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Designing with The Color Duo of the Year

Designing with The Color Duo of the Year

If you haven't had the pleasure, let me introduce you to the colors of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Yes, I did say colors.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, let me introduce you to the colors of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Yes, I did say colors.

How very clever of Pantone to add a complimentary sidekick to work from.

But how relevant is this color duo?

When you think of pink what do you see? Do you see a bubblegum pink, an 80’s mauve, bright fuchsia - what comes to mind? I know we all have a reference to a certain hue. The gamut of shades swings wide on a color like this.

Let me tell you what I see.

Traveling back in time to those impressionable years as a wee child, I have a memory that might be all too familiar to anyone who had a creative mother, like mine.

Being adopted into a family of three boys, let’s just say, when I came into the picture, “All pink broke loose”.

Though I would confess that one of my favorite TV shows growing up WAS the Pink Panther, it was safe to say it was never my favorite color. Like ever.

In fact, I would say that my mother, bless her heart, intentionally baptized not only my walls and floor-to-ceiling curtain panels bu,t my furniture in a unapologetically Pepto-Bismol Pink. 

The effect of that color in such heavy doses made me eternally uncertain if it was day or night. Therefore, even before I set a foot into the world of design, I always had an aversion to the color pink.

However, even though I’m opinionated about this color, the funny thing is one of my daughters has quite the taking to the color pink. Every time I walk past her room, it’s like a re-enactment of my childhood. Not only has she colored her hair more shades of pink that I could count, but to top it off, I helped re-salvage an old organ a client had given her and painted it - pink.

However, I’ve grown up a bit to understand that values and tones can play rather nicely.  Though I rarely design with pink in mind, this year's Rose Quartz can be beautifully integrated even into a masculine room or color story.

But why the color pink, you ask? Good question. Believe it or not there is a great deal that goes into selecting the color of the year and its sidekick, Serenity Blue.

One of the most interesting reasons is based heavily in psychology.

I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention lately(insert sarcastic side-smile), but society as a whole has gotten just plain weird. Universally, politically and spiritually our landscape as a whole is pretty grim. We all want hope and peace in a generation that spits out everything but that.

When we look at fashion and home goods on a simplistic level we want a little reprieve from the madness.

Believe it or not, nothing is more calming and tranquil than this year's version to soothe not only the eye, but the mind.

It’s all about atmosphere and the way we feel about things in our individual world.

Simple. Calm. Peaceful.

Allison Abbey, an editor of Parade magazine writes, “Welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill the yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. The harmonious pairing of these two inviting shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, embodies the mindset of tranquility and inner peace consumers seem to be looking for.”

Historically speaking, as far back as the early 19th century, we tend to think of the color pink and blue as very gender specific. Although the word “gender” is a hot topic, we all have grown up with the arrival of the “stork” delivering a baby in either a blue or pink cloth bundle to let us know what the family would be expecting.

Even now with Apple pushing rose gold with their ever improving line of products, it’s everywhere in so many different ways.

By infusing these two colors together you almost get a sunset kind of feel - soothing, warm, soft and calming. Another thing to note, pink works on almost every skin tone and hair color.

The reason being, even though we all have different undertones, a color like a soft pink, tends to have an equal amount of both warm and cool tones, making up a beautiful color to surround yourself in. So…who’s to say if perhaps painting your bride's room, or women's bathroom in this shade would be of an added benefit?

Think of the places where you feel the safest, calmest, or most energized. Take note next time you are there. Why do you feel a certain way? Most likely it’s not just a certain color but how well it conceals or shows off light and the level of contrast it makes in that room. This is what we want to offer people who step into the space we have created with them in mind.

One things for sure, pink isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time.

So next time you're out shopping, try looking at pink or blue a little differently than before. Could you use a signature piece or two, to infuse some hits throughout a space? If you're like me, my hesitance is that I've had my share of outdated churches and have spent time working to get pink removed - why would I want it put it back?

The thing is, almost all colors if paired well with a good neutral can sustain a fresh new and inviting environment. Here are few different thoughts to infusing a color like pink, or blue, into your space.

For kids / youth: using multi-colored painted walls in stripes, geometric shapes.


Nursing room: paint all the walls and then accent with a warm ash wood.


Lobby: think of items like pillows, frames or multi-colored chairs, or use just one accent furniture piece that’s all-pink to give an element of surprise.

Ground it or surround it:  flannel grey, dark grey, bright yellow, navy, white, camel, grey greens, natural wood or matte-black wood.  Of course don’t forget your metals. Play and see if it works!

The most natural way to start is by simply incorporating some new plants.

Try working in low lying succulents that carry just a hint of pink among the green-grey and purple hues of the plant. From there you can start to see how, in a natural way, you can use it as an accent, in a very light but honest ways.

Play around and see in what ways your space can incorporate not only a new fresh look, but the feeling that these colors evoke.

We all need a little calm and nourishment in our lives, even if we have to usher it in by a little touch of color.


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