Living Coral: 6 New England Designers Discuss Pantone’s Color of the Year

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Living Coral: 6 New England Designers Discuss Pantone’s Color of the Year

By Stacey Marcus

There was a wave of excitement when Pantone announced its Color of the Year for 2019: Living Coral. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute thinks the color will unite people and bring joy noting, “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.” We asked six New England designers to chime in and talk about how they will use Living Coral in their work. Here is what they had to say…

“A beautiful hue,” says Kathy Marshall.

“I think Pantone’s Color of the Year Living Coral is a beautiful hue that I would use in a modified intensity. As the name living coral suggests, I would want to see variation in color. For example, if I would use Living Coral on a wall, I would select a Lyme plaster instead of painting an area in the full color. It works well on the warp and weft of a woven fabric but not on a solid printed fabric. Living Coral is it’s most glorious when muted and reminiscent of a Downton Abbey era when life was colored in a soft antique beauty,” says designer Kathy Marshall.

Anita Clark thinks Living Coral is positive, happy and uplifting.

“I love Pantone’s choice for the Color of the Year. I think that Living Coral is such a positive, happy and uplifting color. It works beautifully in the interiors of many of the waterfront properties  I have designed,” says Anita Clark of Anita Clark Design.

Photo by Michael Lee


Eric Roseff says that Living Coral can be both punchy and fun as well as moody and sexy.

“I think many people automatically associate the color Coral with the sea and beachy interiors. While this is definitely a place where Coral excels, it is so much more than that. I find that Coral can be fresh, energetic, punchy and fun, but it can also be very moody, sexy, sophisticated and edgy,” says designer Eric Roseff

Roseff notes that the vintage Vladimir Kagan lucite dining chairs depicted were recovered in this beautiful Coral colored Rocky Performance velvet from Schumacher. “They are fresh, sophisticated and inviting. They will look spectacular in the space being combined with black, white, emerald green, malachite, and hot pink,” he says. The entry at a luxury high rise building in Boston illuminates small but effective punches/accents of Coral that add so much life and edge to the dark and moody space.

Chair photo by Eric Roseff

Entry photo by Michael J. Lee Photography


Dane Austin recommends you, “Give it a go!”

“What a lively name! Living Coral. It starts us off on a positive note and gives us a gentle nudge. Living Coral is a vibrant hue which takes on a playful nature next to apple red or spring green. This warm pink portrays a sophisticated temperament when paired with rich, earthy tones like navy blue or chocolate brown. It is bright and uplifting but also serves as a serious reminder of the living treasures that are at risk on our ever-warming planet.

Try adding a grasscloth accent wall, use contrasting fabric on the back of the dining chairs, or simply add a pop of color with new table linens.”

Photo by Greg Premru


Barbara Elza Hirsch thinks Living Coral pairs well with blues, whites, browns and some greens.

“I love the warmth and versatility of coral in design. I find it pairs well with blues, whites, browns and some greens. I recently used the color coral on a chair I designed for Dowel Furniture and that we showcased at the High Point Market. I love how the coral pops against the dark brown and cream Schumacher print, lending a sense of whimsy and vibrancy to the more classical print. Coral works especially well in interiors where blue is a favorite, but the client wants a little zinger of color to shake things up,” says Barbara Elza Hirsch of Elza B. Design.

This is a photo for coral used on the “Parisienne Arm Chair” – one of the chairs from the Barbara Elza Hirsch Furniture Collection for Dowel. Photo by Elements Studio.


Images of mango, lemon and watermelon sorbet pop in Jennifer Palumbo’s mind when she thinks about Living Coral.

“Invoking optimism and joy, Living Coral is great for summer getaways. Most clients request varying shades of blue for their coastal homes. However, Living Coral is a wonderful choice!  It is fresh and summery in a happy, vibrant way. This guest bedroom, which we recently designed, illustrates the use of this color in a summer setting.  The palette makes me think about mango, lemon and watermelon sorbet!” notes designer Jennifer Palumbo.

Photo by Eric Roth