In the new year, starting over begins at home with this year’s vibrant shade offering a refreshing change of pace.
It’s that time of the year again when we make resolutions, change habits — or at least try to — and commit ourselves to do things differently. While it might not be easy to adhere to these non-legally binding promises we make ourselves year after year, when it comes to our interiors, a new start is as easy as a fresh coat of paint.
I am a firm believer in the power of the superficial. Change your hair to signal a new start, dress up to feel better — and when it comes to one’s most sacred space, the home, there is nothing quite like a new lick of paint to help you get rid of the old and usher in fresh energy.
For almost two decades, Pantone have made it their business to set the tone of colour ways for the new year. For 2019, with their ‘Living Coral’ shade, they promise a new palette that will enliven and uplift.
“Colour is an equalising lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities, and this is particularly true for Living Coral,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanising and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”
Stylistically, it is a departure from Pantone’s recent annual offerings that were either too washed out, or too energetic. This pinkish-orange with a warm, golden undertone mimics the colours of autumn and in doing so, signals change while remaining familiar and comforting.
Having said that, I wouldn’t be painting a wall in my house in shades of Living Coral anytime soon. Why? Because, I don’t find myself naturally gravitating towards this colour. And that is a question you too should ask yourself: ‘Do I really like this trend I am being sold?’
Very often I have found a bold trend proclamation to be, at best, a good starting point in seeking opinions from the professionals — interior designers, hair colourists or stylists. These people are trained to guide you in using these trend stories as a spring board to find something that works for you whilst remaining current.
So how do we work with ‘Living Colour’? Depending on how big a fan you are of this hue, you can either tread cautiously or go all out and embrace it!
If you are not sure and want to dip you toe into the year’s biggest trend (and who wouldn’t want to) I recommend starting with accessories. Think rugs, cushions, even ceramic ware that will help you inject the shade into your environment without becoming over-powering. You could always invest in a statement piece like an iconic chair — trend faring as this decision may be, a design icon from a coveted brand will always be in vogue.
For those in love with this salmon-esque colour. may I suggest a focal area? This could be the main wall of your bedroom, or the bathroom where both mosaic and New-Age metro tiles work brilliantly with contemporary bathroom fittings. If you want a subtle nod, you can go for traditionally colour tiles in the kitchen — like light grey — and grout the joints with white cement mixed with the coral pigment.
As for me, it so turns out that my eternal favourite palette of inky blues, dove greys and muted golds offers the perfect foil — so you might see a smattering of Living Coral accessories on my Instagram. But if this rather ironic colour — unless Pantone used their biggest marketing tool to comment on climate change — has not found any favour with you, may I recommend Benjamin Moore’s grey-toned ‘Metropolitan’ or Jotun’s trifecta of warm palettes? The colour predictions from these brands offer a fresh take on timeless hues, brilliantly avoiding the pitfalls of directional trends.