Pink – it’s the ultimate love/hate colour. Crimson, magenta, fuchsia, blush, rose, whatever you call it…it’s still pink. For some, this is a wonderful thing but for others it’s barf city. No other colour conjures up so many connotations, mostly because it seems so naturally associated with all things feminine. There has been many a time when a client has stipulated ‘NO PINK!’ for fear of a tacky, ultra saccharine, ‘girly’ appearance. With the increasing rise of feminist culture, many women steer clear of pink aiming for a more sophisticated look, not wanting to appear ‘too girly’. Specifically in interiors, neutral schemes are generally favoured with what could be deemed more masculine (or at least, genderless) styles of monochrome, navy and grey being most popular. I do believe pink has it’s place in the home, or at least some homes, and it can look beautiful in the right place. What I don’t believe is that there should be particular colours or styles reserved for certain genders or sexual orientations. These days, men wear make up and Vetements has women dressing like DHL drivers so if we can blur the lines in fashion, why not interiors?
Having said that, there aren’t many of us that would happily live in a candy floss land of pink and people are generally more cautious with interiors as they are with fashion as it seems so much more permanent. So how do you do pink in interiors while staying as classy as San Diego?
Stick to accessories
An obvious solution if you’re feeling a little non-committal about the whole pink thing is to dabble in accessories. The odd decorative item here and there is all you need to introduce a hint of pink. If you go off it, they’re easy to remove and if you love it then just add more! Lighting, soft furnishings, ceramics, prints, cabinet knobs, the possibilities are endless. Mix up shades and textures so that it doesn’t look too matchy matchy.
Top row (left to right):
- Serving dish £75.50, soup bowl £22.00, bon bon dish £14.50, plates in Elephant Grey and Blossom Pink £22.50 – all from Branksome China.
- Iittala Kastehelmi votive from Heal’s.
- Pink tray, £19.95 from MiaFleur.
Bottom row (left to right):
- Silence Is Golden art print designed by Bianca Hall, £75.00 from Rockett St George.
- Merino Geometric Blanket in pink, £99.00 from Catesby’s.
- Hot Pink and Black cotton shades, from £42.00 from Graham & Green.
Pair with neutrals
When paired with the right shades of neutrals to complement the undertones of your chosen shade, pink can look incredibly sophisticated and grown up. In the left hand image from Jonathan Adler, the stunning armchair and pouffe contrast spectacularly against the bright white backdrop and sky blue patterned rug. A touch of indigo brings out the vibrancy in the hot pinks. In the bedroom image from Wild & Wolf, the concrete grey accessories give this pastel pink wall a slightly edgier look. In turn, the delicate hue softens and warms the room, which would look stark without the colour. On the right, an almost entirely white room is given a little lift from this rosy pink chair from The French Bedroom Company. The fabric is just the right shade of dusty pink, giving the room a classy look that’s not too sweet.
Left to right:
- Mrs Godfrey chair in Vapor Berry Geometric £2,395.00, Channing three-drawer console £1,850.00, Moroccan pouf in fuchsia £1,095.00 – all Jonathan Adler.
- Wild Wood – Cumulus lampshade £47.95, Gooseneck lamp £59.95, 746 phone £49.95, all in concrete grey from Wild & Wolf.
- The Duchess pink chair £420.00 with Savile Row lamp £299.00 from The French Bedroom Company.
Contrast with dark shades
A great way to use pink but steer away from the sickly sweet look is to set it against deep, dark, moody shades. Pretty much all pinks look good against an inky background and it instantly makes it cool and edgy.
On the left: the Matador armchair in Rose Pink velvet (from £995.00 from Content by Terence Conran) is a sugary bubblegum pink, yet teamed with the midnight blue panelling it is striking and effortlessly chic.
On the right: the Sybilla sofa from Australian homeware site Cranmore Home comes in a dusky sorbet pink which could easily be teamed with similar shades of candy-coloured pastels. Here, however, it’s set against a deep, earthy green which works so beautifully and the result is oh-so stylish.
Consider subtle tones
Still not convinced? Bend the rules slightly and consider some subtler shades of pink. Look to tones of dusty rose, coral and peach for a ‘technically pink but not quite pink’ pink…if you know what I mean. It’s less obvious but totally still counts.
Anticlockwise from top left:
The Chablis & Roses pink velvet sofa from The French Bedroom Company is a chic greyish, dusky pink giving an almost antiqued effect. The barely-there colour makes it perfect for neutral addicts introducing just a little warmth to the otherwise pale room.
- The Heal’s merino & cashmere herringbone throw comes in this gorgeous colourway of red and pink. There’s just enough red in there to give some depth to the tone. Is it pink? Is it orange? Is it red? Who cares when it’s this lovely?
- Coral pink is indeed a pink but it’s a more interesting, less obvious shade and one of my favourite colours for this very reason. I’m all over this coral cushion from ALSO Home which features the stunning colour on a sumptuous cotton velvet. Delicious.
- The Piper bed from Loaf upholstered in a peachy pink linen is a refreshing pop of colour in this bright and breezy bedroom. It’s a sweet shade but also fresh and not too girly making it much more versatile.
Another way to incorporate pink is to disguise it amongst other bright colours. Mixing it up with other brights simply makes it a colourful, vibrant space so it becomes less about pink as an individual colour. Most shades go really well with tones of purple, yellow and turquoise to name a few, and pairing hot fuchsia with a zingy orange is one of my favourite colour combinations.
Clockwise from top left:
- The gorgeous Jaipur cushions from Jonathan Adler add a stunning splash of colour to this neutral living room with their rich hues and striking patterns.
- This custom-sized wall mural from PIXERS features a pink to blue ombre effect to perfectly complement the teal sofa. The combination of colours is so fresh and pretty with just enough pink.
- The Shibuya vase by Kartell is made using one piece of moulded plastic resulting in a seamless join between the colour bands. I love this orange and pink colour clash offset by the smoky base. Available from Heal’s.
- The Midhurst sofa from Sofas & Stuff looks fabulous upholstered in the Manual Canovas Boheme fabric in Rose/Orange. Another awesome pink and orange combo with a striking ikat design.
- I adore these Zandi feather wall hangings from Graham & Green inspired by the traditional ceremonial Juju hat from Cameroon. Juju hats have been a favourite with designers and stylists for a while and are now popping up everywhere. Is it just a fad? Time will tell, but I’m going to enjoy them while they last. Choose from pink, white or turquoise and in small, medium or large sizes. Go for one on its own or cluster them as shown above for a beautiful display of colour and texture.
Use it somewhere unexpected
Throw in your splash of pink in an unexpected way. A pink cushion or throw is all well and good but if you add the element of surprise, it becomes all the more interesting. Take these wooden shutters for example, which are almost always seen in some shade of white. Be brave and buck the trend by opting for a burst of colour. The idea of pink shutters sounds a little crazy but don’t you think they look kinda cool?
Similarly, this beautiful kitchen has been given a refreshingly different look using pink paint on the cabinets. The muted tone isn’t a far cry from the ever-popular grey kitchen trend but has enough colour to add a bit of individuality.
Another way to add an unexpected element is not to make the colour unexpected but the actual item. This adorable clip on bird could appear anywhere from a lampshade to a house plant to a curtain edge. It’s a quirky accessory and the fact that it’s pink is just a bonus!
Left to right:
- Coral Blush tracked wooden window shutters from Clement Browne.
- Little clip on bird – pink, £2.50 from Rockett St George.
- Kitchen painted in Myland’s Eccleston Pink.
Go for one statement piece
If you’re worried about pink overload then just go for one statement piece to give you the impact in one hit. A really strong accessory will do the job or go for a larger piece of furniture for maximum effect. These are all shown within neutral schemes because the general public just love their neutrals but you can still have a pink statement piece in a room with a different colour base.
Anticlockwise from top left:
- The Vitra Eames Elephant is an iconic piece that will look stylish in any room. Goes down well with kids of all ages. Featured here in light pink from Heal’s.
- This Pink Lips cushion by Jimmie Martin from Rockett St George may be just a cushion but it’s enough to make quite the statement. The other side features an image with red lips so you can switch it round depending on your mood too. This is one cool cushion. How cool? Uber cool.
- Graham & Green’s Pink Valentin armchair is both fun and majestic all at the same time. I’m a fan of a statement armchair and this would look fantastic either as a standalone piece or to accompany a contrasting sofa. What I love about the design is that you could position it in such a way that the hot pink interior was a pleasant surprise!
- The aptly named Flopster sofa from Loaf is all kinds of gorgeous. Doesn’t it just make you want to leap straight onto it? The fact that it also looks like the marshmallow of sofas helps enormously. Comfort City, here we come.
Play with patterns and textures
Patterns and textures can make a huge difference to the way we view colour so this is a brilliant way to introduce a shade of pink but still convey a particular style. The slubby raspberry linen on the Jonathan Adler bench sofa below creates a vintage feel while the delicate floral pattern in the Ian Mankin Kew Nordic wallcovering is soft and feminine. Striped ticking fabrics inject a cool coastal vibe and the sharp lines of the geometric pattern add an edgy Scandinavian feel to this cosy House of Rym blanket. Don’t forget other textures on solid pieces such as painted finishes, rose gold, and pink hued glass, which looks beautiful and subtle in both candle and artificial light.
Clockwise from top left:
- Quilt in Ticking Peony 01 £24.50 per metre, cushions in Ticking Pink 02 £24.50 per metre and Devon Stripe Peony £24.50 per metre – all Ian Mankin.
- Regent bench sofa (£1,750.00) and Gio rug (£2,750.00) from Jonathan Adler.
- Imperial wallcovering in Kew Nordic Pink, £39.50 per metre from Ian Mankin.
- Dusty Pink Diamond Lantern, £16.95 from Graham & Green.
- House of Rym Heavenly Honeycomb blanket in Rose, £55.00 from Shedquarters.
So what’s the verdict? If you’re already a firm fan then I hope this post has given you a little pink-spiration! Perhaps you weren’t keen but are now seeing pink through rose-tinted glasses. Or if you hate pink – always have, always will – then that’s ok! Can’t win ’em all I suppose. For me, there will always be pink and there are times in life when only pink will do. 💗
Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about pink!
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