How to decorate with this season’s hottest paint colours

With the promise of longer days ahead, now is the time to think about refreshing the colours in your home! Take inspiration from the following key trends for 2019

A coral striped sofa in front of a burgundy wall


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, 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. 


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. 

A coral striped sofa in front of a burgundy wall

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

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.

Antique blue and white ceramics
A selection of paint colours to compliment coral

Ever green

Green is set to be a big colour story all year long and beyond. It has broad appeal, ranging from soothing sage and olive tones through to dramatic forest hues, with zesty shades of lime and pea green in between. 

Let the situation dictate the shade. In a sitting room, used mostly in the evenings, choose a deep emerald and add textiles in velvet or heavy linen for an extra level of luxe. In a bathroom or bedroom, choose a restful shade with grey undertones. For kitchens and dining rooms the choices are limitless so let the light guide you. Green looks as good alongside kitchen classics such as Agas and butler’s sinks as it does when teamed with chrome and brushed steel. Easily combined with other colours, it is a natural neutral too.

A blush pink mid-century armchair sits against bright green walls

This fresh, minty green works well with any number of colours, including yellow and pink, and is ageless in terms of style. Walls in Pall Mall and chair in Trumpet, from £22 per litre, Little Greene.

A rich, emerald velvet sofa against dark green floral wallpaper

For a really flamboyant look, choose a bold wallpaper in deep forest green and match upholstery and curtains for added drama. Crane Fonda wallpaper in Emerald, £140 per roll, Crane Fonda velvet cushion in Coral, £95, both Divine Savages.

A selection of cane antiques
An array of paint colours to compliment green

Spiced honey

A warm, biscuity hue with shades of amber, Spiced Honey, Dulux’s colour of the year, is a fresh alternative to taupes and greys where a warm, neutral tone is required. The colour takes on a timeless elegance when used with black and shades of cream or white – in fashion terms, the equivalent of a classic camel coat, crisp white shirt and smart black heels. But team this shade with a deep greeny-blue or plum and the vibe is emphatically retro; add accessories in hot orange, bright yellow or even pastel pink and the look is transformed again, becoming more youthful and fun. In short, Spiced Honey is an endlessly adaptable base colour that can be updated year after year with the addition of soft furnishings in new colours or a repaint of the woodwork.

DULUX announces Colour of the Year 2019 - Spiced Honey

Dulux’s Spiced Honey, a warm mocha shade, provides a beautiful foil for mid-century classics. Here, a black stripe between the main wall colour and the cream of the ceiling creates a faux picture rail, which is echoed by another band of black along the top of the skirting.

Spiced Honey is used on this safari-print wallpaper

Don’t limit your use of Spiced Honey to paint: try this unusual toile wallpaper that comes in a similar soft brown colour with golden highlights. Elephant Grove in Coffee, from the Arthouse Journeys Wallpaper Collection, £16.99 per roll, Wallpaper Direct.

An array of tribal antiques
A selection of paint colours to compliment spiced honey

The new black

Bold and beautiful, black has been increasing in popularity for some years now and our love affair with the colour shows no sign of waning. Last season saw the release of a number of new shades, each with the tiniest hint of something else going on. Little Greene’s Obsidian Green appears to be black but is really an intense forest green. Likewise, Farrow & Ball’s Paean Black has a red base that lends the colour a slightly purple hue in certain lights, making it an excellent partner for a wide range of reds, pinks and purples. Vintro’s Nightfall is, as its name suggests, a deep, midnight blue that reads as black. Use these colours on their own
or team with a much paler version of whichever colour they contain to create a contrast that doesn’t feel too severe.

A black ottoman and classical antiquities sit against a chalky, black wall

Furniture in shades of charcoal and ebony blend with the black walls in this room, creating a dramatic setting for the gilt-framed portrait and the 19th-century bust. Albany ottoman, £3,210, Lorfords, upholstered in grey linen from Pierre Frey.

A classic shaker kitchen in black against blush pink walls

In this period kitchen, Paean Black looks sleek teamed with Sulking Room Pink, from £26 for 750ml, both Farrow & Ball.


Gilt finds will glow against shades of black and charcoal, like this Crested Gilt French Mirror. It costs £495 from Vintage France Design.

Crested Gilt French Mirror, £495, Vintage France Design
An array of paint colours to compliment black or charcoal

True blue

Graham & Brown has unveiled a deep teal as its colour of the year. Teal, like coral, sometimes divides opinion. Is it blue or green? Graham & Brown’s take, Tiru, places it firmly in the blue camp, where deep, dark blues continue to be a strong trend. Match with clean whites for a cool, classic look or use alongside shades of plum and green in the same tone to deliver a dose of luxury.

Blush pink dining chairs, marble top table and brass sputnik light against a deep blue wall

For real impact, use one colour two ways. The view of this sitting room, papered in an opulent teal-coloured wallpaper, is framed by the dining room walls, which are painted in a matching shade from the same collection. Tiru Matt Emulsion, £38 for 2.5l, and Tori Teal wallpaper, £60 per roll, both Graham & Brown.

A white AGA alongside dark blue kitchen cupboards and a gilded splash back

Kitchen cabinets painted a deep teal create a dramatic contrast to gilded walls. Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint, £19.95 per litre, Annie Sloan.


Dramatic blue walls provide a classic backdrop for marble, like this 18th/19th-century bust of a young boy from The Pedestal at Online Galleries. It costs £2,500. 


Marble bust of a young boy
An array of paint colours to compliment blue