Pantone have announced their Colour of the Year for 2019 and there has been an audible sigh of relief all round. At last, they have chosen a colour – Living Coral – that we can all imagine using in our homes. It’s bright, it’s cheery. It’s uplifting! We might not want to rush out and buy gallons of paint for every wall quite yet. But we can certainly see it creeping into interiors in quite a welcoming way. So how exactly do we introduce this very inspiring but actually quite dominating colour into our schemes come next year?
Living Coral on Your Walls
‘Undersea’ Wallpaper by Mind The Gap
I have to be honest and admit I could not find any images of coral painted walls that were inspiring me to open a tin of paint and get splashing it about. Which told me volumes. A lot of paint colours seem to tip towards the terracotta end of the spectrum and that’s not a colour that I’m particularly fond of. So, I’m not going to tell you it can work on your walls either. This particular shade is just too intense and I don’t find it relaxing or easy on the eye at all when it’s in such a massive dose. I’d be much more inclined to favour Living Coral in smaller doses in a patterned wallpaper where it can enliven other hues.
Living Coral and Other Colours
Coral Odyssey Cushions from The Curious Department
Which brings me on to which other hues. Personally, because I’m such a big fan of contrast I’d like to see Living Coral in conjunction with other strong colours. Shades that can hold their own but are darker, such as dark grey, navy or a monochrome palette. Mixing coral with other pastels delivers a whole different vibe. Much more ‘beach house in the Caribbean’ than ‘town house in Hackney’ and I know which I prefer. Of course if ‘beach house’ is the effect you are after, by all means use Living Coral with white for a fresh and summery feel.
Living Coral and Fabric Choices
Scattered Fern Linen Cushion by Clarissa Hulse
As most strong colours do, Living Coral would look sensational in velvet. I can picture a velvet coral sofa in an otherwise neutral room and I know that it would work. It also works with other colours in smaller doses (even neutrals as seen above) so it makes stunning patterned fabrics. See how lovely it is as an ombre throw too, where it uses the other colours either side of it on the colour wheel. Both cushion and throw make excellent choices for an accent colour – see below.
Using Living Coral as an Accent Colour
Image from Furniture Choice
And here we are. Accent colours. And I’m going to say a few words in general about this decorating tool. Articles will tell you that your accent colour should be no more than 10% of the colours in the room. Give or take. Which isn’t a bad guide but I’m going to go further and say, please do not scatter your accent colour around the space like dolly mixtures. It doesn’t work. All it does is make your eyes dart about joining up the dots. It you want to use an accent colour, use it in one place only. It doesn’t have to be one item (a cushion on the sofa and a print above the sofa in the same colours will work for example), but keep them close so that the eye can rest there for a while before moving on. See the image above. I rest my case.
Living Coral as an Accessory
Ostrich Feather Floor Lamp from Sweetpea and Willow
The difference between an accent colour and an accessory, is that the accessory will absolutely bowl you over. It doesn’t have any competition whatsoever. It will steal all of the limelight and everything around it will pale into insignificance. It’s jewellery for the room. Living Coral is so vibrant it can do this all by itself. I’m just wondering which bank I have to rob to be able to have that lamp above.
Living Coral in Pattern
Wisteria Wallpaper by Farrow and Ball
Probably because of the name, a lot of the patterns I found using coral were actually seaside patterns. Which also happen to be totally on-trend currently. And not just in the bathroom. So whichever way you decide to use this pretty but intense shade you can be sure it will create a summery and invigorating ambience to whichever room it lands in.