Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pink's Color Story

          This picture was taken near sunset at the Tulsa Garden Center. Its glowing color inspired this post. So much has been written about pink, it must be an easy color to live with and is loved by many, even men.

Pink’s Color Story

            Pink is soothing, comfortable, undemanding, restful to the eye and brain, pleasant and inoffensive. At the same time such a positive color connotations and phrases such as ---pretty in pink, in the pink, tickled pink---helps troubled folks relax. “Bubble Gum Pink” colors the walls in some insane asylums to calm patients down according to color psychologists.
            Pink is a simple pastel, a combination of red and white. Although it does not have a place in the standard color spectrum, Tricia Guild in her book On Color for one, argues that it is a color in its own right, indicating that the spectrum is more a matter of physics than of perception.
“Certainly pink is unique among simple pastels in having been accorded a specific name. The white in palest pink is the ‘color’ linking it with other pastels, the adhesive force. In all pastel hues, both absorption and reflection of light are moderate, because of the white dilution. Depending on how much white it contains, pink encompasses many shades, from the subdued color sometimes known as dawn pink to a flamboyant magenta. This variability makes it adaptable for use with many other colors, both primary and secondary.
            In interior design, pink is often the choice for bedrooms, where it is used to create an ambience of relaxation and calm. Pink brings light to a dark room. It also carries with it an element of sweetness and frivolity. But watch out, just like red, pink has a warm yellow side and a cool blue side, and associating the two can be tricky, especially in make-up.
            The theatrical aspects of the color come into play with hot pink and magenta. Magenta is another of the aniline dyes, based on coal tar, and was one of the first synthetic dyes to be commercially produced around 1860 in more of a mauve tint. Magenta comes from the blue side of red, its effect is to exert the invisible energies of both infrared and ultraviolet, making it the most dynamic shade in this color range. Perhaps it is fitting that it was named after a battle at Magenta in Lombardy, Italy in 1859.”

           It is a shame that such a gorgeous color was named after a battle, but labels do not take away from the beauty of a color. 

           Various interior designers recommend pink among the colors to use in rooms to make you look younger! Suzanne Kasler recommends Glidden's CHECKERBERRY 32RR 50/260 "because it is a gorgeous
peony pink, with a bit of raspberry in it. That undertone is what keeps it from looking sickeningly sweet. It's a happy, cheerful color that makes everyone look younger, even the house!" For the timid, she recommends painting only one wall with this color. Charalotte Moss recommends Benjamin Moore's RAZZLE DAZZLE 1348. Her comments: "Hot pink. What other colors do you know that start with 'hot?' Hot pink makes me feel ready to cha-cha. I think of zinnias, poppies, bougainvillea, strawberry souffle, and sassy skirts. It's vibrant and alive, opent o possibilities. Why don't you high-gloss your dressing room or bathroom? Who needs Starbucks after that?"
            Michele Bernhardt of prescribes the colors you crave more of for your house. "Pink opens the heart. Gentle and soothing, pink is the color of love. It promotes tenderness and is a comfort in times of emotional transition. Use it in a room when you are trying to increase receptivity and understanding." She also recommends, as do I, using pink-tinted light bulbs to make complexions look rosy. Just for fun, she suggests using pink for your cell phone color. And, rose wines always look so refreshing.

            "Why not paint a powder room in the hot pink of a Gerbera daisy" asks Randall Beale, Interior Designer. "There's nothing more chic than hot pink walls with a white marble floor and countertop. I would use this in high-gloss lacquer, because it's all about shine today." The color he recommends is Benjamin Moore's PEONY 2079-30.

             Carol Prisant, another wonderful ID, is unapologetically stuck on bubble-gum pink. She shares a secret with us: "In the interest of full disclosure, I'd have to admit that I love pink rooms because in my innermost soul, I'm still brunette (her hair seems to be an ash blonde at the moment) . Remember 'blue is for blondes and pink is for brunettes'? On the other hand, Diva, my naturally blonde terrier, looks wicked in pink, and is." Carol especially likes Ralph Lauren Paint's HIBISCUS GH133. 

             Echoing Carol's enthusiasm for pink, Mimi McMakin recommends Farrow & Ball's PINK GROUND 202. "Being blonde is almost like being a dandle, and when you look especially great, you're a strutting candle! We look best in what I like to think of as 'cool heat.'

             "I love a pale, pale pink. But not pure pink. The nicest pink is something that has a little lavender in it, maybe. I'd never paint my walls as colorfully as I dress, and even in New York, I don't wear black." Angele Parlange adores Benjamin Moore's PAISLEY PINK 1261.

              The final decorator who opined about blondes and colors: "It all depends on your age, your skin tone, and whether or not you're a natural blonde. But no pale pinks. I find that blondes in the South like blues, and in colder climates, reds. Although being in red rooms makes you hungry, so maybe it's just big blondes who should have red walls!" Alessandra Branca recommends Farrow & Ball's RECTORY RED 217 instead of a pink.

(Decorators' comments taken from HOUSE BEAUTIFUL: 500+FAVORITE PAINT COLORS from Spring/Summer 2010.)


  1. I just love the name Checkerberry .. and that it's peony pink is icing on the cake. Nice post!
    P.S. I gave you the Stylish Blogger award! congrats, and check it out on my blog.

  2. I am going to the paint store to check out that fascinating color. It is time to repaint our dining room, and that one may be perfect! Thanks, again, for your recommendation; I appreciate the encouragement.