believe in pink
I’m writing this week’s post in between packing and getting ready to head out to France on Sunday for a week shooting with Brent Darby. We are returning to Brittany, to a farm we visited about four years ago, to shoot a few more barns that have been converted into holiday cottages by Liz, a very talented Irish lady who fell in love with a French farmer. I’ll be sharing our trip in my next post…
Meanwhile, I’m looking through some of the photos from that last trip, and another trip to the same region (Liz’s sister-in-law Celine’s farmhouse and cottages) with photographer Rob Sanderson, and I realise how many beautiful ways these owners have used the colour pink in their interiors: from soft and chalky, to bold fuchsia, with a bubble-gum pink in between; none of these room schemes are saccharin sweet, however. Those pretty shades are leant a funky vibe thanks to a combination of other colours, from off-white and red, to pale and deep grey, and either rough plaster, timber, or exposed-stone walls; mix in vintage finds, a few quirky lamps, luxurious velvet or silky accessories and you have a real statement room.
But before you wonder whether these fabulous room ideas can translate to the UK, check out some of the homes I’ve visited recently where pink has been used a backdrop for decorative collections: artist Victoria has used a soft pink as a backdrop for colourful accessories in her daughter’s room; florist Jane Edmonds has used a warm tone in her huge bathroom to make her vintage finds really stand out; and antiques collector/dealer Thomas opted for a peachy shade for the sitting room where a huge collection of studio glass is displayed.
And if you don’t want pink walls but still love the colour, introduce it with textiles, like in Welsh-blanket expert Jane Beck’s sitting room where a large rug reflects a warm hue around the space, and in blogger/stylist Tamsyn’s vintage-filled sitting room where there’s a gorgeous velvet cushion and darling lampshades and pictures aplenty.
Celine’s ground-floor bedroom: Grey is the dominant colour in the bedroom thanks to a painted carved bed while bright cushions and a painted desk and chair keep to the red and pink colour scheme. For a grey similar to the one used on the bedhead try Plumbago by Fired Earth. To match the pink used on the desk and chair go for Flamingo Fun 5 Eggshell by Dulux. To stay at this cottage visit La Maison Des Lamour.
Victoria’s daughter’s room: Walls painted Calamine Estate Emulsion, Farrow & Ball. On shelf: Big Ears hand finished print with feather is by Victoria (Cluck Cluck!). Sisal carpet from Crucial Trading. Create colourful drawers with an old piece of furniture and Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.
Liz’s bedroom: The romantic pink wall colour is similar to Cinder Rose by Farrow & Ball. Liz utilised a salvaged SNCF door, but you can find similar from English Salvage. To stay at this cottage visit Petites Maisons dans la Prairie.
Thomas’s sitting room: Walls are painted Farrow’s Cream by Farrow & Ball. The 1960s leather chair (designed for the first class lounge of the QE2 by Michael Inchbald) sits in front of 1970s Italian Perspex shelves that hold just some of Thomas’ collection of 20th century glass.
Celine’s attic bedroom: The dramatic vaulted ceiling dominates the bedroom, so was painted a pink-tinged white (Middleton Pink by Farrow & Ball is a good match) and the bed and beams painted a soft grey to ensure it feels soft and relaxing (try Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball). Celine stencilled the floorboards with a floral pattern and added wicker baskets for bed linen. To stay at this cottage visit La Maison Des Lamour.
Celine’s kitchen: Varying shades of pink and red (try Scarlet Ribbon and Fairy Dust by Crown) create a lively scheme that is tempered by the use of grey in the units and painted ceiling. Similar red pendant shade from Imperial Lighting. To stay at this cottage visit La Maison Des Lamour.
Jane Beck’s sitting room: Jane’s Welsh blankets keep the sitting room cosy; similar leather sofa from The Chesterfield Company. Armchair has been upholstered in plaid fabric and layered with a striped blanket. The rug was a wedding present from family and friends, bought from Aberaeron.
Jane Edmonds’ bathroom: The spacious bathroom has a vintage dressing room feel with plenty of storage. Walls painted Pink Ground; panelling painted Borrowed Light, both Farrow & Ball. Vintage mirror similar to cream antique style mirror with shelf at Melody Maison. Flowers by Jane.