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