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Pantone Color of the Year 2023: Viva Magenta

Pantone Color of the Year 2023: Viva Magenta

This guide is part of our Overstock Stylist Commentary series, home design tips written by industry experts.


by Amber Dunford
Style Director

Hello! I’m Amber and I’m the Style Director here at Overstock. My background is in interior design and I have a master’s degree in psychology. I love combining these two areas of study to show how homes can provide a sense of emotional well-being. In addition to designing beautiful spaces for Overstock, I teach Design Psychology at Salt Lake Community College. My favorite spaces use natural color palettes, imperfect shapes, and unique pieces that have a story.


In this guide, Overstock’s Style Director Amber Dunford explores both sides of Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year and what Viva Magenta represents: reality (rooted in nature) and the virtual (a multi-dimensional future world).

How would you incorporate Viva Magenta into the home?

Nature-Based Viva Magenta Palette:

When paired with a range of neutrals and organic shapes or textiles, you can enhance the calming energy found in this hue. Think about balance and how you would find Pantone’s 2023 color of the year in nature: the more neutral pieces would take up the majority of the landscape (rocks, sand, soil) and the vibrant colors show up scattered here and there (florals, bugs, a band of color in a sunset).

Anchor the room with neutrals or a dusty blush tone, and make sure Viva Magenta feels harmonious versus overpowering in your space. For example, if you decide to introduce it on a larger piece like a side chair, weave it throughout the space in smaller quantities like on a throw pillow or as a color subtly found in a piece of art. To bring out the playful side of Pantone’s 2023 color of the year, go for a rug in a more organic shape that doesn’t follow the traditional rules of square or rectangle shapes we expect to see in a room.

Future-Based Viva Magenta Palette:

When paired with more structured and slick pieces, you can lean into the futuristic side of Viva Magenta. If you are someone looking for a little more excitement out of your space, play up the electric energy and rebellion associated with Pantone’s 2023 color of the year by anchoring it with stark white or black. Look for finishes that feel chic like marble or glass and strong shapes in your table or chair design. Furniture pieces that have a bit of geometry to them create immediate interest and pair nicely with a bold color like Viva Magenta, so consider adding asymmetrical bench seating to your living room, or a sturdy brutalist inspired end table.

In this application, don’t shy away from the color. Let it stand out and become a conversation piece like a magenta sofa or an oversized piece of artwork on a bright white wall. To really pull off Pantone’s 2023 color of the year in an impactful and more futuristic way, you’ll want to be thoughtful about the decor you bring in. It helps to not clutter the space and maintain somewhat of a gallery-like aesthetic. Use color blocking to define zones and create high contrast.

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FAQs About Pantone Color of the Year 2023: Viva Magenta

How does Viva Magenta make someone feel psychologically?

It depends on the pairing! The dominant hue in Viva Magenta is red, giving it strong associations with power, strength, and passion. Pantone’s 2023 color of the year is also very energetic, so it can prompt you towards taking action. The violet undertones give it a softer association, leaning towards compassion, kindness, and a sense of cooperation.

Do you recommend using Viva Magenta as more of an accent color or as a main color in a space?

For the majority of people, this is a color I would suggest you avoid using in large doses as it can overpower the space. If you are someone who wants to test this out as a main color, try updating a space like your hallway powder room. These areas are a bit lower risk as they are not typically your main bathroom, so you can get a little more daring. Perhaps a floor-to-ceiling tile in magenta paired with rich soapstone countertops and moody lighting is just the wow factor that hallway powder room needs!

What complementary shades will Viva Magenta go best with?

Because this shade has a bit more warmth, it can be paired with complementary hues like soft green or moss. For a more lively energy, opt for a darker green that provides a bit more contrast. This will give you a psychological boost in your activity levels and mood in the space. If you like this complementary palette but are looking for a more soothing vibe, try a softer version of green in watery sage tones.

Are there any places Viva Magenta will look best?

For those who are feeling a bit more adventurous and enjoy working with color, try working this hue into your space on a velvet chaise or side chair. Or for a super bold look, you might try working it onto a wall through large scale artwork or even wallpaper.

For those on the more conservative side with color, look for throw pillows that subtly include magenta but don’t feel overpowering. Including magenta in an upholstery fabric on the base of your dining chairs can be a playful and unexpected way to experiment with Pantone’s 2023 color of the year.

Any color combinations to avoid?

With red being the base for this color, you’ll want to be mindful in how you pair it with other red hues because that combo can be difficult to live with day in and day out. We tend to get eye fatigue, so an abundance of reds can diminish our cognitive functioning and elevate our cortisol. While this look is definitely fun and bold, I would not recommend playing up Viva Magenta in spaces where you’ll be spending long amounts of time or will need to do cognitive tasks such as work or study.