Goodbye, Millennial Pink. Hello, Living Coral—Pantone has announced the warm, peachy-orange shade as its 2019 Color of the Year. The color titan selected the vibrant yet mellow hue to spotlight the energy and creative inspiration different elements of nature provide, specifically highlighting awareness of the planet's coral reefs, and the way the clusters provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.
The Pantone Institute adds that the uplifting pick symbolizes an “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” and “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy”, responding to the current cultural landscape that is increasingly dependent on social media and technology. The hue is already familiar in the tech world: it's the primary shade Airbnb selected for its 2014 rebrand, and one of six colorways offered by Apple for its new iPhone XR.
"Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment," says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. "In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy."
The gold-undertoned hue (PANTONE 16-1546) is evocative of buoyancy, and is meant to be sociable and spirited—encouraging optimism and light-hearted activity.
“As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energizing and nourishing, Living Coral reinforces how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time,” Pressman says.
Inside the home, the bright hue adds an air of playfulness to otherwise neutral spaces. Research by Pantone linked the colorway to tactility and human connection, and the institute suggests bringing Living Coral into interiors with shag rugs, cozy blankets, and lush upholsteries to create a warm and nurturing feeling. Coral-hued decorative accessories, tabletop items, and wall hangings are also a quick way to add a dramatic pop of color, encouraging those who interact with it to "reach out and touch."
"Some years, we choose a color and we see it more as an accent, especially in the home space. Something where just a little spot of color will go so far. But even though coral is so bright and bold, it's really something we're seeing people embrace on a larger scale," Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute told ELLE Decor. "It's the kind of color you could paint a whole room. It would be great in an entryway or a bathroom. You could see someone with a great coral couch. It's a shade people want to live with, which is exactly why we chose it."