The PANTONE® Colour of the Year announcement has become something of a colour carnival within our studio. Come December, whispers of ‘which tone will triumph?’ lead to lengthy discussions on the merit (or not) of the selected shade.

Last year’s Ultra Violet divided the design team’s opinions, but 2019’s winner ‘Living Coral’ (aka Pantone 16-1546) is a certified crowd-pleaser.  

Described as ‘buoyant, vibrant and effervescent’, the marine shade is as much of a timely cultural observation as it is a unifying vibrant pigment. PANTONE’s selection is rooted in both the disastrous fate of our coral reefs and said to be representative of our ‘innate need for optimism.’

But bold and playful as it is, Living Coral is surprisingly easy to incorporate into your interior. Clashing tints and tonal-blocking, or subtle accents and subdued casts provide endless options on how to embrace 2019’s shade with the grand accolade. 

Here’s how . . .

Pretty in Pattern 

Floral patterns are an accessible way to incorporate PANTONE’s vivid heroine, offering opportunity to include as much or as little of the shade as you choose.

If you’re after a subtle take on the trend, be inspired by this moody and dramatic de Gournay wallpaper highlighted with pops of the shade, or go all out with an intensely coral background such as this custom wall covering by Zoe Design.

de Gournay wallpaper via    Pinterest

de Gournay wallpaper via Pinterest

Zoe Design wallpaper via    Pinterest

Zoe Design wallpaper via Pinterest

Tonal Blocking

Professional coral converts can try layering different shades of Living Coral to create a single bold look. A daring mix of coral paint, upholstery and flooring will inject a room with playful personality.

Pastel and paler versions of the shade sit nicely alongside the more vivid Living Coral, and prevent the colour from becoming too overbearing.

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg, via    domino

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg, via domino

Kemble Interiors via    Pinterest

Kemble Interiors via Pinterest

Painted Playfulness

Painting your walls is an easy and affordable way to make a coral-themed impact in your home. Our designers suggest pairing the shade with wood tones, or creating a subdued effect with furniture and accessories in darker shades.

You can also use paint on a smaller scale, by opting for a peach-toned featured wall, or sparse hits of coral on doors and skirting boards for punchy playfulness.

Image via    Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Home office rendered in    Sherwin Williams Coral Reef SW 6606   .

Home office rendered in Sherwin Williams Coral Reef SW 6606.


Our favourite way to use PANTONE’s coral shade is as an accent. It sparks a burst of interest in any monochromatic or neutral-themed interior, as well as acting as a complimentary colour to blue or green hues.

In the girl’s bedroom of our Wentworth Street project, we achieved a pink palette that wasn’t too saccharine sweet. A vivid coral colour for the soft furnishings added a whimsy yet daring feel perfect for this feminine space.

Our    Wentworth Street    project photographed by Pablo Veiga and styled by Megan Morton

Our Wentworth Street project photographed by Pablo Veiga and styled by Megan Morton

Artwork by    Kerry Armstrong Art

We also picked up the shade downstairs in the open-plan living area with commissioned artwork by Australian artist Kerry Armstrong. Sitting alongside complementary blues and greens, the coral colour really punctuates the otherwise white oasis, defining the dining room area within the open-plan space.


The New Year is a time for fresh design eyes and clear heads, and of course, a brand new PANTONE®  Colour of the Year to let our imaginations get lost in. We have been excitedly awaiting the announcement by the colour experts, a reveal that will ultimately influence the design world for the year ahead. Last year PANTONE® amazed us with striking Greenery – a crisp, bright colour that symbolised new beginnings.

This year we have been blown away by the bold colour choice of Ultra Violet! Of course it doesn’t influence everything we do in design, but it is always fun to be challenged and inspired by how our contemporaries and visionaries are using the 2018 palette in their designs.

A complex, dramatic and futurist colour, Ultra Violet holds many meanings. The colour symbolises the mysteries of the cosmos, pushing boundaries, discovery, spirituality, energy and individuality.

Brendan Wong.jpg

In interiors we often see Ultra Violet used as an accent colour. Its jewel toned nature instantly adds luxury and formality to any space, especially when applied to lush velvet textures.


The complexity of Ultra Violet's dimension via its depth, richness, coolness and warmth, complements a vast array of colours from deep blues, greys and greens to our favourite metallics copper and brass.


In nature, Ultra Violet awakens senses everywhere – from delicate Jacaranda blooms in Spring, to delicious velvety figs, unforgettable sunsets and scented fields of lavender.

Kelly hoppen.jpg

We look forward to seeing how the wonder of this palette evolves in the coming months. It's definitely no wall flower, so we have a feeling it may just burst the seams of our juicy design bubble and make it's way boldly into the every day . . .

Image 1 via ©Alexandra Kidd Design / Image 2 via Brendan Wong / Image 3 via Rodales Organic Life / Image 4 via Nexus Designs / Image 5 via Nohahassan Designs / Image 6 via Doris Leslie Blau / Image 7 via Norfolk Lavender / Image 8 via Kelly Hoppen


Each year we eagerly await the announcement of PANTONE’s Colour of the Year, a glimpse at the palette that will inspire the year to come, influencing all sectors of design from interiors to the runway.

Last year PANTONE surprised us with a duo of colours – Rose Quartz and Serenity – which captured our hearts with their dusty, serene tones. 

This year PANTONE have returned to tradition and chosen just one colour – Greenery. Symbolising new beginnings: a fresh New Year, healthy food resolutions, nature and the great outdoors, it may just be that this year it is our minds that will be captured!


Green is the most common colour we see in the natural environment. It is associated with growth and renewal, balance, calm and harmony.

The trend to take the indoors outside, or to bring the outdoors in, is ever-growing, with green canopies and walls creating the feeling of lush gardens in interior spaces. The more submerged we become in our modern lives, the more we yearn for the balance of natural surroundings.

Sydney's new Cuban-themed cocktail bar, Hacienda.

When using green in the home, we most often see raw tones, similar to those found in nature. Jewel tones of green are often used in more formal interior settings, with velvet fabrics shaping luxurious living and dining areas. In kitchen and bathroom settings, green creates a feeling of cleanliness, especially when used in conjunction with natural stone and timber accents. More commonly used in hospitality design, green is the colour reflecting nutrient-rich foods and ingredients, provoking thoughts of freshness and health.


This PANTONE Colour of the Year evokes many of the senses – the smell freshly cut grass, the texture of biting into crisp vegetables, the taste of sipping a refreshing green summer smoothie or summer mojito! We look forward to growing our interior palettes this year with a splash of greenery. 

Image 1 via Melissa Mercier / Image 2 via Vogue / Image 3 via Pinterest / Image 4 via Missy Lui