Living Coral

The Orange Hue which is the New Black: Living Coral.

Neleisha Weerasinghe enlightens us on this exciting new color.

Yes you heard it, orange hues are in vogue again, and just like turquoise or teal this orange hue is at home with fashion, your living room, make up and even your electronic accessories. So what is this new color that has got the design world all excited. It is none other than living coral; yes that is the official name given to this hue by Pantone. The color gets its name from the actual coral that grows under water in reefs, even though the reef coral does not have this exact orange hue as it changes from time to time.

Though becoming very trendy nowadays, the color was first discovered by the Egyptians who it seems are first for many things! They actually collected coral from reefs and used the stone like substance to make jewelry. The unique hue was very popular among them and later on in many other cultures. Some even used it as a totem against evil.


When it comes to painting and creating works of art, this particular hue has been a favorite among many impressionists such as Claude Monet. His very famous painting “sunrise” uses the hue beautifully. Paul Gauguin’s paintings of French Polynesia also capture the country life using this hue.  It really helps to create the tropical atmosphere he painted. These are just a few from many famous painters and artists that have used this colour to great use.

The colour itself can be made by mixing a bit of orange with red and adding white. If you want a lighter shade then adding more white, however always do a test run because these mixed colours tend to dry darker.

Home decor

Since its introduction, the popularity of the colour seems to be growing and many interior decorators and designers are using it to great effect. When it comes to interiors, it is a great colour to add some positive energy. It is also a great warm colour that can add cheerful corners. Experts in the interior decorating and fashion business say that coral rarely goes out of fashion, so if you carefully use it to decorate your space they can really do wonders for your living room or even the bathroom for many years to come. It can also lighten up your vintage collections or even add a contemporary feel to your furniture. The colour also works well with indoor plants but make sure when you mix the colour that you do not add too much yellow or orange as it can become too pinkish.

When it comes to naming it the colour of 2019, it is said that Pantone wanted to introduce a colour that is more vibrant. Though shiny pinks have been in vogue for several years with the introduction of rose gold, it seems this humble but vibrant hue has topped the ranks. A press release from the company explains that this colour mirrors what we experience as a society at this time. As a life form the coral itself is a protector of many life forms and it is a barrier that protects our shores.  At a time when coral and other natural marine life are being threatened, they hope to emphasise the importance of protecting nature by making it the colour of the year.