Baltimore Sun Sunday - - GAR­DEN -

“For many peo­ple of a cer­tain age, calamine lo­tion was an in­trin­sic part of early life. Ap­plied to treat scraped knees, stings and the gen­eral tra­vails of a lively child­hood, it was al­ways of com­fort. And what was more calm­ing, the ac­tual lo­tion or its ex­tra­or­di­nary del­i­cate color? It cer­tainly cre­ates sooth­ing rooms in the mod­ern world,” she says.

As for the fishy one, the name was found on a dec­o­ra­tor’s in­voice dated 1805 for a li­brary. “Salmon is the color, and ‘Dead’ ac­tu­ally refers to the matte paint fin­ish,” Studholme says.

An­other rosy paint that Studholme thinks is well­named was in­spired by the soft, fem­i­nine shade found in tra­di­tional ladies’ pri­vate quar­ters. But

“Boudoir Pink” didn’t sit right, she says.

“So, we spent time con­sid­er­ing how the boudoir got its name, only to dis­cover it comes from the French ‘bouder,’ mean­ing ‘to sulk.’ Thus, Sulk­ing Room Pink was born,” she says.

Pink has en­joyed a fa­vored po­si­tion in the color pan­theon since at least 2014, when movie direc­tor Wes Anderson clad his “Grand Bu­dapest Ho­tel” in the hue. That was fol­lowed by rose gold fever. Color com­pany Pan­tone des­ig­nated light pinks as sig­na­ture col­ors in both 2016 and 2017.

Paint mar­keters gen­er­ally like names that are as­pi­ra­tional, that stir the imag­i­na­tion. First Light is Ben­jamin Moore’s 2020 Color of the Year, a dreamy, soft shade of pink. The com­pany’s direc­tor of color mar­ket­ing and de­vel­op­ment, An­drea Magno, says that while the color was al­ready part of Ben­jamin Moore’s 3,500-hue li­brary, “it’s al­ways for­tu­itous when the trend con­cept and color name com­ple­ment one an­other. While de­scrip­tions like ‘light pink’ are quite straight­for­ward, we also look for names that evoke pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences.”

PPG Paint’s se­nior color mar­ket­ing man­ager, Dee Schlot­ter, says Linen Ruf­fle is the top pink re­quested on the com­pany’s Paintzen plat­form. It’s a pale, tau­petinged white with a pink un­der­tone, named to evoke im­ages of ruffly pil­lows and cur­tains.

And what about Kenny’s Kiss or Salsa Diane, two other pinks in the PPG col­lec­tion? The former was named af­ter an em­ployee’s dog; the lat­ter af­ter a color lab stylist’s beachy dress.

Sher­win-Wil­liams’ color of the year is Ro­mance, an­other gen­tle pink with a name that stirs feel­ings.

Ebel, of Back­drop, says pinks have been the most fun to name. “I wanted to keep the col­ors and names ap­proach­able for peo­ple like me — I wasn’t a huge pink per­son be­fore Back­drop,” she says.

“Hara­juku Morn­ing was in­spired by a trip we took to Tokyo in 2016. The color is bright, airy and fun, and re­minded us of the play­ful­ness of Takeshita Street, but in the morn­ing be­fore the crowds. Mod­ern Love was in­spired by one of my fa­vorite New York Times col­umns — the color makes me think of the beau­ti­ful, messy feel­ings that come with re­la­tion­ships,” she says.

Just like the beau­ti­ful, messy re­la­tion­ship we all have with the brushes, rollers and paint col­ors we bring home.


Ben­jamin Moore’s Direc­tor of Color Mar­ket­ing & De­vel­op­ment An­drea Magno says that while the color First Light was al­ready part of the 3500-hue li­brary, “it's al­ways for­tu­itous when the trend con­cept and color name com­ple­ment one an­other.”

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