Colour

For­get ideas of giddy girl­ish­ness, this new neu­tral is per­fect for in­te­ri­ors

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

The pol­i­tics of pow­der pink and why it’s per­fect for in­te­ri­ors

Over re­cent years, pink has led the kind of dou­ble life usu­ally

re­served for comic book he­roes. By day, it is caught up in the pol­i­tics of fem­i­nist de­bate. By night, a softer shade has stolen our hearts.

Pale pinks are tra­di­tion­ally con­sid­ered the pin­na­cle of girl­ish­ness. But this has only been the case since the mid-cen­tury: be­fore then, if pink was twinned with any gen­der, it was male rather than fe­male. It was seen as a faded ver­sion of red, a mil­i­taris­tic hue – while blue re­called the Vir­gin Mary and was con­sid­ered dain­tier and more ap­pro­pri­ate for girls. Now this seems al­most un­think­able: for bet­ter or worse, pink has be­come a politi­cised short­hand for women and women’s is­sues. It was the colour adopted by the Women’s Marches ear­lier this year, even while an­other strand of fem­i­nism de­plored the pink tax and the mo­not­o­nous con­fetti of pink para­pher­na­lia dumped over lit­tle girls from birth. How­ever, this par­tic­u­lar shade of pink – per­haps be­cause it con­tains sub­tle dashes of grey and yel­low – has the ad­van­tage of feel­ing like an ar­chi­tec­tural and neu­tral shade, rather than a di­vi­sive one.

The term ‘pow­der pink’ dates back to 1900, when a mag­a­zine rhap­sodised about fine French flan­nel blouses avail­able in this shade. Now, a cen­tury later, it has been em­braced by mil­len­ni­als. The starter pis­tol was Ap­ple’s rose gold iphones and Pan­tone’s anoint­ing of ‘Rose Quartz’ as its colour of the year in 2016.

What­ever the rea­son for its suc­cess, brands and so­cial me­dia alike are awash with im­ages cel­e­brat­ing pow­der pink (there’s an en­tire ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Pin­ter­est board ded­i­cated to the shade). Be­cause it is neu­tral, it makes an ap­peal­ing all-over wall colour. Far­row & Ball has two op­tions – the dustier, softer ‘Peignoir’ and the cleaner ‘Pink Ground’ ( both £43.50 for 2.5 litres), while Ben­jamin Moore’s ‘Tis­sue Pink’ is a peren­nial favourite (£58 for 3.79 litres). For those look­ing to ac­ces­sorise, Scan­di­na­vian com­pa­nies Hay and Nor­mann Copen­hagen are a good place to start. The lat­ter has em­braced pow­der pink on ev­ery­thing from rugs (‘Oona’, £399.90) to can­dle­sticks (‘Nocto’, £14.90). Given this glut of pop­u­lar pink for the masses, per­haps there’s no need for the colour to lead a dou­ble life af­ter all.

This par­tic­u­lar pink has the ad­van­tage of feel­ing like an ar­chi­tec­tural and neu­tral shade, rather than a di­vi­sive one

More paints to try ‘ Rose Damask II’ chalky emul­sion, £18.56 for one litre, Francesca’s Paints (francesca­s­paint.com). ‘Cheri­ton Bloom’ emul­sion by Hem­s­ley, £27.99 for 2.5 litres, Home­base ( home­base.co.uk)

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