Ever since we collaborated on The Right Color, Heather Smith MacIsaac and I have happily continued our ongoing and spirited conversation about color and design. This is our first entry in what we hope will be an inspired and inspiring series on color in the built world.
After working with color for 25 years, I can easily say that pink is the terrier of color—normally playful and cute, but big and brash if unleashed. Though pink is commonly feminized, it can hang with the guys and head in a direction far bossier than its sweet reputation.
Pink can be used in surprising and dynamic ways because, in doses, it can prove to be a great foil for an otherwise neutral or sedate palette. Even though we are likely to think of it as a little girl color, pink—especially when it veers away from candy—can be a very adult choice, even the predominant hue in a room. In intense or hot tones, pink is an incredible accent color. Here are some ideas for adding a bit of pink to your life:
An elegant, slightly aged pink forms the perfect envelope for this minimal arrangement of old and new furniture and lighting. The decoration makes a convincing case for mixing tones of pink, from the wall color to the rose-y dress in the painting to the coral of the upholstery. Looking for a similar wall color? Consider Nymph from the Eve Ashcraft Collection for Fine Paints of Europe.
Above: A tableau styled by Netherlands-based Mirella Sahetapy.
This still life is a great example of pink holding its own in a sea of more "serious" colors. We found the two flat trays in the foreground at COS, one of our favorite shops in Europe. We absolutely loved how discordant the coral-y pink of the diamond tray looked with the milk chocolate brown of its octagonal partner, a color combination straight out of the 1970s. Paler pinks, from shell to salmon, cast the Morandi-like arrangement of ceramic vessels in a new light.
Above: Photograph by Eve Ashcraft.
This is a snap from my studio of a color study for a current client project. Dirtier, earthier tones are often overlooked when we think of working with pink in decoration, so dominant is Barbie-pink in our culture, but the former work beautifully as warm and less-expected wall and accent colors.
Above: Sara Woodrow's office in Sweden, featuring a simple stained Ikea worktable. See more at Smam. Hot pink is HOT and, in these examples, economical. The stain on this worktable (for something similar, consider Hannant's Parisian Pink Stain) demonstrates how color alone can furnish a room.
Above: Photograph via Ministry of Deco. In the bedroom, pennies’ worth of bright pink tape (consider Japanese Washi Tape; $7 for two rolls from Cute Tape) is all it takes to animate white walls. Keep in mind, though, that the hotter the pink the more critical the dose—a little goes a long way. Here a sorbet color that references rather than matches the tape seems an appropriately softer cast of pink for the bed linens.
Looking for more color inspiration? Check out our Palette and Paints posts, which run the gamut from rosy hues to moody indigos.