancient world.

The pale, sun-bleached tones of the Cathedral of Syracuse (Duomo di Siracusa) in Syracuse, Sicily. Image by contributor Andrei Nekrassov.

In Ancient Rome, candidates for public office would rub their toga with chalk to achieve a paler hue. The toga candida was intended to contrast with the darker, untreated materials of the togas worn by the majority of other Roman citizens, and was symbolic of legality and peace.

Off-white shades were also favored by members of many religious institutions over the centuries, who have used these colors as markers of piety and purity.

A statue of the famous Roman statesman Cicero wearing a toga candida outside the Palace of Justice in Rome. Image by contributor Renata Sedmakova.

The Psychology and Meaning of Set Sail Champagne

Today, the need for serenity and reflection has never been more pressing, and the cleansing, escapist nature of Set Sail Champagne has inspired its name. It’s time to reset, and purifying colors allow us to have the room to finally breathe, relax, and think optimistically towards a new future.

The glow-emitting property of Set Sail Champagne has also made it a new staple in the fashion world, with designers like Max Mara and The Row consistently turning to buttermilk shades for timelessly chic, elegant, and ethereal collections.

In interior design, champagne shades create soothing, sanctuary-like spaces, which gives a spa-like atmosphere to bathrooms and living areas. Team the color with mid-century furniture and natural materials to monopolize on its minimal, modernist leanings.

Read on to discover how to use Set Sail Champagne in your projects, from the colors that complement it to on-trend palettes to pin and use now.

What Colors Go Well with Set Sail Champagne?

Set Sail Champagne is a highly adaptable color that can be used as a neutral complement to other primary or secondary colors. With its orange undertone, this color brings a softening effect to any hue it’s paired with, creating schemes that are easy to use and live with.

While this champagne hue doesn’t feature on a traditional color wheel, its undertone colors—orange and red—do, and these can help to inform which colors will pair best with it.

Image by fetrinka.

Set Sail Champagne’s Complementary Color

Complementary colors sit opposite each other on a color wheel. Set Sail Champagne is a neutral color—more closely related to white than other primary or secondary colors—meaning that it has no set complementary color. However, the undertones present in Set Sail Champagne (orange and red) can allow you to pair the color successfully with hues that are complementary to these.

Try pairing the color with earthy greens, such as its fellow trending color Tidewater Green, or pale blues, such as baby blue, tiffany blue, or pale pastel blue.

Set Sail Champagne’s Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are lifted from the colors sitting at either side on the color wheel. Orange-based whites are analogous to blue and green. These colors provide a cooling balance to Set Sail Champagne’s warm undertone.

Set Sail Champagne’s Triadic Colors

A triadic scheme refers to the colors that sit across from the original color in a triangular formation on the color wheel. For a warm, orange-based white like Set Sail Champagne, green and purple will create a triadic scheme that is surprisingly effective, with a hint of retro charm.

Set Sail Champagne: 10 Color Palettes to Inspire

Set Sail Champagne is an extremely versatile color that can be used as a neutral hue in place of gray, white, or black. With its warm undertones, it brings a softer feel to designs than stark white, and can pair with almost any color to create a beautifully soothing scheme. That being said, the orange undertone of Set Sail Champagne makes it fit particularly well alongside certain color groups, such as earth tones and pastels.


Because the color is lifted from nature, mimicking the tone of alabaster, desert dunes, or bleached wood, it fits seamlessly into natural-themed schemes. It pairs beautifully with earth-toned colors such as brown, taupe, and sienna, as well as oceanic colors like blue and green. Pastels or pale metallic colors enhance the light-emitting properties of Set Sail Champagne, making for ethereal, summery schemes.

Set Sail Champagne is the breath of fresh air your projects have been waiting for. Discover these ten trending palette ideas, and make sure to share or pin them for future inspiration:

Palette #1: Calm Contemplation

This on-trend, tranquil palette combines the trio of our 2021 color trends—Set Sail Champagne, Tidewater Green, and Fortuna Gold—and anchors the scheme with assertive gun metal gray.

Image by Floral Deco.

Palette #2: Shutters and Stone

Inspired by the contrast between historic stone facades and colorful shutters in European towns, this muted scheme would work beautifully for elegant interior design.

Image by Protasov AN.

Palette #3: Pastel Platter

An optimistic, youthful scheme that’s perfect for spring, this is a playful palette at home on social posts and in email marketing.


Palette #4: Mediterranean Bay

This rich, summery scheme teams Set Sail Champagne with nautical-themed colors inspired by the terracotta tiles and azure waters of Mediterranean coastal towns.

Image by Denis Belitsky.

Palette #5: Fall Fruits

Try combining lilac and plum tones with Set Sail Champagne for a grown-up palette that would suit interior design and lifestyle products.

Image by baibaz.

Palette #6: Tiffany Pink

Fresh, joyful, and nostalgic, this pretty palette combines cool tiffany blue and teal with warmer Set Sail Champagne and coral pink.

Image by noicherrybeans.

Palette #7: Earthy Modernism

A sophisticated, natural palette inspired by Californian mid-century style, team Set Sail Champagne with blush pink, dark green, and deep ochre to give your designs earthiness and depth.

Image by Followtheflow.

Palette #8: Walking on Eggshells

This light and breezy color palette uses whispery eggshell tones to create a soothing, rustic scheme.

Image by JurateBuiviene.

Palette #9: Slate and Succulents

If you’re looking for an edgier take on champagne tones, look this way. This contemporary scheme combines dusky rose, slate blue, and pale green.

Image by LiliGraphie.

Palette #10: Catwalk Glamour

Inspired by the rich, luxurious colors favored by fashion designer Tom Ford, this scheme combines two of our 2021 trending colors—Set Sail Champagne and Fortuna Gold—with heady purple and ink blue for a cool, urban palette.

Image by Ovidiu Hrubaru.


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