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Pantone’s Colour of 2019 is Living Coral and I am delighted!

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

So once again we have a new Pantone colour of the year and this one is a corker!

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar and energising aspects of colour found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent colour mesmerises the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colour.

Last year it was Ultra Violet and I was determined to beat the doubters and show that Ultra Violet could be ultra cool. And as you can see in my post, I did come up with some beautiful things but purely personally, anything remotely purple isn’t generally on my liking radar. Coral on the other hand totally is!

Just look at this beautiful faded chair with a swag of blush toned blooms!

Just Peachy!

I do love a statement chair especially a velvet chair. The chair below looks like it has been covered in a layer of peach fuzz. And talking of peaches, check out those gorgeous place names!

What colours can you pair with Coral?

The key to incorporating any strong colour into a scheme, whether it’s for interiors, events or clothing, is always what you pair it with. Neutrals like greys and navy’s are a instant go-to and really make the coral accents pop.

Like this beautiful buttonhole against a crisp dark suit.

But as you can see from the poppy colour palette above, you’ve only got to look to nature to find the perfect coral pairing. The chalky blue hued greens are such a beautiful background to the coral focal point. The mood boards below show this pairing to a tee!

If you’re ever in doubt about what colours to put together, always look to nature for endless inspiration!

Coral Florals

When I think of coral florals the flower that instantly pops into my head is a delicious dahlia!

My first job at the age of about 12 was working in a garden nursery earning £1 an hour. I remember listening to Yaz and Erasure on my Walkman while watering greenhouses full of plants and cutting armfuls of gladioli and dahlias. I’ll be honest, there was a time when I wouldn’t have chosen a dahlia but the last few years I’ve become obsessed with them. I walk past a house near me and for several months of the year I find myself wishing I could steal just one of their incredible dahlias. They are absolutely huge, the size of footballs! Totally the wrong size for a cake but I still really want one. This spring I have dahlia plants on my garden shopping list and I’ve got the perfect space in my garden ready for them.

Cake Inspiration

When I’m putting together ideas for cake designs I tend to look for inspiration all over the place from interiors, to architecture, from fashion to nature and I’m a total sucker for some sumptious stationery. Like these examples below.

I continue to be obsessed with texture and colour and interesting architectural interiors like this one below, give me so many ideas for cake designs.

Cakes by Sugar Buttons – Flowers by Swaffham & Fakenham Florist – Styling by The Little Lending Company – Photography by Camilla Andrea Photography – As seen on Love My Dress

In fact one of the main thing I tend to avoid looking at when designing cakes is other cakes! I strive to come up with original ideas and so I go looking in places that aren’t known for cakes.

Coordinating Treats

I do love a beautifully colour coordinated dessert table, and coral luckily lends itself to so many delicious treats.

And no celebration is complete without a tasty tipple! Watermelon, peaches, papaya and pink grapefruit are the perfect base for some corally toned cocktails.

Art Inspiration

I found this artwork on Pinterest and it reminded me so much of a college project I did when I was about 17, where I created a range of sculptural headwear based on sea forms like coral. This particular piece is screaming at me to make it into a cake and I’m definitely going to be making something out of wafer paper directly inspired by this image. Watch this space…

Sticking with artworks, here are a couple of agate pieces in some stunning shades of coral. I’ve made and painted several agate and geode inspired cakes in the last couple of years but I’ve tended to stick with blues and greens. I love the multitude of pinky orange hues in this natural material.

If you fancy a coral inspired wedding cake or dessert table, get in touch!

Complementary Colours

Another perfect colour pairing for coral is teal or turquoise. They work like a dream because they are complementary colours, which for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, means that they feature opposite each other on the colour wheel. And as I mentioned earlier, I love the colour coral but more than that I really, really love the colour teal. And they go so brilliantly together. Proven here with my buttercream top tier cake photographed against my teal kitchen wall.

In case you needed more evidence of complementary colours being complimentary, here’s my gorgeous cat Wilf demonstrating how good he looks against a teal chair 🙂

The turquoise plate below adds a punch of contrasting colour on this vibrant tablescape. And more cute peach table names!

A finishing touch for a coral loving bride…

These nails are one of the more simple designs by Hey Missy! I chose them because they are coral but if you want to be blown away by some incredible artwork in miniature, go and check out Missy’s painted nail art.

Love it! Want it!

Nearing the end of my brief foray into all things coral so here are just a few things that I love and would really like to own!

I love this set by Anthropologie (I love pretty much everything by Anthropologie!)

This vintage hair pin is so pretty.

Love these zingy Vans!

Something less frivolous…

Today, the health of our oceans is being threatened from all sides. Whether it is water pollution, global climate change or ocean acidification, the issues simply can no longer be ignored. In addition, tons of trash enters the ocean every day and chokes our fragile ecosystems including one of the most important: the coral reef. The organisms that used to thrive on these reefs are showing signs that the cumulative effects of this man-made assault are now having a significant effect on their very existence. Here’s how you can help
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