Interior design: think pink, “a very cheerful and energetic color”


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Cheerful, energetic, warm, fun, friendly, full of life. These are some of the words designer Kate Austin uses to describe the color pink.

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“I absolutely adore a vibrant hot pink. I love pink because it’s a very cheerful and energetic color. It brightens up any room – like a big bouquet of hot pink peonies or tulips – and is a huge mood enhancer,” says Austin, the artist whose quirky prints are the cornerstone of Kate Austin Designs, which creates womenswear and home accessories.

Austin has had a hot pink kitchen table for the past decade and still loves it. Hot pink can be found in the sun and sky at dawn and dusk and is the color of so many flowers, she recalls. “It’s such a warm and inviting color full of life,” she says. “I have a small garden in Toronto with about 30 rose bushes crammed in different shades of pink…I love how the pink shines and gives off such a fun and friendly vibe.”

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Six years ago, the Pantone Institute crowned Rose Quartz, a soft pink tone, one of its colors of the year, along with a cool, tranquil blue. In 2020, Benjamin Moore named First Light its color of the year – the first time the paint giant has bestowed the coveted title on a pink hue. “It symbolizes an optimistic and hopeful start to the next 10 years,” he said at the time.

Years later, pink is still in style. “We certainly see a lot of pink in fashion and in spring we always see pinks and pastels, but pink in particular has been very trendy for interiors for some time,” says Sharon Grech, color consultant at Benjamin Moore. Canada.

This room features a light pink ottoman, pink upholstered dining chair and pink tassel pillow.
This room features a light pink ottoman, pink upholstered dining chair and pink tassel pillow. Photo taken by Homesense


She is especially thrilled to see pink being used as a neutral. “We’re so used to seeing a whole house in white, gray or some variation of those colors, so it’s nice to see how pink works as a neutral. Seeing it as a full backdrop shows how it works with the woods and metals that we use in our interiors, as well as with black and so many other colors.This is the secret of a good neutral: it goes well with other colors.

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As a descendant of red, pink contains some of the characteristics of red, although sometimes in more subtle ways. “The emotional aspects of pink and its attributes are very diverse,” says Pantone Institute creative collaborator Jane Boddy. “While soft, light pink tones display a delicate, tender touch and fragrant floral roses promote well-being, sweet candy pinks are infused with a more playful nature and bouncy warm pink hues energize and elevate.”

Grech encourages you to consider the intensity of its chorma — a quality of color that combines hue and saturation — when choosing a pink. “He has versatility and can go from a whisper to a shout,” she says. Blush can set the background, for example, while fuschia and earthy tones create “beautiful energy” when used as accents.

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“While historically you might have thought of roses as very feminine/girly, today we think roses are modern,” says Boddy. She describes the “slightly distant color” as “both feminine and masculine, modern and playful, refined and expressive” and says the updated pinks are clean and fresh and have a little hint of lilac or blue.

Grech agrees. “We used to have very strong associations with color, but I think those have really broken down over the last 20 years in a wonderful way, so we can look at color as a form of self-expression, but not so much as a simple label… Pink has become the poster child for gender neutrality.

Kate Austin Design's spring home collection features tulip pink.
Kate Austin Design’s spring home collection features tulip pink. Photo by Esther Hollywood Photography

How to use pink in your home

Do you think pink? Here are some of the ways Benjamin Moore suggests incorporating flattering color into your home:

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  • Brighter, softer pink paint colors work well as accents or in rooms with lots of natural light. The more subdued pale pink hues are perfect for entire rooms.
  • Pink walls in living rooms are both comforting and sophisticated. Pink is a popular choice for bedrooms and bathrooms. Pale pink paint colors offer a refreshing alternative to white ceilings, adding a designer touch to a room’s fifth wall.
  • Complementary colors are the term for hues that face each other on the color wheel. When you think of pink complementary colors, look at the green color family. Pair a blush pink with an earthy green for a nice balance, for example. Pink also works well with cool grays and warm taupes.

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