Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral

by Kelsey Betancourt

The family cat is the primary resident of this Manhattan Beach guest suite featuring a pink and coral color scheme.

The family cat is the primary resident of this Manhattan Beach guest suite featuring a pink and coral color scheme.

Coral reefs are disappearing from our oceans at an alarming rate. It is imperative to the ocean’s ecosystems, and as much as a quarter of all ocean species depend upon it for food and shelter. Precious marine lifeforms are also the inspiration for Pantone’s 2019 color of the year: Living Coral.

Coral and lush greens create a lively and inviting atmosphere for an outside space.

Coral and lush greens create a lively and inviting atmosphere for an outside space.

Sarah Barnard, a Los Angeles-based interior designer, WELL AP and LEED AP, specializes in interior design that contributes to her client’s health and wellness and strives to make nature a part of each home she creates. “A happy and uplifting color reminiscent of the ocean is the perfect starting point for a happy, healthy home.”

Coral colored tiles and beautiful glossy stone slabs make this coastal bathroom warm and bright.

Coral colored tiles and beautiful glossy stone slabs make this coastal bathroom warm and bright.

This color takes its name from the beautiful coral marine invertebrates that build extensive coral reefs, habitats for a vast diversity of life in the ocean. Sometimes referred to as the "rainforests of the sea," coral reefs are quickly dying, and are projected to reduce to 10% by 2050. Half of the world's coral has died since 2016, due to rising sea temperatures, pollution, destructive fishing, invasive species, and changing sea chemistry.

"The timely selection of this color by Pantone should be an important reminder to all of us that nature inspires beautiful interiors. If we aren't careful to preserve the natural world, we will have nothing left to take inspiration from," said Barnard.

Coral naturally complements with blues and ocean tones. Coral embroidery was a perfect companion (complement?) for a throw pillow in a coastal home.

Coral naturally complements with blues and ocean tones. Coral embroidery was a perfect companion (complement?) for a throw pillow in a coastal home.

Pantone is most widely known for their color swatch books. It is the company responsible for color matching paints and graphics; and now devotes the time and resources of Pantone Color Institute to research the purchasing trends of various industries. With this information, Pantone determines this year's color. The naming process regularly pulls inspiration from the natural and human-made world, naming colors such as "rose quartz" or "millennial pink." Pantone's color of the year for 2018 was ultraviolet, a beautiful, energizing shade of purple reminiscent of bright flowers and the sky at sunset. This year's choice is PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral, a potent reminder to preserve and protect ocean life.

Coral colored ceramic provides earthy contrast against the ebonized table and black lamp.

Coral colored ceramic provides earthy contrast against the ebonized table and black lamp.

Coral is vibrant, cheerful, delicate and energizing, and the perfect shade to start the New Year. Living coral, described by the Pantone team as “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”

The bath and shower feature locally sourced handmade ceramic tiles in a coral gloss.

The bath and shower feature locally sourced handmade ceramic tiles in a coral gloss.

Pantone published, “Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment. [...] Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”

Coral and pink shades blend beautifully with wood tones. Art is a subtle and seamless way to introduce colors like coral.

Coral and pink shades blend beautifully with wood tones. Art is a subtle and seamless way to introduce colors like coral.

While top interior designers don’t necessarily recommend painting one’s home to match the color of the year, art, accents, and of course plants are an easy and safe way to introduce vibrancy to your living or work space.

Pinks and coral create an inviting atmosphere.

Pinks and coral create an inviting atmosphere.

For those interested in using Living Color in their home, Sarah Barnard said,  "Living Coral is a perfect complement to blue shades, and pairs well with coastal or beachy interiors. For the daring, reupholstering a treasured piece in a bright color like Living Coral can revitalize a space. For those who prefer to mix pops of color with neutrals, I recommend starting with small accents."

Pantone's Color of the Year is an excellent opportunity to add lively, earth-focused tones to your home. Make having a happy and healthy home your New Year's resolution.

Cream and coral ceramic jars are a perfect storage solution for bathroom necessities.

Cream and coral ceramic jars are a perfect storage solution for bathroom necessities.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Abby Siniscal, Chas Metivier, and Charlie Daniels

Historic West Hollywood Bungalow: Living Room

A historic 1918 Craftsman Bungalow gets a fresh face! Utilizing the original Arts & Crafts woodwork design, Sarah Barnard adds a pop of contemporary color for an updated take on this traditional style. In keeping with the classic aesthetic, Sarah treats the interior with eclectic and vintage mid-century modern furnishings.

Saturated colors and modern patterns pair perfectly with wood and brass accents. At the heart of the living room is an original brick fireplace restored to its former glory. Items collected on the homeowner’s travels make fast friends on the mantle with abstract paintings by Los Angeles based artist, Lori Dorn.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Historic West Hollywood Bungalow: Orange Dreamsicle Bathroom

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Orange dreamsicle! Formerly a coat closet, this jewel box of a bathroom is made more functional by re-distributing the unused space. Sarah Barnard was able to add a walk-in shower to the previously compact guest bathroom.

This particular shade of orange inspires positivity and energy. By installing ceramic tile in a vertical pattern, they elongate the tiny space. Pebble tiles on the shower floor create an indoor/outdoor feeling. The small corner mounted sink makes the most of the limited floor space.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Park View Pied-à-terre: Guest Bedroom

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Nestled above Santa Monica's Virgina Park, this Pied-à-terre is complete with a guest bedroom inspired by the French countryside. Locally made antique reproductions pair perfectly with organic linen textiles. The crisp whites complement the natural textures and vintage accoutrements. A painting by artist Renae Barnard sits atop the bespoke blue nightstand. The woven headboard provides a rustic backdrop to custom silk pillows.

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Merging historic and contemporary aesthetics, this renovated guest bedroom utilizes all natural, handmade and local materials. The antique reproduction dresser features artwork by Karrie Ross and is flanked by delicate beaded sconces and natural linen roman shades.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Guest Room

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This Ocean Avenue penthouse would not be complete without a custom designed guest bedroom retreat. Vintage rattan coffee table ottomans pair perfectly with a sleeper sofa and lightweight linen sheer drapery. The sleeper sofa is not only compact but comfortable and versatile. An organic wool toss blanket adds warmth and visual interest. Handcrafted paper wings by fine artist Susan Hannon complete the space.

Active design elements like natural woods, raw textiles and plant life are incorporated throughout the space. Salvaged "live edge" wood was used to fabricate custom bookshelves displaying a collection of the homeowners' favorite books, fossil and mineral specimens. A handmade wooden bowl in the shape of a seashell is the perfect home to a potted plant adding life to the entertainment center.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Living Room

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An Ocean Avenue penthouse with a bird's eye view of Santa Monica's coastline is outfitted with eco-friendly furnishings, natural textiles and organic rugs to create a perfect Zen retreat. White fabric poufs provide extra seating for guests and are low enough to preserve the ocean view. A natural driftwood sculpture compliments a collection of organic objects as the centerpiece to this biophilic design.

Fine art can become a unique design element within a room. This one of a kind artwork fashioned from hand-thrown clay disks explicitly created for the living room captures the calming energy of the ocean air. The installation's delicate minimalism and organic formations add dimension and complement the room's natural textures.

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Sustainably sourced organic textiles and fabrics adorn this custom sectional with natural latex cushions, a perfect companion to the organic wool rug and toss blanket. A modern white metal side table with a fun organic shape adds interest.

This modern design preserves the expansive coastline view while utilizing a wall of mirrors to extend the entertaining area visually. The integrated dining area features a custom table of chrome and maple perfectly sized for this compact space.

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A collection of eco-friendly materials, organic textiles, and vintage accoutrements make this Ocean Avenue penthouse the ultimate beach retreat. The delicate chandelier made up of tiny light bulbs, and wire reminds us of stars strung together in the sky. Tillandsia plants make a perfect centerpiece for beachfront dining. 

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Houzz Pro Spotlight: How to Design a Healthy, Happy Home

Who: Sarah Barnard

Where: Santa Monica, California

In her own words: “The more informed we are and the better choices we make, the cleaner and healthier our homes can be.”

When furnishing your space, it is essential to consider how your choices will affect your family. “We need to create high-functioning, natural and nontoxic environments that endure over time,” interior designer Sarah Barnard says. The principal at Sarah Barnard Design in Santa Monica, she believes in “optimizing the health and happiness of the people within a home.”

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Passion for the arts. Barnard studied interior architecture and fine art before starting her own company. “I’ve always been interested in history, architecture and the environment,” she says. “They all inform my practice.” She also enjoys the fashion aspect: “We are always influenced by trends like new colors, patterns, and fibers. Design is a balance of old and new.”

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A green philosophy. Barnard, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional, believes sustainable design is no longer a specialty area. “I wouldn’t be taking good care of my clients if I designed spaces any other way,” she says. In addition to her usual clients, Barnard does pro bono design work for nonprofits so they too can enjoy healthy, natural spaces.

Read Barnard’s tips below to create a home that benefits the mind, body, and soul.

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1. Utilize Universal Design

Barnard recommends designing a home that will endure all of your family’s life stages. “Strategize early in the design phase,” she says. “When you get older, or someone faces a disability, the last thing you want to do is tear apart your home.”

One way to incorporate universal design is to use a wall-hung cabinet in your bathroom, such as the one Barnard installed in this Pacific Palisades home. It provides not only a clean aesthetic but also ample toe space for maneuvering in a wheelchair. She also added plentiful overhead, undercabinet and wall-sconce lighting. “People can adjust the lighting to suit their needs,” she says.

See more of this project

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2. Choose Eco-Friendly Materials

Natural and organic textiles can improve indoor air quality. “Most home products have been tested, but not in conjunction with other items,” Barnard says. “Combining products that each release a small amount of toxic vapor creates a polluted environment.” Alternatively, she recommends using pieces that are at least 20 years old, as they’ve long since finished off-gassing.

Barnard sourced eco-friendly materials, such as natural latex cushions and an organic wool rug, to create this healthy oasis for Santa Monica clients. “The coffee table was solid lumber finished with natural linseed oil; no toxic adhesives were used,” she says.

See more of this project

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3. Reinvent What You Have

You don’t necessarily have to expand your home to achieve your desired layout. “You can modernize and increase comfort without adding on by rearranging what you have,” Barnard says.

West Hollywood clients wanted more space but didn’t want to modify the structure of their 1918 Craftsman bungalow. “We moved interior walls to increase functionality,” Barnard says. She stole a bit of space from one bathroom to make another one more substantial and used space from the coat closet to make room for a shower in the shrunken bathroom.

See more of this project

More: For more information on Sarah Barnard and examples of her work, visit Sarah Barnard Design’s Houzz profile.

This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Traditional Home: Pacific Palisades Estate Library

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The library offers ample display for the homeowner's impressive collection of books, mineral specimens, and fine art. The focal point of the library, a massive oak paneled fireplace is original to the house. With the original oak mantle restored and a new stone slip and hearth, this room creates a richness further embodied by the American walnut floors. Expert craftspersons were employed to ensure perfection in every detail. The centerpiece features a brilliant painting by Los Angeles based artist Kevin Moore.

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By preserving and restoring the original brass chandelier, it is made perfect for use in the library. A comfortable armchair features a beautiful embroidered pillow that was handmade in India by Bandhini Design. The antique Kilim rug is from Turkey and supplied by Grey Willow Goods. A painting by Allie Ihm adds life to the deep oak bookcase.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall

Music Room

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The music room, with restored coffered ceiling and oak french doors, hosts much of this Pacific Palisades Estate's antique instrument collection. The painting by Brian Johnson rests on an antique side table in the conversation area. Displayed are handmade sofa pillows embroidered in India using traditional methods and craftspeople by Bandhini Design.

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The original stone fireplace is the focal point of the music room featuring a painting by Renae Barnard on the mantle. The Oak French doors open to an expansive back garden with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Light filters through the sea view window, illuminating an antique chess table.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall