Revealed: Pantone's Color of the Year 2023 – and how to decorate with it

As Pantone announces Viva Magenta as Color of the Year we show you how to decorate with it

Pantone color of the year
(Image credit: Pantone courtesy of jwc)

It's time to celebrate. The biggest day in the color calendar is here, courtesy of Pantone, who today released their 2023 Color of the Year. 

The long-anticipated shade is Viva Magenta – a color that will dominate fields far beyond the interior design industry from right now. The crimson hue is described by Pantone as an 'unconventional shade for an unconventional time,' – foreshadowing a shift in color trends as we know them – to reflect the ever-changing world around us. 

Viva Magenta (18-1750) is a color that 'vibrates with vim and vigor,' says Pantone. Despite its vividness, the shade is surprisingly 'rooted in nature', stemming from the red family as an expression of strength. In all its fearlessness, the color prompts joy and optimism and invites you to 'write a new narrative' on the fringe of a New Year.

Here's what we know.

This crimson exhibits a balance between warm and cool, but it also blurs the lines between reality and our multi-dimensional world, says Pantone.

'In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real,' says Pantone's executive director, Leatrice Eiseman.'PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.'

Assertive but not aggressive, this dynamic shade was chosen with the digital world in mind, but that doesn't lessen its impact in the real world (and in our homes). As the Leatrice explains, 'it is a transformative red tone capable of driving design to create a more positive future.'

How to decorate with Viva Magenta

Pantone hopes their new crimson red Color of the Year will encourage people to unleash their rebellious spirit in 2023, and Viva Magenta certainly knows how to make a statement in its own right.

So how to decorate with red, when it's a deep, dramatic magenta like this? 

1. Be bold and use color drenching

Red walls and bedframe, red glass lamp

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

'Decorating with Viva Magenta takes a dexterous touch, and while it's a good idea to pair it with crisp whites or soothing neutrals that won't fight the color, you can use color drenching to maximize its effect, though I would limit it to rooms that you tend to use in the evening or that you want to feel a little light-starved and very cozy,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens. 'That means considering it as a bedroom color or for you snug.'

2. Create drama with Viva Magenta as an accent

Entryway with blue wallpaper and red console

(Image credit: Sarah Vanrenen)

Naturally, Viva Magenta will directly impact paint trends, but it is a wonderful opportunity to add it into a space as an accent color

'Whether on a console in an entryway, a couch in a living room or within the pattern of a drape fabric, it brings instant warmth and drama to a space,' says Lucy Searle. 

3. Create a focal point with Viva Magenta

Freestanding shaker style kitchen larder cupboard painted in deep red against mustard yellow walls

(Image credit: Real Shaker Kitchen by DeVOL)

If you have a painted kitchen, a walk-in pantry, a bathroom vanity that can be repainted, why not consider Viva Magenta? 

'The difference with this shade of red is that it is restrained and somewhat subtle,' says Lucy Searle. 'This means you can safely use it on to large pieces of fitted furniture to create a focal point in a room. It can immediately lift a neutral space, without it looking brash. We love it.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.