Coral is a bright shade of orange. It has elements of orange, pink and red, which makes it energetic and stimulating. Coral is typically a positive color but should be used with moderation. It is important to understand how it may affect your mood before you start designing with it.
What is the Psychology of Coral?
Coral blends the optimism of orange with the feminism of pink. However, coral with more red undertones can also feel masculine, as it is stronger and more vibrant.
As a blend of three colors, orange, pink and red, coral is a balance of the positive aspects of all three colors, which makes it positive and friendly. Therefore, coral often feels inclusive and revitalizing especially when blended with other more neutral colors.
Coral is warming and increases emotional and physical energy. It is dynamic and invigorating, so using it in excess should probably be avoided, unless the shade is kept low in saturation.
What are the Best Ways to Use Coral in Your Home?
Use a muted shade of coral as wall paint in spaces you want to feel feminine such as a bedroom or nursery.
Coral is a revitalizing color. Use coral as an accent color in a bathroom, living space and any room you want to feel uplifting and refreshing.
Coral adds vibrancy to rooms that seem to fall flat. Add in accessories such as art and throw pillows to monochromatic spaces to add a bit of energy and make them more welcoming.
Limit brighter, redder shades of coral in spaces used for relaxation as they can be over stimulating.
Add plants with coral flowers for a tropical feel.
What Colors Go with Coral?
Coral is a combination of red, orange and pink and comes in many shades. It is vibrant but warm and welcoming and can add energy to a room. It pairs well with a variety of colors but make sure to follow the 5 principal rules of color combination, which we refer to in our color pairing suggestions before you start designing with coral.
Coral + Pink
Coral and pink are analogous colors, which make them a natural pairing. However, they can both be vibrant colors, so it is best to vary their shades and tones so they do not overwhelm a space. Soft blush pinks look beautiful paired with brighter shades of coral. Use lighter shades of pink for the foundation of the room building color with coral accents.
Coral + White
The calmness of white balances the vibrancy of coral. They can be used in varying amounts in any space depending upon the feel you want to achieve. For more reserved spaces, keep coral to the smaller accents and use white as the foundation of the room. For a bolder look, incorporate coral into larger furnishings such as casework.
Coral + Yellow
Coral and yellow are a bold color combination. The 60-30-10 rules are a good starting point when designing with coral and yellow, so the colors do not compete with each other. Make sure 60% of the room is neutral colors, 30% coral and just a touch of yellow at 10%.
Coral + Light Blue
Coral and light blue have a very coastal feel. Light blue provides a calm foundation for the brightness and energy of coral. Try painting the wall light blue and add coral accents in the rugs, art and decorative accessories. Layer in a third brighter blue like turquoise to round out the space.
Coral + Purple
Coral and purple are a fun color combination. Balance the vibrancy of coral with softer shades of purple. Try painting the walls a pale shade of purple to create a foundation for the room. Add in touches of coral in the accents such as throw pillows, a rug or artwork. Mix in a third analogous color such as a light pink, which will help tie coral and purple together and add depth to the room.
Coral + Royal Blue
Coral and royal blue are both vibrant colors. Reference the 60-30-10 rules when designing with these two colors. Select neutral colors for 60% of the room, add in either coral or royal blue at 30% and use the remaining color as an accent at 10%.
Coral + Green
Coral and green are complimentary colors, which make them a natural pairing. They can both be bright and vibrant and make excellent accent colors to more monochromatic rooms. Select patterns that incorporate both colors to use on throw pillows, which will pop against light neutral furniture. For a more subdued look, opt for paler shades of green to contrast and balance the energy of the coral.
Coral + Gray
Coral adds energy to gray. In spaces with lots of gray furniture or gray walls, add coral accents or a singular piece of coral furniture. This will add contrast to the muted tones of gray and make the space feel more welcoming.
Coral + Gold
Coral and gold are a timeless combination. They are both warm colors and look elegant paired together. Use coral for the wall color or soft furnishings such as upholstery, throw pillows or blankets. Add in gold accented furniture, lighting or art frames.
Coral + Black
Coral and black are both strong colors but typically have different associations. Black is grounding and lacks energy whereas coral is warm and revitalizing. The contrast of these two colors provides a nice balance of energy in a space. Avoid overusing either color instead mixing them throughout a room in both the furnishings and interior finishes.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE COLOR CORAL:
The color coral gets its name from the marine invertebrates that populate tropical seabeds.
Ancient Egyptians and Romans wore coral as a talisman against evil and temptation. This association lasted through the Renaissance. Many Renaissance paintings depict baby Jesus wearing a coral amulet as a protection against evil.
In 2019, coral was named the Pantone color of the year.