Bona Fide Fragonard

“Marry Me”, “Paris Romance”, “Love and Happiness”, “Soul Mate”.  If any of these words were a name of a paint color, and not mere words murmured in hushed tones, one could guess what color it might be.  Recently, many interior design magazines have graced their covers with this hue’s most brazen shade, echoing Pantone’s 2011 prediction, that pink is in.  However, no color more than this relative-of-red elicits a feeling more polarizing to an interior designer.  Colors like hot pink, honeysuckle pink, cotton candy pink, are getting paired with sunny yellow, royal purple, pale blue, black and white. These colors can entertain the senses on the page of a magazine, but do they translate successfully to an interior living space?

Taking that cue as a challenge to create a pink-centric color palette with a less trendy sensibility, Lynne Gillan, for INSTUDIO, looks to works of art for color harmony and inspiration.  In Jean-Honore Fragonard’s most famous painting, “The Swing”, where a scene of frivolity and gallantry are displayed, blushing pinks of the warmest shades take center stage as the feature color. Supported primarily by cool shades of slate blue gray and hints of ivory, this palette is classically Rococo.  Continuing to look through this same French lens, Aubusson style rugs capture a classic aesthetic that can lay the groundwork for selecting wall colors that won’t create tension, but rather diffuse it.  Favoring quiet, deep shades of neutral grays and browns which have pink as their base, creates a refined palette if one is bold in composition and proportion.  Creating planes of color from wall surfaces in one room through a threshold vista of another room with various shades of a hue, (even pink) can portray effective color harmony.

Furniture and lighting choices that are modern in form, feel unique and well chosen when juxtaposed with an atmospheric color palette.

This is an example of an Aubusson rug which can be seen at Aga John Rugs, San Francisco, paired with Benjamin Moore Paint colors: “Marry Me”, “Paris Romance”, “Love and Happiness” and “Soul Mate”.