Pantone’s Pick for 2019 Color of the Year: Living Coral

Love it or hate it, this year’s bright beachy hue is best used as an accent.

The annual trend-watching rite known as “Color of the Year” finished up this month with Pantone’s announcement of its 2019 pick, Living Coral. Characterizing the bright pinkish color as “vibrant yet mellow…lively yet nurturing,” the color company says, “PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

While paint sellers from Ace Hardware to Valspar now choose their own colors of the year, none get the play of Pantone’s pick. Living Coral even made Steven Colbert’s monologue—though mostly as fodder for jabbing Donald Trump (the “Late Show” graphic placed the shade falling between his red MAGA hat and his orangy complexion) and pointing out the absurdity of the name (when you specify “living,” it just reminds us that half of the world’s coral is dead).

Regardless of reaction, it’s all about getting one. And when it comes to color, most of us are more than happy to opine. Pantone’s announcement garnered 1.6k comments on Facebook alone. As for me, I’m always happy to see vibrant colors get the COY nod, especially those with a tropical vibe. But, unless you’re decorating a beachfront retreat with (real) coral accessories, Living Coral is best as an accent color. To whit:

Thibaut’s Cafe’s Weave wallpaper in coral
Anthropologie’s Celestial Coaster set
Anthropologie wall art, “Verity in the Garden”
Kim Seyfert bamboo placemat

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