How to Make These 4 Iconic Colors Feel Fresh Again
Cool ways to decorate with the most famous hues.
Published Jul 19, 2019 12:00 PM
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Pink, tangerine, tomato red, and matte black might be the colors of the moment, but their lineage goes back well before the advent of Instagram. Take ubiquitous pink: Before there was millennial pink, Schiaparelli’s saturated hue was iconic. The designer’s “shocking pink” revolutionized 1930s fashion alongside her surrealist-inspired designs—in stark contrast to the drab Depression-era garb her contemporaries in the States were donning. Hermès orange, Valentino red, and Chanel black also kickstarted a color movement, and while these are the shades instantly recognizable to any fashion devotee, they’ve made a recent resurgence in the design realm. Meaning: What’s old is new again, and there are countless fresh ways to incorporate an iconic, high-fashion palette in your home.
If you’re feeling inspired, here are some design-forward ways to bring these beloved fashion colors into your home. You might feel averse to dressing in head to toe Valentino red, but there’s no reason you can’t use it to dress up your table.
It wasn’t called “shocking” for nothing. This punchy color might conjure up images of Barbie’s dream house—but, when used properly, it can turn your space into the home of your maximalist dreams.
The key here is to incorporate Schiaparelli Pink in small doses, such as an accent pillow on your sofa or a vivid textile on your dining room table. If you’re feeling daring, turn to paint. Benjamin Moore’s “Peony” is super close in tone to the original Schiaparelli favorite, and a coat or two will go a long way. Use it to spruce up an old piece of furniture and style it against a more pared back setting.
Aside from its place as the reigning sovereign in every fall cliché, orange is actually quite the chameleon. Pair it with similarly bold colors, like tonal pinks or burgundies, to make a statement or keep it as the dominant hue amongst a backdrop of warm neutrals to create a calming, minimalist space.
These picks can go either way. Coming Soon’s pair of velvet swivel chairs instantly command attention, harkening back to a retro ‘70s style while the terracotta planter begs to house a bevy of new plant babies. Alternatively, embrace the autumnal hue by swapping your less-than-eco-friendly keurig for a tangerine French press.
One of our favorite ways to make maximum impact with minimal effort is by decorating with matte black. Not ready to dive headfirst into this deep color? Test the waters in smaller ways. A set of matte black spoons elevates any tablescape and won’t break the bank. This sculptural candle is the finishing touch your little vignette needs—try staggering it with other black candles in a variety of sizes and styles for some visual interest. Finally, go bold with a contemporary planter. Ferm Living makes a metal one that’s seriously cool.
Valentino Garavani, inspired by a woman in a red dress he once saw at the Barcelona Opera, made the shade his signature in his debut 1959 collection with a fiery red cocktail dress called “Fiesta”. To this day, that unique—and trademarked—tone has infiltrated almost every Valentino collection. The specific shade is tricky to replicate, and that’s part of what makes the brand’s pieces so special.
That said, you can bring a similar level of style home with these tomato red offerings. Woven placemats are a wonderful alternative to tablecloths if you want to bring texture to the table but fear frequent spills (we’ve all been there). A red pendant light and a sculptural ceramic vase are two small ways to add hints of the color without overpowering a space.
If you’re brave, consider painting an entire room in the daring color—this shade by Farrow & Ball is a bit more palatable than outright bright red. Alternatively, try your hand at the two-tone trend and give only half your walls the Valentino treatment. No matter which option you choose, it’s sure to be memorable.
See more color trends to copy: Unexpected Color Pairings We’re Stealing from the French Every 2019 Color of the Year, So Far Pantone Just Released its 2019 Color Trend Predictions