As a tribute to environmentally challenged coral reefs and how they provide shelter, Pantone declared “Living Coral” their 2109 Color of the Year.

For 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced multiple industries, including fashion, industrial design, and home furnishings.

Number 16-1546 is “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge… In its glorious display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind.”

So how best to incorporate coral into your custom designed home?

We asked Tricia Huntley, founder and principal designer of Huntley & Co., a DC-based full-service interior design firm noted for its signature look, a curated and eclectic mix that is intentional yet unpretentious.

“Coral is like the more feminine side of orange; it has a bit of pink in it.  One of the most beautiful “delivery systems” for this hue is velvet.  The softness and luster really make coral sing. Reupholster a vintage chair with a bit of crusty patina and it will come alive.  Another great way to use this color is with lamps (or just lampshades) in an otherwise masculine room.  I imagine a bedroom with dark charcoal walls, a low-slung modern bed and really graphic art –- add a pair of punchy coral lamps and you will have a whole new vibe.”

What about a not-too-pink nursery? Try fashion-forward coral on crib sheets and baby pillows.

Or your front door?

From a conversation-starting couch to linens and lamps, the key is to add a few accent pieces. A visual anchor for any room, coral pairs well with just about every other color. Designing with coral adds warmth and an inviting sense of refuge to your home.

Feature photo and interior with lucite chair: Courtesy of