Colour CoralColour me coral

Pantone has quite literally set the tone for 2019 – prepare for an orange renaissance!

Hermès aficionados notwithstanding, orange has not been in the interiors and fashion limelight since 2012, when Tangerine Tango was decreed Pantone’s colour of the year (and prior to that in 2004 with Tigerlily). But all that is set to change with the announcement that Living Coral is 2019’s Colour of the Year.

Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546) is “an animating and life affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge”, according to Pantone.

Coral’s legacy in decoration stretches back at least as far as Ancient Greece. It was popular in fashion and decor in the late Victorian era and saw a resurgence in the 1950s when it was often contrasted with teal.

Then of course there was the 1980s, when the fruity (think peach and apricot) and fishy (hello salmon!) shades of orange dominated interiors from the tropics to the mountains. Circa 1984, Miami Vice was setting the sartorial scene and coral was the hue du jour in homes – teamed more often than not with leafy Boston ferns and macramé hangers, squishy leather sofas and gold-plated coffee tables (Crockett and Tubbs would have approved).

Thirty-five years on, the time for a coral renaissance is right according to Pantone.

“In choosing the colour of the year, we look at everything around us. We look to see what people are doing in beauty and in fashion and in art; we look to see what people are wearing, and buying, and posting about on social media,” explained Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

“In a time when so many of us are increasingly immersed in digital experiences that can be cold and isolating, Living Coral felt like an appealing share of connection. There’s just something about the colour that feels earthbound and welcoming, optimistic and intimate. And those are the reasons Living Coral is so applicable in the home and design space.”

For landlords and tenants looking to tap into the colour zeitgeist, the shade is probably best used as an accent colour and in accessories like cosy blankets and lush upholsteries. Although some are suggesting it would make a bold statement as a feature wall to help “aid a comforting and nurturing feeling in the living space” and Eiesman says “it’s the kind of colour you could paint a whole room – it would be great in an entryway or a bathroom”, it may be best avoided in rentals lest risk those 80s salmon wall and matching couch flashbacks – or unintended irony for those abodes not exactly embodying the height of interiors fashion.

Interiors experts suggest it will pair well with white-hued spaces (handy, as white is the most popular colour choice for rentals) or add a splash of vibrant contrast to areas decorated with shades of turquoise and yellow. It will pair impeccably with deep and dark hues such as matte black and blues (lido, oceanic and aqua).

“The most complementary would be the blue family,” advised Eiseman. “Blues just make corals pop – just as it does in the ocean, or a beautiful blue sky and a sunset. It makes for a dynamic combination. We can also use it with blue green, which is always a beautiful combination. Or you can use it with hot pink for a nostalgic vibe.”

Eiseman also suggests it will work across all seasons: “We think of it in tropical climates, in a gorgeous sunset, so it has a summery vibe. But it is equally effective in all seasons. In winter time, it’s an introduction into terracotta and earth tones; it coordinates beautifully with other colours in the same family.”

An interiors refresh is also a great time to take stock of the property’s contents and ensure that it is adequately protected. Check in with our RentCover or TenantCover customer service consultants to make sure your sum insured meets your cover requirements.