Living in Colour - Viva Magenta 18-1750

Viva Magenta 18-1750 has arrived. Pantone’s colour of the year 2023 has burst into the world of interior design and it is no shrinking violet. This vibrant happy colour exudes energy and vigour and is a welcome injection of vivacity in an often-monochrome world.

Viva Magenta is neither warm nor cool and it is this abstract disconnect that makes it so exciting. It’s playful, ebullient tone is open to countless interpretations that interior designers are sure to have lots of fun exploring. Pantone itself has defined it as “An unconventional shade for an unconventional time”. 

What colour is Viva Magenta?

Viva Magenta is inspired by the long-used colour Carmine, a natural dye for fabrics and paints, which is perhaps a reminder of the importance of thinking sustainably in our design choices and going back to our natural roots. On the other hand, Pantone has made it clear that this is also a colour that pays homage to the technological realm and the vibrancy of this new digital world we live in. It’s full of potential and opens horizons, inviting us to enter the “#MAGENTAVERSE”. Again, marrying two traditionally opposing spectrums, to great effect. 

This powerful colour inspires experimentation and invites designers to shift boundaries, rethink their approach, and to re-examine how colour influences their designs. Red tones are historically synonymous with power, action and passion and the Viva Magenta is a refreshing shade of optimism and courage. The colour is fun but rich and elegant yet powerful. Perhaps the fact that such a complex colour is the colour of the year 2023 is no accident. In a time of divided opinions, a little nuance is welcome.  Whether used in a colour-block scheme or simply as a fun detail in your design, Viva Magenta is guaranteed to inject potent vibrancy to any look. 

Get Inspired

So, how exactly are designers using the colour of the year? We have collected a few examples that promise to inspire you. 

Viva Magenta is derived from tones of red so pairing it with other reds and similar tonalities is a reliable path to creating a sense of cohesion.  

Image credit: Klein Dytham Archicteture, "Toggle Hotel".

Pairing it with colours on the opposite or adjacent end of the colour wheel is a fun way to experiment and will often yield interesting results. This example is using greens and calm, tranquil tones that will not only emphasise the lively energetic tones of Viva Magenta, but it introduces balance to a scheme.

Image credit: DC.AD, "Lulu, bar and restaurant". 

Another way to use this colour is in small details in your décor such as fabrics or finishes. The same colour can be used in different textures which creates a playful dynamic to a design without overpowering or overusing such a rich colour. It is also a nice compromise as you can always easily change a pillow or reupholster a chair.

Images credits: Sanderson Design Group, "Aesops Fables". / Design by Michael Schmidt, Bross Italy, "Nora 1530". 

Be bold and use Viva Magenta to create a feature wall in your design.

Images credits: Masque Spacio, "Resa Bilbao" / Little Greene, "Leather (191)".

If you don’t want to fully commit to a strong Viva Magenta scheme, pair it with neutral tones and use it as an accent colour. This will create an element of fun in furniture pieces and decor items. 

Images credits: Olha Wood, "AFM. Interior", 2018 / Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmit, "ASTA Quadro". 

If you want to learn more about how to integrate colour into your interior designs, make sure to check our courses. Our experienced tutors provide hands-on training, real-world examples and expert insights to help you create a cohesive and visually pleasing living space.

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Written by: Fiona Byrne

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