Soft Rose Soft Rose

Here's something to pick you up out of the end-of-winter blues: soft rose.

This shade - paler than a true pink, but with enough red to stand out against an eggshell or off-white - has the delicacy and gentility that we find in any of the pinks, but it isn't just for frills and bows. In fact, soft rose can often be best used by pairing it with heavier, more masculine furnishings, as we see here.

In this first photo, we see the soft rose used in the upholstered dining chairs, complemented perfectly by the wood of the table and of the chair frames. The lightness of the pink is further balanced by the square lines of the wooden chest, which marks the division between the living room and dining room.

To see how pale rose perks up the mood of this room, just imagine those chairs upholstered instead in a dark blue, or a deep maroon. Such other colors would lend a much more serious, formal tone. Here, the pale rose is used to lighten the mood of the room.

In this second photo, we see pale rose used as the predominant color in this narrow living room. The focal point of this room is, by necessity, the great floor-to-ceiling windows that give onto a view of the yard.

But the pale rose sofa is also an attention-getter here. The color plays off the pale blue wall in the rear of the room, making the whole room seem suffused with a cheerful, pastel light. Again, the heavy, square trunk used as a coffee table here balances out the pale color.

  • Tip: Remember when you're thinking about balance in a room to consider color as well as size and shape of the furniture. Some colors - the darker ones - have more weight to them, whereas others, like pale rose, need a little ballast for balance.

Finally, take a look at this stucco wall in the palest of soft rose. The slightly darker shutters stand out, and yet blend in with the color of the wall, making the whole effect refreshing without being too bright.

You can see from looking at this exterior wall how pale rose would also work on an interior wall. Imagine a wall painted this color and decorated with drapes the color of the shutters. Voila: a warm, elegant look is born.

Pale rose will also provide a nice backdrop for floral arrangements, because it's a shade that's often found in flowers. Think of a cluster of baby carnations, or a vase of pink roses, or a bouquet of multi-colored flowers with a few pink flowers interspersed. Against a pale rose wall, or in the same room with a sofa in pale rose, these floral arrangements would really stand out.

In order to bring color, light, and warmth into a room, you don't need to use dramatic colors such as bright reds or screaming yellows. Often a more subtle approach works just as well.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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