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Introducing Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019: Living Coral

Pantone’s color of the year for 2019 is Living Coral, and it’s the perfect color to help decorate your home for spring. Why “Living Coral”? According to Pantone themselves, it’s because the color is both cheerful and comforting, a warm tone to help inject a little optimism into our daily lives. It’s also a color that inspires connection and connectedness – a tone that exists vibrantly in nature and displays boldly on digital devices, to help us stay linked both to our natural roots and to each other, especially via social media. Love the idea (or even just the color)? We’ve got six smart ways to incorporate Living Coral into your home’s decor.

Add A Few Accents

Accentuating a room with a few living coral accents is a great way to add a pop of color to your space, and keep your home on trend for 2019 (by Jalan Jalan Collection)
Accentuating a room with a few living coral accents is a great way to add a pop of color to your space, and keep your home on trend for 2019 (by Jalan Jalan Collection)

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Living Coral is a great color for 2019 not only because it inspires a spark of joy that many of us could use in our daily lives, but also because it’s a color that works well with many of the year’s overarching design themes. Specifically, it’s a great color to add to your space if you want to inject a little life into your existing decor without doing a major renovation. In this case, that means accessories. Linens are easy; pillows, throws, curtains, and rugs are all relatively inexpensive, or if you want to go a little bigger, adding artwork, lamps, accent tables and chairs, ottomans, or even larger pieces in this bold orange-pink will add a bright, lively feel to any room you put them in.

…Or Even Just One

Living coral is a bold enough color that even a single accent piece is all you need to really make a statement (by Katie Rosenfeld Design)
Living coral is a bold enough color that even a single accent piece is all you need to really make a statement (by Katie Rosenfeld Design)

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That said, Living Coral is also a color that scales down very well. While if you really love the color you can certainly fill a whole room with coordinated pieces, picking one visually interesting piece painted or finished in coral is just about the easiest project you can do. Because it’s such a bold shade, even a single accent will have a bigger than average impact on your space, and add a really intense pop of color and personality. If you want to give a nod to current trends and maybe start to break away from the very-neutral color schemes of the last few years without a lot of effort or a big price tag, this is a great place to start.

Pick A DIY Paint Project

If you have an older piece of furniture that has a fun design but feels a bit dated, a few coats of coral paint can give it a fresh new feel (by Megan Leith-Menard Interior Design)
If you have an older piece of furniture that has a fun design but feels a bit dated, a few coats of coral paint can give it a fresh new feel (by Megan Leith-Menard Interior Design)

If you’re feeling crafty, Living Coral is also a fantastic color for DIY projects. A coat or two of paint can breathe new life into all manner of tired items, from decorative tables and mirrors to accent chairs and antique pieces. This is also a great way to keep the budget for your project low, since unusual flea market finds are often ideally suited to this kind of project, and depending on the size of your piece, you might not need more than a sample can of paint. For the biggest impact, look for furnishings that have a lot of detail work to them, because this light, bright color will help bring out the silhouette of the piece.

Make It Work For Your Walls

Living coral is a really bold, intense color, but if you love the look, there are a lot of ways to make it work on your walls (by Dulux)
Living coral is a really bold, intense color, but if you love the look, there are a lot of ways to make it work on your walls (by Dulux)

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When it comes to bigger paint projects (by which I mean your walls!), Living Coral is a little more hit or miss. Painting all four walls in that intense, vivid color can be a little overwhelming, and definitely isn’t a design choice for everyone. It makes a pretty striking accent wall, but accent walls in general have fallen somewhat out of favor this year. I love the look of coral trim against a different colored wall, but this, too, is an option that butts heads with the 2019 trend of painting walls and trim the same color. So how can you make a paint project work? If you really love the color, lean into it and go for the wall-to-wall. A lighter tint will help scale back some of the intensity, as will opting for white trim. Alternatively, instead of an accent wall, consider an accent ceiling, or backing your bookshelves with Living Coral. This year I’ve also been seeing a lot of people opt for split-color walls, which can also help balance out the coral by pairing it with one or more other colors.

Paint Yourself A Very Welcoming Front Door

Painting your front door living coral is a simple weekend project that can seriously improve your home's curb appeal (by McCall Design llc)
Painting your front door living coral is a simple weekend project that can seriously improve your home’s curb appeal (by McCall Design llc)

Maybe my favorite use of Living Coral, though, is the thriving new trend of painting your front door. It’s a fun update on the classic lucky red door, with the same vibrant, cheerful feel, but a subtly unexpected twist. Not sure it will fit with your architecture? Don’t worry. I’ve seen Living Coral on everything from the most modern to the most antique doors, and even farmhouse style split doors. It’s a great shade that brings out the detail work in your door, and stands out boldly in contrast to most neutral exterior paint colors, which makes it a perfect way to visually greet your guests, no matter what the style of your home.

Brighten Up Your Outdoor Spaces

Living coral cushions for your outdoor furniture are shaping up to be a hot item for this summer, not the least because they're so easy to swap out (by Gustavson Dundes Architecture & Design)
Living coral cushions for your outdoor furniture are shaping up to be a hot item for this summer, not the least because they’re so easy to swap out (by Gustavson Dundes Architecture & Design)

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Last but not least, Living Coral is an absolutely fantastic color to use on your outdoor furniture. From simple coral cushions to spray painted iron or wire furnishings, Living Coral is the perfect cheerful, summery color to help kick off your outdoor season right, and add a little pep to your patio. As with indoor accents, you can go as big or as small as you want – as little as a few weatherproof throw pillows and anywhere up to a full patio set. For outdoor use, look for fabrics that are marked as sunproof. While Living Coral is a shade that does fade beautifully, if you’d like to keep it feeling bright, look for a material that will hold up to exposure to sunlight to keep it looking lovely for the long haul.

Living Coral is a bold, vivid color, and one that can be a little hard to work with (and easy to overwhelm). But adding a few well-chosen accents to your home is a great way not just to stay on trend, but to inject a little bit of vibrancy and cheer into your day-to-day.