In December, Pantone announced its annual Colour of the Year, with last year’s 18-3838 Ultra Violet making way for something softer, warmer and much more playful: 16-1546 Living Coral.
Lauded for its energising and comforting qualities, Living Coral – a blend of peachy tones with a warm, orange glow – is perfect for the ever-changing world we live in. According to Pantone, Living Coral is designed to counteract negative energy. It’s an apt choice given the reference to the beautiful organic life-forms that are increasingly threatened by the impact of global warming. With topics such as plastic pollution and the negative impact on our oceans topping our headlines, Pantone has selected a colour that not only celebrates the beauty of nature, but communicates an important environmental message too.
When it comes to decorating our homes and surrounding ourselves with this warming, nourishing hue, we couldn’t be happier! Living Coral is about having fun, feeling more human, and interacting with the world around you, as Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone says: “It’s not too heavy. We want to play. We want to be uplifted”. With this in mind, Living Coral is designed to embody “our desire for playful expression” through its sociable, spirited connotations. In this way, it’s the perfect antidote to January blues…”
Inspired by Pantone’s focus on all things invigorating and playful, we’ve been pondering the best way to add some of this nourishing shade into our interiors. So, read on for a little design inspiration and we promise you’ll be going crazy for coral in no time.
Introduce some coral abstraction
A pop of coral can really lift an abstract artwork and give it a fresh, contemporary edge. Take Naomi Vona’s An Unusual Sunset (above), which beautifully captures the uplifting and eye-catching contrast coral can provide as it sits alongside a black and white image in this striking piece. Straddling softer pastels and hot pinks, this super affordable work captures some of the colour’s best qualities - energising without being overwhelming.
Following in Vona’s abstract footsteps, Frea Butler’s screenprint, Luminous, heroes the vibrancy of coral in contrast with electric blue in her typically cool and contemporary overlapping geometric forms. This print would definitely pack a punch in a salon hang or it could simply steal the show on it’s own. And Frea isn’t the only artist who blends coral with geometric abstraction; we love the inclusion of this season’s colour in the folding forms of California-based artist Chad Goei’s highly sought after work too.
Let your coral sing
Wow. Will Swayne’s Crescendo embraces the golden skies of a stunning sunset, what a wonderful way to add some of the warmth of coral into your space in one, glorious celebratory gesture! We can’t get enough of the glowing tones in this vibrant and passionate piece; and it certainly embodies some of those nourishing hues that Pantone identify in their colour of the year. We think this work would look incredible hung on a dark wall, allowing the depth of Swayne's pallete to speak for itself.
Coral at its most comforting
Some interiors are made for cosy nights and soft candlelight. As we’re in the depths of January, we couldn’t be more excited to see last year’s provocative pantone Ultra Violet make way for the comforting glow of Living Coral. Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman talks of the ‘humanising and heartening’ qualities of the colour, that we think Benjamin McKay’s coral-inspired Miles Away perfectly captures. Or, how about Daniel Ablitt’s In the clearing? Vibrant, yet mellow, the work seemingly harnesses the warmth of coral from within. Like a big hug, these works are emotionally nourishing, so pair them with soft lighting and let them transport you to far away places.
Embrace the retro
There’s something quite nostalgic about coral, don't you think? We can't help but be reminded of 1950s Pink Ladies or antique coral necklaces. And some artists really catch onto this vibe in their retro inspired works. We can’t resist Richard Heeps’ Ladies (above) - a brilliantly witty way to add some coral to a bathroom or hallway without committing too heavily.
Or, if you’re looking for coral to dominate your interior, then how about investing in Rusty Wiles’ retro Flamingo. Rusty has an awesome story: a firefighter who dabbles in photography, his works are a homage to colour in all its glory. His depiction of this painted coral wall bathed in sunlight would be a brilliant addition to any home.
So it’s goodbye ultra violet, hello comforting coral this 2019 - let us know how you get on introducing this gorgeous hue into your home!
Just a small selection of our coral creatives, browse the full curated category here.
Featured art from first to last:
Naomi Vona, An Unusual Sunset, 2017, collage, £80, Degree Art.
Frea Buckler, Luminous, 2017, silkscreen print, £250, Smithson Gallery
Will Swayne, Crescendo, 2018, oil, £995, Art Agency.
Benjamin McKay, Miles Away, 2017, mixed-media, £600, Eclectic Gallery.
Daniel Ablitt, In the Clearing, 2018, oil, £2,650, Will's Art Warehouse.
Richard Heeps, Ladies, 2013, photograph, £150, Bleach Box.
Rusty Wiles, Flamingo, 2017, photograph, £560, Social Media Art Gallery.