ADVERTISEMENT

Sassy but soft, coral – the big-girl version of pink – is turning heads and winning hearts in the decorating world. Since the first time I saw a dining room done completely in coral, this sugar-and-spice tone has tugged at my heart. The perfect blend of pink and orange, coral is fresh and fun without being too feminine or youthful. It’s just right for those who want to add some warmth and energy to a room. Here are two great ways to bring coral into your home.

Add coral textiles

As the co-founder of the Global Orphan Project (https://goproject.org) with her husband, Mike, my friend Beth does life-changing work in her office, literally. Beth is passionate about providing orphaned and abandoned children around the globe with the love, shelter, education, job training and hope they need to become agents of transformation in their communities. She spends a lot of hours in her home office helping guide this amazing ministry, so I’m glad it’s a space that fills her emotional tank. To give this elegant space a spark, she washed it in coral fabric.

She used a beautiful Williamsburg print, recolored in today’s hip colors, that’s repeated again and again through the room’s upholstered furniture and window treatments. Stunning! Not into the wall-to-wall repeat? Just cover a pillow or two in a coral fabric, and you’ll be surprised by how much loft it gives the space.

Another couple covered their sofa in a solid coral fabric, then festooned it with accent pillows in a medley of surprising colors. The room, with green walls, a mix of upholstered furnishings and a tossed salad of pillows, shows how versatile a bold coral really is. It adds to the buoyancy of the room, but doesn’t take over.

Coral is one of our favorite tones to work into bedding. Try mixing in coral and green with a variety of bold patterns, then balancing them out with calming neutrals.

Bring in additional warmth, color and pattern in your room with an area rug that features sunny coral.

Paint your walls coral

Have I shared my BIG news with you all yet? We have a brand new granddaughter! We are so excited about the arrival of baby Maeve that we can hardly think straight. Maeve’s parents wanted her nursery to be feminine but not frilly and cliché. After lots of deliberation, we decided to paint the walls Peony, a lovely shade of coral from my Mary Carol Artisan Paint line. Black and white fabrics and upholstered furniture look absolutely perfect with these vibrant walls.

Coral walls aren’t just for babies’ rooms. This wall color is for all ages. Try pairing yellow and gray bedding with the Peony wall color, which matches the cheerfulness of the walls step for step, and additional white duvets add some serenity.

Even though coral walls may seem more contemporary, you can take them in a more traditional direction, too. Fill the walls with classic artwork and furnishings, and it looks stately.

We painted a gallery at my home store, Nell Hill’s Briarcliff, in Peony and had more fun decorating and redecorating it to show all the millions of directions you can go with coral. One fetching grouping is grounded on a cream sofa, then coral and other playful colors are sprinkled in through accent pillows. This strong color provides a powerful backdrop but also melts into the background.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.