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Living La Vida Coral: Add Pantone’s Color of the Year to Your Life

Lesley Balla Avatar Image Lesley Balla
Living La Vida Coral: Add Pantone’s Color of the Year to Your Life Hero Image

We lead busy lives, and it’s easy to feel out of whack. Changes in your daily routine, including short meditations, yoga, and even health retreats are all great ways to find balance. There’s also color therapy, which involves surrounding yourself with a bright hue to bring a bit of happiness to your day.

This is what Pantone focused on when choosing its Color of the Year for 2019. “Living Coral,” the official name, is a cheerful pigment that’s a hair darker than Millennial Pink and more contemporary than, say, vintage pink bath tile. According to the announcement, Living Coral is all about warmth and nourishment, something “to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

It’s not without some controversy, however. Taking its cues from beneath the sea, the choice of Living Coral was also meant to call attention to the plight of coral reefs in our world’s oceans.

Back on land people are deciding to choose joy. Coral can sometimes seem old-fashioned—it’s been a hit since the 1950s—or too feminine, but right now it’s making waves in women’s and men’s fashion, home decor and beauty. A balance of red, peach, pink and orange, coral is vibrant and bright and playful. It evokes sunny days at the beach (turquoise and other shades of sea blues are total BFFs here), pool parties and relaxation. In fact, the word “coral” is Greek for “daughter of the sea.” Color therapists suggest it supports creative energies and has grounding properties, that it’s about flow and synchronicity, releasing stress and worry.

 

How to Add Living Coral to Your Life

Decor

With its retro quality, Living Coral is a great match for the ongoing mid-century modern trend for the home. Apartment Therapy found some wonderful items for under $50, including this pretty pintuck pillow from Urban Outfitters that would add a pop of color to any drab living room and cotton sheets from Target to slay a boring bedroom. Elle Decor suggests more dramatic overhauls, from painting an entire wall coral to installing a new couch or chandelier.

 

Fashion, Makeup, and Hair

Because it’s a shade that looks good on just about every skin tone, coral lends itself easily to nails, hair, makeup, and clothing. Beauty Counter’s Coral sheer lipstick is a constant top seller. There are a slew of coral color options from OPI for your fingers, such as, “Toucan Do It If You Try.” For real inspiration check out #pantonecoloroftheyear on Instagram.

 

Food and Drink

While most pink food comes in the form of icing—who doesn’t love a pretty rose-covered wedding cake?—use a bit too much and your cupcake comes dangerously close to looking like Pepto Bismol. Achieving the right shade of coral for the glass or plate means balancing red, orange and yellow shades. For the juicer try blending orange, red and yellow carrots, a touch of tangerine and beets for a pleasing pink—and healthy—drink. Coral-colored cocktails are much easier to create with spirits such as Aperol and Campari, which add a bitter balance. For naturally coral-colored foods, salmon, whether it’s smoked, grilled or baked, is a shoo-in for any Pantone-themed menu. Slice a ruby red grapefruit in half, sprinkle a little sugar and bruleé the flesh for a bright coral addition to breakfast. Thinly sliced prosciutto has a lovely pinkish hue— serve it with fresh-cut cantaloupe for a perfect snack. And peach and strawberry or raspberry smoothie, like one from Taste of Home, has a bright and cheerful pop of color.