Pink That Goes "Pop"Pink That Goes "Pop"
Soft and sweet, blushing and babyish: Pink is the most popular color for little girls' rooms. But this versatile color is not just for nurseries. Pick the right shade and pink can be sophisticated, spirited and sexy. Just take a look at these gorgeous grown-up pink rooms by color-savvy designers.
When the young woman who owns this loft in San Francisco's hip South of Market district asked Joan Osburn, of Osburn Design, (www.osburndesign.com) to decorate her home/office, the designer knew that the interiors would have to be gutsy and fun to reflect her client's personality.
"She is very creative, and collects everything fun and whimsical," Osburn says. "This pink allows those collections to 'pop' and becomes part of the overall scheme, rather than just acting as a boring backdrop."
"Remember that there are many permutations of pink," she says. "It does not have to be bubble-gum pink. By adding other hues like yellow or gray, you can soften or morph the color to be pink with an attitude of peach and fool the eye."
Pink...For Shore!Pink...For Shore!
"My client wanted the place to feel lively and energetic," Loecke says,"and because this is a rental, we couldn't change anything structurally, so color was really the key." To select just the right vibrant shades, Loecke looked to his client's wardrobe. "She wears a lot of bright pink," he notes, "so I thought it was the perfect color for her bedroom. The room doesn't get a lot of natural light, but this pink really makes it bright and cheerful."
To add even more sunshine, Loecke added a yellow fabric headboard and touches of bright orange. That's not always an easy combo to pull off, Loecke acknowledges, but can work beautifully if you bear a few things in mind: "Part of the reason this particular pink and this orange work well together," he says, "is that they both have red in them, but the orange isn't too red. They're just similar enough that they play off of each other. Also," he says, "when you're combining two colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, the colors have to be the same intensity; don't put a pastel pink with a vibrant orange, or a peach with a fuchsia."
To help pull the colors together, Loecke used a SeaCloth fabric that incorporates the various colors for the drapes. "But don't get hung up on finding an exact match," he says. "It's really just about blending the colors visually to make it work."
Photograph by Wendell Webber.
Patterned PinkPatterned Pink,/strong>
"We chose pink because it was the least obvious choice," says Guild, creative director and founder of Designers Guild (www.designersguild.com), and author of Pattern. "I also think it is a dynamic, warm color that immediately gives a space a sense of strength and verve. Too often, modern interiors don't use any textiles and the result is a cold, hard-edged interior. Here we wanted to create an extremely contemporary space, but make an interesting use of classic themes like flocked wallpaper, cut velvet and silk."
To create the look she was after, Guild used fabrics of her own design — "Mantua" in Cassis on the sofa; "Durbar Hall" in Schiapperelli on the walls; and at the windows, "Durbar Hall" flocked silk and "Murano" striped silk. "This juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary is both stylish and sophisticated," Guild says. "Having lots of white and neutral detailing allows the color to sing through and adds a freshness and vitality to a modern space, and using textured wallpaper as opposed to a solid color adds pattern and more of a decorative feel to a plain room."
Powerful Pink in the Powder RoomPowerful Pink in the Powder Room
"The couple that owns this home has grown children, grandchildren, pets and a very 'big' life," Osburn says. "In keeping with their lively personalities, the entire house — inside and out — is filled with color; no white cop-outs!"
Working with artists and artisans, Osburn created custom colored Venetian plaster in various colors for use throughout the home. And while all of the shades are rich and luscious, Osburn says, "I made this color the most dynamic in the house, to compensate for the fact that there is no natural light in this powder room."
While regular paint will not give you the same subtle sheen and variations in color as the plaster, you can find a similar hue in most manufacturers' palettes. Or, choose a deep, sexy shade of your own. "The aim," Osburn says, "is to delight, rather than to shock — but never to be boring. Life is just too short."
Pretty With PinkPretty With Pink
"I often decorate with pink," says London-based designer Tricia Guild. "I use it as an accent color to add vitality and I also use it as a main part of the decorating scheme. Black and white looks softer with flashes of pink, and chocolate brown with shocking pink is a fabulously rich combination."
Margaret Walch, director of The Color Association of the United States, currently favors a "paisley pink," a soft, salmony color. "It's a pink that a man would wear for a necktie," she says, "so he'll take it comfortably in the bedroom." Walch likes to pair pink with a soft, elephant gray for a sophisticated look. "It's a bit conventional, but sometimes, it's nice to be conventional," she says.
Dutch Boy Color Specialist Donna Schroeder likes to mix Dhurrie Pink with deep sea blues like the company's Baltic Sea and Waterloo. "A dark color like that provides an unexpected pop of color to a sophisticated scheme," Schroeder says, "without shifting the feel to be too playful."
For a less subdued combination, try bright pink with Kelly green for a young, preppy look. And for a taste of English country, pick raspberry pink and cream. Although the pastel Santa Fe palette of peachy-pink and aqua that was popular in the 1980s looks almost comically dated today, you can update the pink/turquoise combo by using a deep, bright pink and a deep but not muddy teal. Or, go for the glam, as designer Jamie Drake (www.drakedesignassociates.com) recently did at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York City, by combining bright pink, soft plum and luscious lilac with little touches of burnished gold.
If you're not sure how you're going to like a particular color combination, Osburn says "pick all the paint colors that you like, no holds barred." Then narrow down to two or three options and paint test swatches of them on the walls, considering different lights and times of day, as well as how they work with the fabrics you've chosen. Once you've found a paint color you love, "just go for it. Remember that it's only paint," she says. "If you aren't happy with it you can change it very easily."