Everyone needs a little pick-me-up now and then — a refreshing cocktail, uplifting music, a snazzy new outfit, or a vibrant pop of color at home or in a work space. The end result is a happier outlook.

Pantone’s Color of the Year Living Coral evokes a sunset and under-the-sea coral reefs. It has been described as a warm and welcoming, reach-out-and touch shade that looks great in any room. And It complements cooler hues like blues and blue greens, as well as browns, beiges, and tans. A perfect summery hue, it’s an organic, nurturing color that appears in natural surroundings.

“We are all happy in sunshine or on vacation and that is the spirit of the color,” says local designer Wendy Lepkoff of Wendy interiors. “Using it on a chair, pillows, accent wall, or curtains combined with the color of sand and a blue ocean transforms you to a tropical island.”

When used as a bold statement in settings and décor, this life-affirming coral shade with a golden undertone energizes and enlivens. And it’s reminiscent of precious coral that adorns unique jewelry pieces.

Providing comfort and buoyancy in a complex digital world, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral symbolizes our innate need for engagement, optimism and joyful pursuits.

“Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities,” says Color Expert Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the New Jersey-based Pantone Color Institute. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”

A culmination of the Institute’s year-round work forecasting trends and developing color palettes for clients, the Color of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the worlds of trend and design. Living Coral inspires experimentation and playful expression in makeup products as well as in men’s and women’s street and runway styles. The warm shade suggests comfort and positivity.

Whether used in decorative accessories, on tabletops, or elsewhere, it adds a dramatic pop of color and can beautifully enhance an outdoor space such as a patio or porch.

“A strategic use of vivid color is the perfect way of using a high-powered hue,” explains Jean Brownhill, founder of Sweeten, a free service that matches renovators with vetted contractors, providing support until project completion.

“A Sweeten client built a powder room on the ground floor of their house [in the dining room] for easy access for their small child and guests,” she says. “It was one of their most comfortable and decorated rooms — radiant heated floors, Moroccan tile, Cole & Sons Palms wallpaper — all revealed by a door painted in a vibrant coral.”

Eiseman offers her suggestions for eye-catching home décor using Living Coral.

“Because it’s expensive to change out a piece of furniture, wall covering, etc., one of the least expensive ways {to enliven a room] is to use paint. And it’s so experimental,” she notes. “It’s easy to buy color and use it on something that needs new life, like an old, shabby small chest of drawers — and renew it.”

For those who are a little braver and want to do a bit more with the color, it’s a gorgeous shade to use in the context of a print, as in bedding, Eiseman suggests.

The color makes for beautiful stemware, plates, table runners, and placemats — as a background for food — because it is somewhat of an appetite stimulant. And, it’s a great background for greens, like veggies, according to Eiseman.

She explains that it was chosen for a number of reasons.

“From a symbolic standpoint, coral reefs nurture marine life; fish can protect themselves with reefs, eat the food off the reefs,” Eiseman notes. “We know that’s an issue today – preservation of coral reefs and keeping our ecological balance. It’s important and we feel strongly about it.”

Living Coral lovers can see the color online at pantone.com and have it mixed in any paint store.

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