In Pursuit of the Perfect Pink

If Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen had a lovechild with Marie Curie, they couldn’t have as much fun as I had experimenting with paint colour to find the ‘perfect pink’…

We’ve all done it: manically collected the cardboard colour charts, slapped up paint samples, screwed our eyes up in the hope they might miraculously morph in to something like our expectations, but still thought ‘Damn it, that’s a shade too light’, ‘A shade too dark’, or ‘I don’t even know what shade that’s supposed to be?’.

We’ve swooned over colours we see on Instagram posts, completely enamoured, only to try it in our own homes and wonder why it looks nothing like we imagined. There are few disappointments more pronounced in life than popping open a sample pot to find ‘THAT’ colour you crave is not ‘THE’ colour you hoped it would be on your own wall, in that light, against that carpet. Crestfallen, right? I know.

Image by Farrow & Ball

So I’d been longing to use Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room – a gorgeously moody, dusky, peachy pink. A little faded, a little dirty, but still packing a punch. Look at it. It’s everywhere, looking in publicity pictures and Insta posts like a romantic, rich, restful, grown up pink, not a girly pink – this pink drinks gin, has taken a few knocks, but still likes to look pretty.

Image by Farrow & Ball

And it was this kind of pink I wanted for my ‘home library’ or bookcase if I’m going to be less swanky. So why it came out aubergine (read this in an imaginary voice dripping with huge distaste and horror) – I can’t fathom. It was practically brown. What the absolute hell? Literally a room to sulk in.

I nearly fell of that ladder

Panicked and having exhausted every colour chart, I launched myself on a quest to find my perfect pink – what Sulking Room had been supposed to be. Using Sulking Room as the base for that dirty darkness, I mixed in an array of pink-hued sample pots raided from B&Q’s shelves with left over Wevet from painting my floorboards and a drop of Setting Plaster for some peach in the pinkness.

It still took several attempts, of a bit more this and a bit less that, but it was fun! Like being a kid again, when you were left unsupervised and mixed up those chalky paint trays into a watery mess with great satisfaction – only this time the results were much prettier.

I posted my experiments on Insta Stories and Facebook, loving the chat and banter about which number to go for. Everyone had an opinion.

However, the overriding question was ‘How will you know that you’ve mixed enough for the whole thing?’ Ha! As if square area volumes can faze me! I’ve got GCSE Maths after a resit, I’ll have you know…except actually, I didn’t give it a thought. I just painted my perfect pink on to a piece of paper, took it up to B&Q and got a Valspar colour match for it. They just reproduced it in the Eggshell paint pot size of my choosing. Result. I’ve got enough left over to do my front door! I should add this blog is in no way sponsored by Valspar; they have absolutely no idea of who I am. Which considering I also used them to paint my kitchen, I really should be doing a better job of blagging a freebie by now.

My smugness evaporated midway through the tedium of painting 28 shelves with three coats, right enough. Let’s just say I multi-tasked.

Not to mention the final responsibility of giving my creation an apt moniker. I swear the colour gurus in the ‘Random Name Department’ at Farrow & Ball must mostly be stoned or at least heavily sarcastic to come up with names like ‘Sulking Room’, ‘Dead Salmon’ and ‘Elephant’s Breath’. The accepted theory is that they want a name to stick in your mind; presumably so that you can easily look it back up after you’ve run out of the showroom in shock at the prices.

So after contemplating ‘Takeout Tika’ or ‘Vegas Brothel’….I give you…’Miami Bordello’.