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How to style Pantone’s 2023 Colour of the Year – Viva Magenta

Viva Magenta is all about jewel tone accents and inventiveness, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

The Pantone Colour Institute experts have chosen ‘an unconventional shade for an unconventional time’ for 2023’s Colour of the Year – and Viva Magenta is certainly far from muted.

In fact, ‘brave, fearless, powerful and empowering’ is how this nuanced crimson-blended shade is described – ‘an animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint’.

According to the Pantone pros, this ‘electrifying’ and ‘boundless’ shade manifests as a ‘stand-out statement’ – and we’ve no doubt it’ll do the same for your interiors.

“Vibrant and energising, Viva Magenta is the perfect accent colour to liven up a room,” says Chelsea Clark, head of brand at Lust Home.

“If you’re looking to make a statement, pair the warm red hue with neutral or complementary colours that have the same undertone – and add some contrasting accessories for an extra touch.”

nimal Instinct Wallpaper in Candy Pink and Red, £45 per roll, Lust Home (Lust Home/PA)

As Clark points out, the thought of using a bright or vibrant shade when decorating can be quite daunting at first, especially if it’s a break from the norm for you. After all, big aspirations call for confidence – but you can skip the expected curtains and scatter cushions pairing (depending on your budget) by switching up your wall treatments.

“Wallpaper is a great starting point when looking to dip your toes into the world of bright interiors,” says Clark. “Add a pop of Viva Magenta to your walls in the form of a patterned wallpaper and embrace the bold trend.”

Vixen Paint, from £46 for 2.5L, Graham & Brown (Graham & Brown/PA)

Elsewhere, colourful paint effects can help you pull off a major wall statement and take your blank canvas to the next level.

“Vixen is Graham & Brown’s take on Viva Magenta,” says James Greenwood, interior expert at Graham & Brown. A bold pink perfect for those who love playful colour, he acknowledges this vibrant hue can often seem quite overwhelming when introducing it to the home – but you don’t have to go all in at once.

As Greenwood says: “For a more easily translatable look into an interior scheme, colour blocking is a great way to incorporate a hot pink into your interior without being overpowering.”

Annie Sloan Capri Pink Chalk Paint, £23.95 for 1L (Annie Sloan/PA)

Think about pairing with cooler pink and purple shades, underpinned by a warm neutral like a putty beige, he suggests, which keeps the brighter pops of colour grounded.

Emma Bestley, co-founder of YesColours, agrees – especially if you’re feeling more timid than fearless: “Viva Magenta is a classic hot pink and in colour terms, a pinkish, purplish red. This exact colour may be too intense for your walls, but we don’t have to take Pantone’s colour of the year so literally,” she says.

Loving Pink Paint, £21 for 1L, YesColours (YesColours/PA)

Indeed, Pantone cite Viva Magenta as ‘a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family – and expressive of a new signal of strength’. How you choose to channel this in your own home is open to interpretation.

Bestley suggests looking at varying tones of pink-purple to suit your needs: “It will still maintain that fearless assertiveness.”

Mulberry Tigress Fringe Velvet Cushion Cover, £95, Alvana (Alvana/PA)

Play around with different depths of saturation and tones to see what works for your space. With a deep pinky-mauve sophistication, Bestley says these shades can wrap you in warmth and comfort, like cashmere.

“Some may see it as lusty, but we just see it as loving and kind,” she adds.

Corrigan Studio Drumawillin Sofa in Cosmic Pink, £1,099.99, Wayfair (Wayfair/PA)

Another way to get the look is by focusing on upholstery and soft furnishings and having some fun with fabrics.

“Be brave with a rich magenta sofa and matching feature wall, guaranteed to create a statement in your living room,” suggests Francesca Hadland from Bridgman.

Sahara Rugs 56105 by Ted Baker in Burgundy, from £529, The Rug Seller (The Rug Seller/PA)

“Echo the colour around the space with your accessories, from your throw cushions to your rug,” she adds.

“And, don’t forget to look to house plants and foliage to offset this bold colour palette with complimentary greens, bringing the bold shades of nature into your home.”

Set of 2 Stella Dining Chairs, £270, and Emporium Oriental Rug, from £90, Next (Next/PA)

Best of all – with Pantone describing Viva Magenta as a ‘pulsating red shade whose exuberance promotes optimism and joy’ – think of all the spectacular ways you can work this joyous shade into your scheme when spring flowers start to bloom.

With peony flowered tulips turning heads, this red-pink hue will be cropping up everywhere.


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