Coral is a tricky colour to pin down. Is it pink, orange, terracotta or red? For colour expert company Pantone, which has declared it as its colour of the year in 2019, it’s a rosy orange with a golden undertone. Called Living Coral (PANTONE 16-1546), the shade evokes the vibrant reefs from which it takes its name, and Pantone predicts we’ll see the colour used boldly, on large-scale schemes such as The Coral Room (above) where the hue provides a brilliant backdrop for accessories in shades of blue.

How to decorate with coral

Use it as an accent

If painting an entire room bright orange feels too alarming, coral in all its forms, from neon to pastel, is an excellent accent colour: add a stripe along skirtings or dado rails to lift an otherwise sober scheme.

Feature a splash of coral in the soft furnishings

With shades from orange to pink, there's a coral to suit all tastes and budgets. We love this Kingston sofa, which costs £5,760 from Lorfords.

A coral striped sofa in front of a burgundy wall

Draw attention to it with a reflective gloss

The vibrant orange walls of The Coral Room at The Bloomsbury hotel, London are painted in reflective gloss for maximum impact. Paired with soft blue-grey sofas, the overall vibe is one of out-and-out glamour.

A sitting room with antique sofas and fireplace painted in bold, bright coral

Incorporate blue and white ceramics

Antique blue and white ceramics

Coral: the best complementary colours to pair

A selection of paint colours to compliment coral