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Get in the pink

Last year, for the first time ever, Pantone, the institute that predicts colour trends, chose two colours – Rose Quartz and Serenity – instead of its customary one. This year, the company returned to tradition by choosing a single shade, Greenery, an arresting hue of green (think Kermit the Frog) that Pantone says is “refreshing and revitalising” and “symbolic of new beginnings.” I wish Pantone had broken with tradition again and for the first time repeated a colour, and one in particular: Rose Quartz.

Rose Quartz is a soft light pink that, according to Pantone, fulfills “our yearning for reassurance and security.” If you ask me, it’s just the sort of calming colour our country needs right now. I say this from experience. The first apartment I rented out of college had a Greenery-ish bedroom; it was a tough year. Bright greens are not restful. They can even be anxiety-inducing.

Rose Quartz has the opposite effect of Greenery. (In fact, the two colours literally sit on the opposite side of the colour wheel, which actually makes them complementary.) It’s not a flashy, bright Barbie Dreamhouse kind of pink, but rather a gentle blush tone like that of ballet slippers, Band-Aids and seashells. And if you think it’s a girlie shade, think again. Pink hues such as Rose Quartz tend to have gray undertones, so they are more sophisticated and less saccharine than other pinks.

Aside from being calming, these pale-pink tones have another positive effect: People look good in them. Blush tones complement most skin complexions, so they work well on walls or as lighting. The famed New York restaurant La Grenouille is known for its rosy glow, which comes not from guests drinking pink champagne but rather from the pink lightbulbs in all its fixtures.

As for the impact of pale-pink walls, I experienced firsthand their flattering glow when I walked into the living room of interior designer Katie Ridder and her architect husband, Peter Pennoyer, in Upstate New York. I had seen pictures of the pink room in their recently published book, “A House in the Country,” but the photos did not do the room justice. Ridder covered the walls in custom-coloured de Gournay tea paper, which gives the walls immense texture and depth, but the colour on its own makes the room one of the warmest and most inviting I have ever been in.

Of course, not everyone has access to custom tea paper, so Ridder suggests using Benjamin Moore’s Brighton Rock Candy to replicate the look.

However, like all paint shades, there is not one that looks good in every room, so it’s best to try a few samples. Other paint colours worth trying are Pink Ground, Calamine or Middleton Pink from Farrow & Ball or Tissue Pink from Benjamin Moore.

Washington Post-Bloomberg