January, 2019: I know, we are not a hair color salon, but it’s that time of year again! And we’ll see this color everywhere, even on hair. I’m just grateful the color of the year is not green!

Color forecasting group Pantone has released its Color of the Year, in its annual attempt to sum up the current mood and artistic direction of our culture. According to Pantone, this year’s selection, Living Coral, “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.” Living Coral is a clear, bright coral shade, easy to love as an accent. Way over used in the southwest in the 90’s in my personal opinion, as it was frequently paired with various turquoise hues. But it’s a great accent and, deepened maybe, a great overall ground color. Very Italian.

As a slightly heated up paint color, it’s a surprisingly chic backdrop for an art collection:

Living Coral

Photo by Kerry Ann Dame, Madrid 2018

This warm tropical hue is certainly optimistic. But it’s not the only color trending in 2019. A desire for warmth, rootedness and security is influencing a trending color palette of warm neutrals, muddy pink and clay tones, and complex blues and greens.
Shades of brownish-pink evoke our favorite time-worn, sun-faded locales, and make us feel grounded. We love Farrow and Ball’s Sulking Room Pink for its muddy, sophisticated warmth. And I can’t get beyond the color name which is fun and funny. I personally loved millennial pink, in the right dose, but am equally glad to see a new riff on the color, which tends grayer and even slightly mauve.

Sulking Room Pink

Sherwin Williams gives us Cavern Clay, which “embodies renewal, simplicity, and a free-spirited, bohemian flair.” This medium rust color has the warmth of a coral, grounded with brown undertones, like a vintage Turkish carpet. Although the paint company pairs it with medium blue, with much the same intensity as the paint, I’d reach for more interesting offbeat color complements.

Cavern Clay,

From Dunn Edwards, the color of the year is also a shade of deep coral or rust. Spice of Life is a bold statement color that reflects the influence of global travel, exotic tastes and our desire to preserve nature. Notice the rug, and how well Spice of Life complements the bright accents of turquoise and yellow. It is such a refreshing and new eye pleaser for the Southwest. I want to paint a whole entry or room this color right now.

Spice of Life

Spice of Life is an outgoing, confident hue that adds drama and stimulates the senses,” explained Sara McLean, color expert and stylist for Dunn-Edwards. “It’s a celebration of what makes life interesting and exciting .”

These rich and earthy rust and coral shades are the perfect complement to the newest blues and greens. Farrow and Ball creates a vintage mood with their De Nimes Blue. Named for France’s original denim factory, it’s a dirty-looking blue-green that already looks like it’s been there for years. This is the most comfortable, livable blue I’ve seen. If you are a solid white-forever guy or gal, just do one thing for me: consider an entry, a powder room, a mud-room, just to see how you like it.

 De Nimes Blue

For a brighter version of this indigo-inspired color, try Behr’s color of the year, Blueprint. They describe it as “that perfect middle of the road blue denim color- not too dark, not too light, slightly worn to keep it comfortable, but with enough color to be easily dressed up.” This blue, and the one just before, are so close, but maybe you an see how the brightening of Blueprint, amps up the mood of the space.


We love the new almost-black colors that are trending this year too. If you’ve been wanting to try a black room, or an accent wall, one of these dark shades might tempt you. An almost-black provides maximum drama, while the hint of color adds complexity and depth. Here’s Farrow and Ball’s Peaen Black. Yes it has a purple mauve cast to it. Last year’s Pratt & Lambert’s Blackwatch Green was a personal favorite.

Paean black

A chic red based black
This inspired red based black creates an intimate feel in super contemporary or bohemian homes, while adding a distinguished look to traditional exteriors. The perfect accent for reds .
Peaen Black

And Benjamin Moore gives us Hunter Green and Hale Navy:

Hunter Green

Hale Navy

These two are perfect complements to Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year for 2019, surprisingly, a neutral creamy-gray-white called Metropolitan. Neutral shades that have warmer undertones are in keeping with the trend towards earthy, natural colors.

“Metropolitan AF-690 emanates nuance, harmony and extravagant ease. Always adaptable, it softens to matte or shimmers with sheen. It’s neutral. It’s understated. It just is. This is color, off-duty.”                                  
—Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore & Co.

This palette of soft layered grays with an intense accent just where desired is the perfect contemporary easy to live with surrounding.

Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2019 Palette

Benjamin Moore 2019 palette

What do you think of all these color palette offerings for 2019? The neutrals here are eye pleasing and we are all familiar with the look, and love it for the calm and simplicity it brings.

But I also hope you will consider grounding a space that is important to you with something like Dunn Edwards Spice of Life. Perfect for a room where you feel engaged and alive and would be happy entertaining. Or Farrow and Ball’s De Nimes Blue for a “thinking” room, where you work and dream.

Edy Keeler, Interior Designer in Santa Fe

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