Living Coral – Pantone’s colour of the year for 2019 was released in early December and like its name is a vibrant colour and one I completely adore!

As a lover of colour since, forever, I have found the muted grey phase of the past 5 years somewhat uninspiring.   It’s without doubt a very sophisticated colour and it’s quite difficult to find greys that clash thus allowing you to create a textured pallet with ease.  Grey produces colours from the palest off white to the darkest carbon so although I respect this colour and the use of it, it doesn’t make my heart sing.  Whereas coral on the other hand makes me think what a good day it is to be walking this wonderous earth.

For those fully absorbed in interiors it’s not a completely left field option. A natural progression from the pale blush that is currently everywhere – blush’s older, somewhat cooler cousin – it’s impactful and can lift a whole scheme just by throwing a little into a room.   There are some brilliant examples of coral as a concept and looked at as a whole it really shows how the range of corals tonally can be mixed with huge success. Living coral itself is smack bang in the middle palette and can be easily made lighter by adding white if you’re not feeling at your bravest.

Beautiful Pieces encompassing coral tones by Vanessa Peka (above) and Jeremy Houghton (below).

For me, the real strength is using it as an accent colour within a scheme. A thoughtfully sourced lamp, a beautifully painted piece of furniture or a knock your socks off trim on your soft furnishings, all of which will hit the spot without scaring anyone!

My personal favourite combination is mixing coral with woods, both pale weathered textures as seen above in the Kit Kemp pop up show at DCCH and it works equally beautifully with dark veneers.  And if you really want to see it sing, pair it with green or with a powder blue – you will not be disappointed.

Living Coral isn’t as easy to use throughout your home as grey and it is unlikely to hold as much universal appeal as Dulux of the Years colour, Spiced Honey.  However, depth of colour is so important in interiors and Living Coral makes a statement from the outset in any space and I find that really exciting to design with.Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux explains the links between Living Coral and Spiced Honey and how Dulux have their own take on Living Coral in their collection:  “Warm nature inspired colours that celebrate the hidden beauty of our planet are going to make a real impact in our homes next year.  There is an interesting connection between our own Colour of the Year Spiced Honey and Pantones’ Living Coral.  Both are inspired by colours that are created by colonies of animals working in harmony together and it seems that they both capture the raw beauty of a fragile natural world and a spirit of optimism for the year ahead.  

 “Clean coral pink shades are perfect for painted features and details anywhere in the home, especially in modern living spaces where energy levels need lifting.” 

There are some wonderful interiors brands using coral to perfection such as GP& J Baker who have reimagined some of their archive prints and coral made the cut this time around, their fabrics are works of art. Another coral winner is Christopher Farr Cloth who have some wonderful designs in their ranges.

Konig Colours paints have the most fabulous colour called mojo, which really is glorious. Rich and vibrant and a perfect coral, as pictured below on this painted lamp base.

Another one of my all-time favourite paint colours is Cuisse de Nymphe Emue by Edward Bulmer Paints, a much paler version of Living Coral, and a stunning base for so many rooms – I’m yet to see a room in this colour that isn’t fabulous!

Accessories wise we are spoilt for choice lighting leading the charge! Rosanna Lonsdale has a stunning coral lamp, each one hand painted and what beauties they are! Beauchamp have the best shades I’ve seen for long time and I defy you not to covert this amazing table lamp by Porta Romana.

I could not be more delighted with colour slowly creeping back into interiors over the past two years and I’d say in the last 12 months it’s had a revival. We spend a lot of time in our homes, they house our most valuable possessions and we make our most treasured memories there. If walls could talk, the secrets they hold would change this world immeasurably.  As far as I’m concerned if we can’t create joy and happiness in our homes, what chance do we have elsewhere?

As with all these announcements and declarations, I think you should take from them what you want. I wasn’t the biggest fan of last year’s choice Ultra Violet, but that isn’t to say I think it was a disastrous choice and used as a pop of colour within a scheme can be incredible. However, I love Living Coral and anything in your life that makes your heart sing gets my vote so a big thank you to Pantone for making it their 2019 Colour of the Year.  The future is bright.