Play with the power of pink for punchy settings at home

  • Thu,16 May 2019 09:10:54 AM

Once cast aside as ‘girly’, the colour pink is fast shaping up to be the hottest shade for interiors.

Sugary pinks through to snazzy scarlets, pretty peaches and even funky neons are the winning shades on the palette this season.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that pink is just for girls. Not any more it isn’t,” declares Emily Murray, creator of award-winning blog, The Pink House, which celebrates the colour in all its hues in her own pink decorated home.

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?FAUX FUR AND DIAMONDS ?I might live in London now (here I am hanging with the skater bois at the Southbank skate park), but I’m an Edinburgh girl born and bred. And like so many other Edinburgh lasses (or ‘aw fur coat nae knickers’ as the Glaswegians like to call us ??), I used to love accompanying my mum into luxury jewellers @hamiltoninches magical George Street store. I was in awe of the sense of history I felt – Hamilton & Inches was established in 1866 and have been holders of the Royal Warrant for over 120 years – and would gaze in reverence at the timeless, exquisite jewellery. Which is why, when my wonderful grandmother left me a beautiful citrine stone in her will a few years ago, I went straight to Hamilton & Inches who reset it in gold so beautifully, so sympathetically, that it did not only the stone, but her memory, justice. So I’m incredibly proud to be working with H&I and wearing their drop-dead-gorgeous dewdrop diamond millgrain necklet in rose gold. For more info on the dewdrop collection, and a closer look at the jewellery of dreams (you didn’t need my 40-year-old face any closer to the camera ??), head to the @hamiltoninches website and search ‘dewdrop’. Then start paging* Santa, pronto! ???? *does anyone outside the medical profession actually even own a pager anymore? #AD #myhi #cherishandinspire

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It’s been such a success since she started it three years ago (she has more than 60,000 followers on Instagram) that her new book, Pink House Living: For People Cheating On Fashion With Furniture, was a natural follow-on. It’s a brilliant guide to seeing the world through ‘rose-tinted’ decor spectacles.

Stepping inside her home is proof of pink’s magic – she shows me around rooms which ooze personality, thanks to the magical touches of her “all-time favourite colour”.

Pink painted walls, a pink kitchen island, neon pink signs, splashes of pink to highlight period features, as well as an array of punchy pink accessories, are just some of the ways in which the colour has a starring role in her schemes.

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This part of The Pink House – the ‘family room’ – is going to get knocked about a fair bit when the Big Renovation starts in the summer ????. There will be internal crittall windows, built-in child-height bookshelves…and even a trapeze! I had a great planning meeting with my brilliant architect Kate @loudarchitects today where all sorts of exciting ideas (the trapeze is only the tip of the circus tent ??) started to take shape. I’ve always dreamed of having an indoor swing or trapeze in my house and it looks like my dreams are finally going to come true! ????‍??Could someone please tell the Pink House Husband of my plans? ???? #thegreatestshowwoman CREDITS: Paint, Ida by @mypainthouse #gift | Chest of drawers, @cotterellandco | Rug, @larusirugs | Print, @jacquelinecolley #gift | Palmeral cushion and lampshade, @houseofhackney | Wallpaper, @sandbergandfriends #gift . #pinkhouserenovations #withoutcompromise #winningtheinteriorwar

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Yet with her skill and sense of style, she makes it sing – rather than dominate or shock – in her Edwardian semi, and this uber-cool interior leaves you wondering why you’ve never thought of using pink more.

The mother-of-two is always hot on the trail of perfect pink homes, and her book features an array of brilliant pink settings from around the world, as well as her own rooms.

Even she’s surprised her own pink passion is so widely shared. “I’d underestimated the power of pink. It turns out it’s incredibly popular on every level and in every way. We love pink,” says Murray delightedly.

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Bringing your first book home to show your parents is a bit like introducing them to your new boyfriend: ??Will they like it/him? ??Are they just being polite? ??Does it/he look comfortable in its/his new surroundings? ??Will it/he stand up to scrutiny? ??What are the chances of them flicking through it/him when you’re not looking…?? Luckily, the first meeting of Pink House Living (the book) with the Pink House Grandparents has been a success so far. Not only did the book make itself at home on the pinkest thing in the house (this chaise in the garden room), but my dad was heard to make a number of enthusiastic-sounding noises before opining: “This one’s a keeper*” ?? *He didn’t exactly say this, but I thought it would be a fitting conclusion to the book/boyfriend analogy. OVER ON STORIES: A mini tour of my rug-mad mother’s super-stylish Edinburgh home, plus her verdict on her aesthetic vs mine ??. #meettheparents #sorryabouttheswearing #lookatthespineonthat #sexybook

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“We love it on front doors, on walls and on rugs. We love it on Instagram, in magazines and in fabric charts. We love it in barely-there blush, fuchsia and neon.”

For those fearing a pink overload, she stresses that embracing the shade “doesn’t mean I like all my rooms dressed in floor-to-ceiling fuchsia… Even when I have free rein to decorate exactly as I chose, I exercise pink restraint.

“For me, the key to making the most of this joyous colour – for I fully believe that pink has an amazing power to make people happy – is using it in moderation.”

One pink print adds drama to a pared back space which features in Pink House Living: For People Cheating On Fashion With Furniture (Susie Lowe/Ryland Peters & Small/PA)
Home of Anna Atwal, founder of interiors store, Pad Lifestyle, which features in Pink House Living: For People Cheating On Fashion With Furniture (Susie Lowe/Ryland Peters & Small/PA)

In the living room, her dream was fabric walls, saturated colours, pattern clashes, loads of luxe and plenty of pink.

“My aim was to turn a north-facing space into a cosy place for cuddling up in the evenings, but with a rock and roll twist.”

She’s achieved it with a “pink ‘play’ neon sign – a copy of my own handwriting – made to order”, as well as a cocktail bar created from a corner cabinet upcycled in green and gold leaf. Hidden LED light strips give it the impression of glowing from within.

Emily Murray's living room painted in a vibrant peachy pink. ((Susie Lowe/Ryland Peters & Small/PA)
Emily Murray’s living room painted in a vibrant peachy pink (Susie Lowe/Ryland Peters & Small/PA)

For those who fancy taking the plunge, she advises: “If you want more colour at home (it doesn’t have to be pink) simply choose your favourite shade and go for it.

“Make a scrapbook or Pinterest board of settings with colourful decor which naturally attracts you. You don’t need to design the whole room at once – start with a piece of art or wallpaper and then slowly add further changes, so a room develops.”

(L-R) Bubblegum Portrait Stool, Lady, £198, Mineheart; Anderson Upholstered Right Hand Chaise Sofa, Velvet Blush Pink With Natural Legs, from £1,199, Cult Furniture; Mooi Lolita Suspension Light Pink, £642, Rume (Minehead/Cult Living/Rume/PA)
(L-R) Bubblegum Portrait Stool, £198, Mineheart; Anderson Upholstered Right Hand Chaise Sofa in Velvet Blush Pink With Natural Legs, from £1,199, Cult Furniture; Moooi Lolita Suspension Light, £642, Rume (Mineheart/Cult Living/Rume/PA)

“There are so many ways to use pink,” adds Murray. “You can accentuate a particular architectural feature, piece of furniture or art work, and sometimes simply use it to allow another gorgeous colour to shine.”

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My nails are finally in a fit state to be able to show off the inside of my soon-to-be-launched book, Pink House Living ??. Want to see more? Click the link in my bio for a few close-up page pics on Amazon ??. And while you’re there, why not preorder a copy? It’s out on 19 March in the UK, in plenty of time for Mother’s Day – and we all know it’s the done thing to treat yourself on that day, right?! Oh, and if you’re wondering about the heart on my hand, yes it is a tattoo, but no it isn’t permanent – it’s a temporary transfer that came free with my @hillandfriends handbag. I’ve been wearing a few fake tatts in different places (no not there) to see whether I like the idea of a proper inking ??. But I keep wondering: what if I choose a design, get it inked indelibly on my skin, then decide I don’t like it the following week? Any advice, experienced tattoo-owners? #cheatingonfashionwithfurniture #pinkhouseliving

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Pink House Living: For People Cheating On Fashion With Furniture by Emily Murray, photography by Susie Lowe, is published by Ryland Peters & Small, priced £19.99. Available now

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