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For the love of color: Coral

When I was writing my “Advice for New Bloggers” post last week, I realized it had been a while since I’d done a color post. Only slightly hypocritical! So I took my own advice, and queued one up.


I’ve been noticing coral more and more lately. I’m sure it’s been around for a while, but it snuck it’s way onto my radar and now I can’t stop noticing it. I put together a fabric stack featuring coral, and I thought I’d walk through how I went about doing so. I will note that color is totally subjective, so you may prefer a totally different pairing than I ended up with.


I like to start with identifying the color I’m working with and its components, as that influences my choices in color pairings and neutrals. Coral is a red-orange with medium-high saturation and high brightness. When you tint it with white (or lower its saturation) it turns peachy. Yum! It’s such a great summer color.


I’m not usually drawn to warm reds (I much prefer the fuchsia and raspberry red-violets), so I was a bit stumped with what to do with coral. I turned to my old standby of analogous color, but I really wasn’t feeling this fuchsia, coral, orange, gold combo. I don’t dislike it, but it was lacking a bit of punch that I was looking for.


Since I wanted punch, I decided to try a complementary scheme. Because coral is a red-orange, it’s complement is blue-green, more on the green end than blue. I don’t have many fabrics that are the perfect complement, so I went into my yellow-greens. This is definitely closer to what I wanted with the contrast, but it felt a bit flat.


So I moved on to the more blue side of blue-green with aqua. Peach and aqua is a really hot combo right now for good reason. However, it still felt a bit flat to me. It needed a bit more complexity somehow.


Flustered, I put all the fabric in a pile to think about it and that’s when I found that with both aqua AND lime, it really made the coral sing and got me closer to what I was looking for. Now it really felt like summer. Blue skies, green grass, and lots of strawberry lemonade! Color theory trivia: This is called a split-complementary color scheme.


Now that I have a good start to the colors, I need a good neutral to pair it with. Low volume is my go to pairing, but just like the analogous color scheme, I really wasn’t feeling it with this. I don’t dislike it, it just doesn’t provide the depth I was hoping for to balance out the brightness of the coral.


Since red and black are a classic pairing, I grabbed some of my darker charcoal greys. I went with grey instead of black because I wasn’t interested in quite that much contrast, and I didn’t want the background to totally disappear. I love how vibrant the dark greys makes the coral look, and it really helps pop the cooler tones as well.


Now I just need a project to use my new stack with. It’s not my usual fare, and I’m excited to play with it!

I’m curious – what color would you have paired coral with? Let me know in the comments!


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