The Power of Pink!

Continuing in our color exploration, let's look at pink.  A color that is at once girly and strong, bright and calm, bubbly and powerful.  Often when we think of pink, we think of little girl's rooms.  In fact, that correlation has been so ingrained in us that for a time, pink virtually moved off the design field.  However, now it is coming back, roaring back into furniture and accessories and slowly staking it's place back into our interiors.

Historically, pink was not always a 'girly' color.  In fact, throughout history, pink was associated with strength, power and boldness.  So much so that little boys were dressed in pink, an off-shoot of red, which was worn by men.  Little girls, on the other hand, were dressed in blue, a color considered to be more calm, soft and delicate.  While there is no certain knowledge of when the shift occurs, some schools of thought believe it to have taken place in ancient China.  Pink dyes were readily available and thus inexpensive, whereas blue dyes where quite rare and difficult to come by.  Given the Chinese belief that men are to be more valued, blue was used to dye the clothes of sons and show the wealth of his family 1.

Moving forward to modern day, whether it stems from the Chinese practices or not, pink is now considered to be a feminine color.  To that end, as women have fought and nearly achieved equality, pink is now the flag color of powerful women everywhere.  We see it especially in sporting gear and fashion and are finally starting to see it develop into objects for our homes and finishes for our decor.
 

In Practice...

Houzz - Martha O'Hara Interiors - Austin, Texas

Houzz - Martha O'Hara Interiors - Austin, Texas

One of the big trends currently is the use of white.  Calling to mind Scandinavian homes where they often work at maximizing the light, white interiors are becoming very common.  To keep a home from looking too clinical, using bright colors adds fun and depth.  Shown above, using splashes of pink breathes life and fun into what could otherwise be a cold, clinical-looking space.

Houzz - Coburn Architecture - United States

Houzz - Coburn Architecture - United States

The hues of pink now available are greatly varied and one can find the perfect shade for their space.  This is Coral Pink 2003-50 by Benjamin Moore.  It gives the room a great cozy feeling while maximizing the light both day and night.

Houzz - Joni Spear Interior Design - St. Louis

Houzz - Joni Spear Interior Design - St. Louis

Ready to really put a punch in your home?  This stylish living room boasts Benjamin Moore's Pink Corsage #1349 on the walls.  With the fresh green on the inside of the built-in bookcases and the elegant white trim work, this room really masters the art of bold colors on the walls.

Houzz - Rachel Laxer Interiors - London

Houzz - Rachel Laxer Interiors - London

Another great way to add color into your home is through wallpaper.  This beautiful flock paper is from Cole & Son (though sadly discontinued).  It sports a metallic background with a velvet dusting to give the pattern.  Using metallic based papers adds depth to any room you use it in.  It will not only reflect light, but also objects in the room, creating an ever-changing wall scape.  Pair in a few simple details like the hot pink cushions and the custom bedspread and you have a beautiful room that is not at all girly.

Houzz - Riverdale Renovation - Toronto

Houzz - Riverdale Renovation - Toronto

I don't know about you, but after seeing this, I'm all about convincing my partner to let me paint our front door fuschia.  Consider it a fresh take on the red front door craze with a little extra twist of personality thrown in.  While this home pairs a fuschia adirondak chair on the porch, you can easily tie in the color with pots of hot pink flowers, hanging or seated on the ground.

Get Inspired...

Truth be told, when it comes to pinks, this girl has a hard time picking her favorites.  However, after careful deliberation, I was able to narrow it down to these six (plus one more because I just love it!).  Top to bottom, left to right:  Pink Amour #690C-2 from Behr; Tickled Pink #2002-50 from Benjamin Moore; Cosette Pink #RL2114 from Ralph Lauren; Watermelon Pink #120B-6 from Behr; Colonial Pink #RL2127 from Ralph Lauren; Palm Beach Pink #RL2107 from Ralph Lauren; and finally "hot pink" from Google (no paint color that I have found matches it other than fluorescent spray paint).

When pairing pink with other colors, follow the feel of the room you are trying to achieve.  If you want a more cozy space, go with a deep, warm color such as brown to ground the pink.  If you want a space that really stands up and says 'hello!', pair with  bolder colors such as deep blues, vibrant greens or even tangerine orange.  If you want a space that is elegant, classic and tailored, pair your pinks with whites, greys and hits of black.

As you gain confidence using pink in your home, remember this key detail: pink makes us look good.  The reflection of the rosy color on our skin makes us look healthy and beautiful.  Softer pinks (such as the Pink Amour or Tickled Pink above) will give this effect the greatest.  As you move to bolder, brighter hues, you will still look rosy but likely leaning towards the 'I-drank-too-much-wine' side of rosy.