Tickled pink: decorating your interior with pink


If you’re not a huge fan of rose-colored hues, you might find you do a double-take this autumn and start to think pink for your home. The ‘new pinks’ offer a sophisticated, sugar-free palette that ranges from blush to plaster, plus the smokier, darker pinks.

‘The pink renaissance is seemingly unstoppable,’ says Patrick O’Donnell, international brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball. ‘Used judiciously and avoiding bubble gum pinks, it brings warmth and sophistication without overwhelming a space.’

It’s a color that has a long history in the home, stretching back to the Ancient Greeks, according to Louis Platman, curator at the Museum of the Home in London. ‘The rediscovery of the ancient world in the second half of the 18th century brought many colors into fashion, including bright pinks,’ he points out. ‘In the first half of the 19th century, light pinks were commonly used as secondary colors to offset the more intense main colours. In the Victorian era, pinks were used as bursts of color in chintz textiles and wallpapers.’

The refurbished museum (previously the Geffrye Museum) has an exhibition called Rooms Through Time, looking at trends over 400 years. ‘Today, pink is as popular as ever,’ says Platman. ‘“Millennial pink” [a pale, blush pink] was a defining color of 2010s interiors.’

Highland Rose Graham and Brown
For a relaxing sitting room, paint walls and dado rails in Highland Rose Matt Emulsion, £46 for 2.5L; and Highland Rose Eggshell, £34 for 1L, both grahambrown.com/uk/

When planning your decorating scheme, consider where you want lighter or darker tones. ‘Pink is perfect for warming up north-facing rooms where soft, pale shades with just a hint of apricot look amazing, but cooler blush pinks can look a bit chilly,’ says Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux. ‘If you have plenty of good natural or warm LED artificial light, all pinks will work beautifully.’

Pay attention to the ‘look through’ between rooms, contrasting paint with patterned wallpaper, for instance, or darker with lighter tones. Use blush and plaster pinks as you would a neutral in living rooms and halls. Or try smokier pink paints, such as Old Rose by Neptune, to soften the look of kitchen cabinets. Darker pinks, such as Rangwali Pink No 296 by Farrow & Ball create a cozy feel for living rooms with fireplaces.

Alternatively, spotlight your room with blush pink upholstery and accessories against a backdrop of neutral or contrasting dark-painted walls. Off-blacks, indigo blues and charcoals make good color partners, along with some more surprising ones, such as terracotta.

Paint is one of the more affordable ways to create some interesting decorative effects. Color blocking with paint in different shapes, whether following the line of a staircase or extending the outline of an architrave is an eye-catching way to add playful definition and depth. Justyna Korczynska, senior graphic designer at Crown Paints, says, ‘Painting a section of a wall in a strong asymmetric pattern will bring an unexpected freshness to these more muted tones.’

Gatsby tiles
Create a contemporary Art Deco bathroom with the sun rays of Gatsby Pink matt porcelain wall and floor tiles, 200 x 200 x 8mm, £36.95 per sq m, wallsandfloors.co.uk
Crane wallpapers
Crane Birds Rose Pink/Cream Wallpaper, £85 per 10m roll, woodchipandmagnolia.co.uk
Sulking Room Pink no 295
Work that ‘look through’ from one room to another with complementary wallpapers and paint: Lotus BP2071, £137 per 10m roll; Sulking Room Pink No.295, £52 for 2.5L; Inchyra Blue No.289, £32 for 750ml, all farrow-ball.com
Jonathan Adler's Lampert Sofa
Bring a little of US designer Jonathan Adler’s ‘Modern American Glamor’ to a white paneled living room. Spotlight the scheme with a Lampert Sofa in Verona Blush, add an Alphaville Cocktail Table or a Caracas 16-light Chandelier, all jonathanadler.com
Pashmina Flat Matt Emulsion
Contrast pale pink walls, such as Pashmina Flat Matt Emulsion, from £35, crownpaints.co.uk, with upholstery in velvet emerald greens
Calvin Armchair
A blush pink chair is striking next to walls painted in shades of nearly black, dark indigo or charcoal. Calvin Armchair in Champagne Pink Velvet and Linen, £499, atkinandthyme.co.uk
Tapestry Thread and Angelic paint
Give depth and definition with a painted diagonal block of Tapestry Thread (pink) with Angelic (white), both ELLE Decoration by Crown Flat Matt Emulsion, from £35 for 2.5L, crownpaints.co.uk
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