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Warm, earthy hues colours of 2019 take us back to 1970s.


Sherwin-Williams, the paint people, have selected  Cavern Clay SW 7701 for their 2019 Colour of the Year.

Pantone’s colour of the year is  #16-1546 Living Coral embracing warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

“We believe 2019 will be a renaissance of the 1970s—with a twist. In the coming year, we will embrace our pioneering spirits and artisan ingenuity,” says Sue Wadden, director of colour marketing, Sherwin-Williams.

“Our 2019 Colour of the Year, Cavern Clay, embodies renewal, simplicity and free-spirited, bohemian flair.”

Back in the 1970s earth tones dominated as the “earth movement” begins in earnest in 1970 with the first Earth Day. Beige, rust, avocado, harvest gold, mustard yellow, earthy brown play together in patterns and solids.

Cavern Clay is both casual and refined. It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone and sculptural greenery. Complementary materials include leather, simple woodgrains and indigenous cacti in contemporary, sleek gardening planters.

“Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in. Envision beaches, canyons and deserts, and sun-washed late summer afternoons—all of this embodied in one color,” says Wadden.

It pairs well with other casual, balanced neutrals such as a warm gray or deep brown. Cavern Clay evokes a carefree yet sophisticated aesthetic.

“Spaces like boutique hotels, restaurants and even offices are making an effort to create photo-friendly areas that are Instagrammable,” says Wadden. “Cavern Clay is an ideal color for flattering and design-forward aesthetics—it plays well with many types of lighting, and brings this visual of the expansive and free outside world to interiors, resulting in open and versatile public spaces.”

Colours such as brown, which a couple of decades ago was linked to the earth and dirt but is now associated with coffee and chocolate, reflects the growth of those industries, says Laurie Pressman, vice-president of the Pantone Color Institute, which provides colour consulting services for brands and products, as well as trend forecasts.


Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits,  Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression,” says a release from Pantone.

“In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity.”


The optimistic vibe of Living Coral leaves your space feeling cheery and upbeat. Hang a picture inspired by this hue where you’ll see it often – the kitchen, bathroom or entryway are great options – to channel its warmth when you need it.”

-Sandra Chandler, Trend Expert and Lead Buyer at


Coral is a great accent color and is often used to bring pops of color into more neutral spaces. If you want to go bold, but not overcommit, try using Coral Reef SW 6606 to paint the kitchen island, as an accent wall or within artwork in the room.”

-Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams

“Living Coral is one of the most perfect recent Pantone colors of the year. Its relevance in home interiors, particularly kitchens, is something that breathes life into, and brings color excitement back to this space. Dare I say, it could even be a gateway back into red kitchens. We have started to see a rise of personal color preferences making their way back into cabinetry as accent areas, small appliances and decor, and this is a very useable color tone, especially as we will likely see variations of this shade with even more intensity or as drop downs in a paler range.”

-Stephanie Pierce, Director of Design & Trends at MasterBrand Cabinets

“For a touch of humanizing warmth, the Pantone 2019 Color of the Year, Living Coral, is ideal to represent the heart of the home and bold enough for modern interiors. Living Coral is a brave, contemporary yet familiar color that spans the physical to the digital world. Formica Laminate’s Clementine is a slightly deeper version that can go from the home to comfortable public living rooms like coffee shops, offices, and hotel lobbies.”

-Renee Hytry Derrington, Global Design Lead at Formica Group

“Today, homeowners are living in an era of endless inspiration. They are curious, and looking for an unexpected sense of joy in designed experiences, nature and the world. Living Coral is uplifting, optimistic and alive with the spirit and beauty we see in nature – an ideal manifestation of the journey to find joy in the visual inspiration around us. Rather than specific design styles ruling the day, we’re seeing a preference for colors, shapes and textures that make us happy – and Living Coral might be just the ‘pop of delight’ a space needs to come to life.”

-Christine Marvin, Director of Corporate Strategy and Design at Marvin Windows and Doors




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