Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Pretty in Pink; It's a Colour That Often Conjures Images of Gauche Girliness, but Used Well It Can Create a Calming, Cool Haven

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Pretty in Pink; It's a Colour That Often Conjures Images of Gauche Girliness, but Used Well It Can Create a Calming, Cool Haven

Article excerpt

Byline: HOME STYLE With Chris Read

Pretty has never been a word that really appeals to me - it has connotations of weakness and subjugation and a rather affected, niminy-piminy air to it. So I was not wild about a new trend emerging of all things pretty, soft and feminine.

But in a world that feels increasingly dangerous and out of control, I found myself responding with a smile rather than an eye roll. It's the old Morris adage of 'Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.' And even better if they are both!

Functional brings satisfaction, beautiful brings solace, a soothing of feathers ruffled by a strident world. Oddly, 'pretty' is also part of a trend that is removing gender stereotypes, so when I call this 'feminine' I perhaps need to rethink my terminology. Things decorative, soft, pastel and yes, even pink are now for all, not just the female, and all the better for it.

The trend is not too sugary sweet either, it has some bold touches - this Chinoiserie wallpaper by Lime Lace is bold and over scale, and would look great in a hallway or behind a bed. So that it doesn't become overwhelming, pair it with lots of clean lines and simple bold shapes.

One way of melding such a striking feature to a scheme would be to paint an article of furniture in, say, the darker pink, or picking up on the green or blue tones.

Two examples of using murals, either painted or papered, are shown here, both pretty but both quite different in atmosphere. The bold floral from Essential Home is paired with strong contemporary, even slightly industrial furniture and accessories, none of which stop the overall look feeling softly pretty but which temper it and allow it to be habitable.

Another aspect of this trend that stops it flying away with the fairies is the use of grey to temper it, from soft English sky grey to full on charcoal. …

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