Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year announcement (Living Coral ICYMI) came in the dead of winter here - but it feels like a summer color - or at least a hot weather color. As we are, hopefully, on the brink of summer, it seemed an appropriate choice for my next color post. It is a saturated, intense, bright coral…the color of flamingoes, tropical flowers, and tropical fish (and apparently coral?!). The kind of happy color for summer nail polish. It is the hue I have often referred to as “aggressive salmon”, when implemented poorly…not to be confused with “dead salmon” which is an actual paint color name. Yes, really.
But back to living coral, so can it be used in interiors? Of course! But exercise caution…it takes a fair amount of skill to pull off large amounts of such a bold color. And for those who still want a touch of warmth without the drama, there are less intense versions of coral to be had! Coral falls somewhere between orange and pink in the color spectrum and as such is a warm and generally flattering hue that works in a variety of situations.
Painting large surfaces with coral is the boldest use of this color. As always, follow THESE steps for selecting the paint for your home - I promise you, it will look different in your house than it does at the paint store, at your friends house, or on your computer screen!
This coral accent wall in the bedroom below was created by Karianne at Thistlewood Farms - she added the wood trim to create the oversize diamond pattern for texture and painted it in Sherwin Williams 6606 appropriately named: Coral Reef! You can read all about how she did it HERE. An abundance of white balances the intense hue.
Tha bathroom below is a good example of coral walls balanced with white and accented with black. It is a rendering not an actual room as far as I could find…which is probably a good thing since there are a lot of design question marks here…not the least of which is how skinny do you have to be to shower here, and why is the toilet at barstool height???
The lovely NYC living room below is by Jamie Drake from a few years ago and features walls in a softer, more muted shade of coral with matching drapery panels. The coral is again accented with black. Do be sure your coral is actually coral and not orange if you are using it with black, unless, of course, you are aiming for a Halloween vibe!
Another way to use a vibrant coral is to paint a piece of furniture in this unexpected color. This dining room sideboard was given a new lease on life by Jody Scott at Paint and Hammer. How fresh and fun is that?
Here are a list of coral shades from pale to dramatic that echo the Pantone COTY. Don’t be put off by the NAMES of the shades…I honestly kind of wish they wouldn’t name paint colors as it often adds an unnecessary level of confusion to the selections! These are all coral shades…somewhere between orange and pink - and will look closer to one or the other in different environments.
Sometimes a pattern or texture is just what is needed in a room and wallcovering can be the perfect answer. The dining room below wouldn’t be the same without the lively coral wallpaper. Again, it is balanced with liberal doses of white and a few dark black/brown accents.
This stunning, elegant room by Suzanne Kasler is so warm and serene wrapped in coral toned grasscloth on the walls and silk taffeta on the windows.
What would otherwise be a very ordinary bathroom is both fun and dramatic because of its bright coral flamingo wallpaper.
Below are some coral wallpaper options (click on each image for more information):
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Meg Braff used coral accents in fabric headboards, draperies, rugs and bedding trim to give this white room a healthy dose of pizzaz. Notice how nicely the bamboo and gold accents pair with the tropical tones here.
In this pretty family room by Honey Collins, coral upholstery teams with soft greens. Coral appears in the printed draperies, throw pillows, and the striped rug as well. Woven wood blinds and bleached wood tables are the perfect complement to the garden hues.
A selection of coral rugs and fabrics below (click on each image for more information):
And a few accent pieces for your coral room…