2019 Pantone Color of the Year | Living Coral

Pantone®, the global authority on all things color, has named a new Color of the Year for 2019: PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral. On the surface, its lively effervescence evokes both lighthearted playfulness and bold self-expression. But it’s worth diving a little deeper to really appreciate this rich, thought-provoking shade.

Because what is living coral? It’s a community of tiny organisms who work together to build unique, bustling underwater cities. The vivid tones of the coral reef is a visual representation of community, vitality, and diversity. Here on land, this hue likewise reflects our communitarian spirit: through digital technology and social media, our world is more closely networked—but at the same time, this online closeness makes us crave authentic offline interactions and meaningful connections all the more. This color acutely signifies that need for communication and engagement.

“With consumers, craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

While PANTONE 16-1546 can add a refreshing, carefree whimsy to any home, it’s certainly a staple of the Mediterranean, where brilliantly-colored mansions are reminiscent of barrier islands rising from the reefs. Here are some places and spaces with hues inspired by Living Coral.

A Hilltop Villa in Côte d’Azur

pantone color of the year

Peter IllovskyCôte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty

This vibrant hilltop villa was built-in the Côte d’Azur region of southern France in 1950s, at the behest of a wealthy Italian countess. Though it has been recently renovated, its views of the sparkling sea and the twinkling city lights remain as timeless as its traditional Florentine architecture. Old-fashioned touches, like the library, parlor, and orangery, are juxtaposed with contemporary luxuries such as the state-of-the-art kitchen and sleek infinity pool.

Modern Refinement in Algarve

modern homes

Vilamoura Office & Virgolino GomesPortugal Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s no shortage of modern élan in this magnificent, spacious villa. Situated in the picturesque Algarve region of Portugal, the property is only minutes away from the marina and beaches, and its gorgeous landscaped gardens feature a saltwater infinity pool, fruit trees, and views onto a pristine golf course. That makes it a perfect paradise for sun worshippers—though the interiors are just as spectacular, with huge airy rooms, marble floors, and a movie theater and fitness center in the basement.

Romantic Villa in Lucca

italian luxury home

Eleonora BenettiItaly Sotheby’s International Realty

Pantone says that Living Coral “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment”. This exceptional property in the historic Italian city of Lucca achieves a similar effect, creating a sanctuary of classic opulence and charm in a world that’s constantly changing. The exposed wooden beams and rustic tiling add to the authenticity of this one-of-a-kind villa, as does the enchanting sculpture garden with its backdrop of vineyards and olive groves.

Tasteful Opulence in Opatija

coral tropical home

Marko PažaninCroatia Sotheby’s International Realty

Located in the famous spa town of Opatija—a favorite among the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s elites—this villa’s coral-colored exterior complements the aquamarine sheen of the Adriatic Sea, which is visible from the main terrace. You may not know by looking at it, but the majestic three-story home is close to 100 years old, bringing together an immersive blend of tradition and innovation.

This seems only natural: after all, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral is a color of nuance and contrast. It’s described as a “coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”—so as it invigorates, it also soothes. As it invites active experiences, it also encourages contemplation.

This is much more than just a pretty pink: Living Coral is a reflection of the moment in which we live and a reminder that we must live in harmony with our surroundings, our environment, and each other.

Modern Color That Never Goes Out of Style

Color is powerful. It can be commanding, soothing, or energizing; therapeutic and mood-altering; and perhaps beyond all else, it can make (and leave) a solid impression. With such influence at your fingertips, deciding on a color palette for your home can feel daunting—deciphering the nuances, knowing when to go bold—but these tried-and-true shades never go out of style.

Black and White

Nantucket realty

Nantucket, Massachusetts | Craig Hawkins & Bernadette MeyerMaury People Sotheby’s International Realty

Has there ever been a more classic color combination? Checkered floors will always be a kitchen favorite, but the fresh way to use this combo is to lean further into white and employ black in the elegant contrasting details, as seen at this beautifully designed Nantucket home. The pairing offsets the more casual aspects of the home, including an outdoor pool and family game room.

Taupe and Coffee

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Montecito, California | Suzanne PerkinsSotheby’s International Realty – Montecito – Coast Village Road Brokerage

Typically, Balinese-style beach houses in tropical destinations are outfitted with bright accents to offset the wealth of wood running throughout, but this Montecito stunner breaks the mold with shades of taupe and coffee. The mostly monochrome walls and furniture take a refined and relaxed backseat so the setting—particularly the sunset views from the infinity pool—can really shine.

Gray Escape

gray escape

Southampton, New York | Harald Grant & Bruce GrantSotheby’s International Realty – Southampton Brokerage

From a cloud-like softness to steely strength, gray has substantial versatility, especially when it comes to modernizing traditional estate designs. Upstate at a Southampton summer-house, an airy main living space is accented in slate and smoky metals, adding depth to an otherwise creamy palette. Punch up neutral rooms with this moody hue and bask in the calming power of a good gray.

Soothing Blues

interior design

New York, New York | Randall Gianopulos & Christian EmanuelSotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

Dusty blue curtains, porcelain objets d’art, and a beautiful coat of blue paint all pair perfectly with antique, historical furniture, crafts-style woodworking, and a heavy dose of patterned fabrics. Blue’s tranquil feel has the ability to anchor beloved treasures, as seen at this Upper East Side mansion in New York.

Yellow and Gold

black and yellow

San Francisco, California | Bernadette LamotheSotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

There is a particular richness to yellow tones, be they featured on textured mustard walls, sunshine-bright seating, or rippled gold frames. Not only does this sunny shade complement almost any kind of lighting design masterfully, but it instantly illuminates vintage chandeliers and antiques. Pass it from chair to patterned wall to French door to feel as though you’ve stepped into Versailles, as executed at this palatial Pacific Heights apartment in San Francisco.

While there is much to be said for passing trends, as long as you stick to a classic color palette, your home will always stay in fashion.

Find palettes that spark your imagination in these designer listings, and bring timeless color into your life.