Every year, Pantone announces a color poised to take center stage in interior design and fashion. For 2023, Pantone splashed out with a vibrant jewel tone: Viva Magenta (Pantone 18-1750).
Pantone describes Viva Magenta as “an unconventional shade for an unconventional time.” As homeowners gravitate toward color-drenched walls and cabinetry after several years focused on neutral palettes, Viva Magenta could be a hint of bold hues to come.
“From a color psychology perspective, we have all the benefits of red and blue in this color,” says Paula Kennedy, a certified architectural color consultant and owner of Seattle-based Timeless Kitchen Design LLC. “Blending a power color with a stable grounding color [makes] it appeal to many.”
For some, decorating with a jewel tone might sound daunting. The good news is that Viva Magenta proves effective even in small doses.
How Homeowners Can Use Viva Magenta
“This bright and robust color can be applied to many rooms of your home, both in restraint as a small accent or as a loud statement,” says Samantha Black, a designer and project director with California-based presale home renovation company Freemodel.
Here are a few ideas to get started.
Make a Statement with Wall Paint
“When I first saw that this was the color of the year, one of my instincts was layering an office space or dining room with it in a high-gloss lacquer wall finish,” says Joe Human, interior designer and founder of Designs by Human in New York City.
If painting the bedroom red is too much of a commitment, Black suggests using Viva Magenta on a single wall behind a sleek new coffee bar or as a “conversation-starting color” in the dining room. Kennedy recommends making a statement with a magenta entryway.
Go Bold with Living Room and Bedroom Accents
“Infusing this color through artwork, accessories, area rugs and plants is a great way of adding this color without having to overly commit to a wall paint or more expensive furniture piece,” says Kennedy.
Further suggestions from Kennedy include recovering an ottoman or used furniture with a magenta-forward fabric. Adding a shag area rug in shades of magenta and pink works as well.
Revive a Dull Powder Room
If Viva Magenta feels too loud for the main living areas, why not add it to one of the smallest rooms in the house? Powder rooms and guest bathrooms provide the perfect canvas to play with color.
“A powder room vanity can make for a lovely pop,” says Human.
Homeowners who are not ready to commit to magenta hardware or appliances can enjoy the fun with vibrantly colored or patterned towels, bath mats, or even soap dishes or toothbrush holders.
Get Creative in the Kitchen
Just as magenta can add passion and romance to bedrooms, it can revitalize a kitchen that feels too sterile after years of stainless steel appliances and white cabinetry.
“For the trend-savvy and those designing their forever home, the attitude of Viva Magenta can be adopted in kitchen island cabinets [or] color-forward backsplash tile,” says Black.
Even homeowners who love clean, serene kitchen colors and warm wood accents can add a bit of whimsy with Viva Magenta. Kennedy suggests subtle pops of color in dishes or even wallpaper that have smaller splashes of magenta.
How to Use Viva Magenta in Staging
Agents can use pops of the color of the year to make listings stand out to design-savvy buyers while still appealing to the masses. The goal is to keep best practices for staging in mind.
“Remember, a little magenta does go a long way,” cautions Black. “Some buyers may not be attracted to this trend as a permanent fixture in their new home.”
Here’s what the designers suggest for home staging:
Large art pieces. Whether the house is more suited to pop art, mid-century motifs or abstract art, Black says incorporating magenta can make a splash without a drop of paint. “For unique pieces to add to your staging collection, find original artist prints on Society 6 or Etsy,” she says.
Accent walls. Paint is reversible, after all. Human suggests painting one wall in a bedroom, office or powder room. Then you can use magenta in small doses in other rooms, such as a magenta-threaded blanket thrown over the sofa.
Peel-and-stick wallpaper. “[This] is one of the best nonpermanent and affordable solutions for giving a space current style,” says Black. She adds that an abstract geode pattern or geometric pattern with pops of magenta can make listing photos more eye-catching.
Vibrant plant life. Add Viva Magenta with dark pink hydrangeas, pink orchids, or hibiscus; fake is fine, says Kennedy. “Don’t forget the curb appeal,” she says. “Planting flowers with this color would make for a happy entrance.”
Pillow power. Nothing brightens up a staged home like accent pillows, according to Black. She suggests choosing a magenta-infused pattern or print in a texture that contrasts with the main upholstery. Magenta velvet pillow covers help warm up neutral bedrooms, she says.
What’s next? Viva Magenta and the Resurgence of Art Deco
Pantone’s color of the year reflects current and future home trends. This year, Viva Magenta feels like a nod to the growing resurgence of art deco, which Kennedy says has been “in the wings” for years.
“Art deco is all about details and sophisticated glam,” explains Human. His vision of a perfect marriage between Viva Magenta and art deco? A black-and-white–floored room decorated in intricate brass pieces and awash with high-gloss magenta paint.
Today, Viva Magenta can add much-needed color to neutral spaces. It can also ease tomorrow’s transition to more colorful, maximalist, art deco–inspired spaces. Only time will tell how and when designers and real estate professionals will see art deco’s full revival. For now, Kennedy says, the key is to just have fun with color.
“We don’t always have to take the color of the year so literally,” she says. “Make it your own, maybe more intense or more muted, lighter or darker. You are free to interpret it in a way that works for you and your space.”