By Christina Bruce, originally published in the September-October 2019 Issue of Portfolio Magazine.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you probably know by now that Pantone’s Color of the Year is Living Coral. Every year Pantone selects a color that they’ve deemed to be the most popular color in everything from fashion, to marketing, to home interiors for the upcoming year. I’m typically surprised by what has been chosen. For example, the color for 2018 was a saturated purple that I could never imagine using in an interior unless I was doing some type of awful Barney the dinosaur-themed kids room. As a native Floridian, when I saw the bright saturated coral color this year the beach girl in me said “no duh.” This is a color we’ve been using in Florida for years. While it was easy to endorse Living Coral here as it’s already in the bright, beachy palette we love, I imagine people in places like North Dakota were a little perplexed as to how to incorporate it into their more jewel-toned houses. There are a couple of ways I recommend using this color in your non-Floridian home. Pantone describes Living Coral as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” For the rest of us who can’t quite picture the exact color that affirms life, I would describe it as a bright coral that favors the pink tone normally seen in the typical orange-pink color combination of coral. This is the aspect that would make using this color somewhere other than Florida a challenge. However, there is nothing to say that you can’t use this coral as an inspiration but select a color that pulls more toward the orange side of this color. A soft orange can surprisingly fit into a lot of different pallets. The other way you could use this soft orange is by incorporating a saddle colored leather. This colored leather gives an established feel to any room. Additionally, using the true Living Coral with more classic colors can help ground this bright hue. I recommend pairing it with colors like emerald green or navy to give a perfect balance of conservative and fun. You might have to step outside your comfort zone a little in order to embrace this coral, but with the right twist, I feel it can be incorporated into any interior.