Living Coral, Pantone’s 2019 color of the year, is a brash effervescent tone inspired by the sea.
Think coral reefs, clownfish, mod homes in Palm Springs — and now lampshades and candles at Ikea.
The life-affirming coral hue, with a golden undertone, energizes and enlivens with a softer edge, said Pantone, the global color expert, in a news statement. A true color from nature, it was chosen for its nourishing, nurturing and comforting qualities in our continually shifting environment.
As with past Pantone color picks, the orange-pink hue will saturate the retail world of home decor, beauty products, art and fashion. Gem-toned Ultra Violet was last year’s Color of the Year, and a leafy shade of Greenery the year before.
Two local designers are totally on board with this year’s pick.
“Living Coral is exciting and sexy,” said designer Cy Winship of Cy Winship Design. “It’s like a dream of swimming in warm waters and picking succulent fruit in a sarong.”
Coral and orange were already designer Renae Keller’s favorite colors.
“Coral is a little more soft and feminine than orange,” said Keller of Renae Keller Interior Design. “But it’s energetic and expressive.”
However, local design pros admit it can be challenging to infuse the coral palette into different spaces in the home.
That’s because the exuberant, show-off tropical color scares us, said Winship. “But our world is so gray in interiors today,” he added. “Think what coral can do to that.”
Designers suggest mixing in Living Coral accents in accessories, rugs, pillows and wall color to brighten up a room.
Keller favors coral patterned fabrics, such as in chair cushions or drapery side panels, mingled with pops of blue-green or “Silver Marlin” Benjamin Moore paint.
Winship would pair the Pantone pick with a punchy aqua blue, jade green or metallic gold and “in a bedroom with crisp white linens,” he said.
“If it feels good,” said Keller, who has painted her laundry room cabinets coral, “you’ll want to use it.”
But since the trend will “ebb and flow,” she won’t base all of her designs on it.
Not everyone is a big fan. Krystal Kellermann, designer for Martha O’Hara Interiors, compared Living Coral to “back-to-the-’80s mauve.”
However, it has a youthful vibe and can work in the right application in a children’s playroom or bedroom, she noted.
But in an adult space, this shade “feels unrefined and unsophisticated,” said Kellermann.
Pantone’s Rose Quartz, a soft blush pink from 2016, has experienced longevity, she said. “But I see Living Coral having a short life span.”