back to top
Homepage / SW Style  / Fresh  / Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral

Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral

This juicy hue imbues interior decor with energy and cheerfulness.

By Katherine Adomaitis

If you’ve been following design trends, you’ve probably noticed that “Living Coral” is the 2019 color of the year, as designated by the Pantone Color Institute, which forecasts global trends for such industries as home design and fashion. Inspired by coral reefs, this year’s “it” hue has an energizing golden undertone and eclipses last year’s moodier “Ultra Violet.”

Since the announcement, local design professionals have been contemplating the lively shade and how they might use it. “I think it reflects the times,” says Phoenix-based interior designer Dorothy Bron, a color design specialist. “Things might seem a bit dark in the world right now, and coral lifts our spirits. It’s a comfort color. It may not be subtle, but it is great for accents.”

Justin Nee, who manages Scottsdale’s to-the-trade John Brooks Inc. showroom, takes color predictions in stride, knowing that the clientele for his showroom’s numerous European fabrics and made-to-order furnishings gravitates largely to safe colors. He is, however, currently seeing the warm coral tone crop up in some new fabric colorways, in accent pillows and in wallcoverings, such as a Phillip Jeffries spring introduction called “Flight.”

Best of Both Worlds

By blending this warm, earthy hue with clean geometric lines, the Prism Coral Wallpaper balances organic and contemporary sensibilities in one stunning backdrop. $120 per roll. (

Virtual Assistant en Vogue

Even tech is taking on the tint of the year. Available in coral, white or gray, the Google Home Mini can communicate with other smart devices in your home, create custom music playlists, organize your calendar and so much more. $29 (

Clean and Chic

Made from 100 percent organic textiles, these towel sets from West Elm’s new Water Street bath collection will add a splash of eco-friendly color to a powder room or master suite. $5-$59 (

Known for her bold approach to interior spaces, Scottsdale-based interior designer Esther Boivin agrees that the best way to incorporate the bright shade is with fabrics and accessories. “You don’t want to overdo this; you want it to pop,” she says. “I would integrate this color if it reflects the owner’s personality and style, and use it in a way that evokes an emotional reaction.” Boivin says she would seek the tint in a fabric or as a wall paint, contrasting it with bold colors such as black, midnight blue or emerald green and, possibly, a mix of metals for a dramatic touch. “It’s a lively, fresh hue that reminds me of vacations.”

Jill Christenholz loves the color and notes that a client recently requested the addition of coral Sunbrella fabric on all her outdoor furniture. But with a double career as a real estate broker, the Paradise Valley interior designer has a few caveats about craving too much of the sherbet-tinted hue. “If it brings joy, I say go for it,” she says, “but you have to think about where the color is being used. Will it be in a spot in the home that is awash in natural light, or in a space that is artificially lit? The color’s intensity will vary depending on the brightness of its environment.” Christenholz suggests avoiding going overboard by using Living Coral in cabinetry or tile—more permanent items that are costly to redo if you need to sell your house in the future, when the color isn’t so on-trend.

Island Vibes

Celebrate coral’s tropical origins with this chest outfitted in leather-wrapped bamboo moldings and a raffia top. $1,800 (

In the months to come, Living Coral will become more prevalent in home decor products. “You’ll be seeing this color in everything—from laundry baskets and pillows to sofas and chairs,” says Bron. “If you like coral, this is your year.”

Winged Wonder

Part of Phillip Jeffries’ spring collection, the new “Flight” wallpaper showcases graceful herons soaring through sunrise-tinted clouds. To the trade. (

Mix It Up

An easy way to incorporate this juicy hue into your home is through kitchen accessories. The Artisan Stand Mixer is a culinary staple, and now it comes in a lively shade of coral. $500 (

Put Your Feet Up

Taylor King’s Starke ottoman features an energetic ikat-style fabric in the tone-of-the-moment, along with a delicate nailhead trim and polished brass casters for a piece that’s functional and fashionable. $2,130 (

Sitting Pretty

With a midcentury modern wooden frame and vibrant leather upholstery, the Clara chair by Hancock & Moore is a sleek way to add this year’s signature color to a room scheme. $2,200 (


Sign up for the Phoenix Home & Garden Newsletter

Stay up to date with everything Phoenix Home & Garden!

Our newsletter subscribers will have early access to things like:

  • Upcoming Events & Pre-Sales
  • Special Promotions
  • Exclusive Giveaways!