The Pink House
Emily Murray is the founder and editor of award-winning interiors blog/brand/business The Pink House (pinkhouse.co.uk and @pinkhouseliving), and author of Pink House Living, a beautiful, inspirational and entertaining coffee table interiors book about decorating with pink.
The Pink House, a semi-detached Edwardian house in South East London. It’s right on top of a hill so we get spectacular views of London to the north, and over our private communal parkland to the south, which is the main reason we bought this house. The park is ideal for my football-mad boys as they can practise their soccer skills whenever they want. It also adds to the sense of community in our area – we have parties, concert and even a mini Olympics in our park in the summer. Sometimes we just gather for an evening wine around the fire pit to watch the sun set. Whoever claims Londoners are unfriendly or London is grey and dull has never lived in our neck of the woods!
Where does your love of colour come from and what specifically does Pink mean to you?
I associate colour with joy in so many different ways, going back to my childhood which was full of fun, colourful Clothkits dresses – which never stopped me from climbing trees! I’m all about mixing up femininity and adventure! Pink has been my favourite colour forever. I’m just instinctively drawn to it wherever I go. It’s the expression of my personality, as well as a colour that nowadays stands for individuality and strength of character.
With your house refurbishment how did you go about choosing the different colour schemes?
I decided early on that every space would involve some combination of pink, blue and green in varying proportions and shades. I’d already completed the kitchen renovation before beginning this six-month reno project, so I had that room as a starting point, with its candy pink tiled breakfast bar, aqua blue cupboards and leafy green wallpaper.
The hallway was the trickiest in terms of choosing the paint; I didn’t want the colours to be too overpowering as the patterned floor tiles I’d chosen were already making rather a statement. I changed my mind countless times but in the end surprised myself by going for the beautiful white-grey Belgravia on the walls, paired with skirting, architraves and doors in soft grey-blue Mid Wedgwood, the bannisters and window frame in charcoal Blackout, and of course the extensive coat, bag and shoe storage wardrobes and drawers, as well as the staircase, in my very own Pink House Pink!
Which is your favourite room in the ‘new’ house and why?
Strictly speaking it’s not a room as such, but I’m completely obsessed with my new hallway. It’s beautiful, practical, fun, light and spacious with views through the house to the garden and parkland beyond. I’m often to be found perched on top of my padded ‘vaultable’ wardrobe reading a book or writing an Instagram post away from the crazy kids in the adjoining trapeze room, which I can see from my vantage point through the internal steel window. From that wardrobe-top seating I can also see straight through the front door’s fan light window to the Shard!
Speaking of the trapeze room, I’m also loving the beautiful Eaton Square blue I chose for the room’s walls and bespoke shelving and cupboards. This room used to be painted a peachy coral and had much less daylight flooding through it. Now, thanks to a (pink!) steel beam, it’s been opened up and feels brighter, but also more cosy. This shade of blue somehow manages to feel warm during the long dark evenings, and bright on sunny mornings. And it’s the perfect backdrop to the white trapeze!
How did you first discover Mylands?
I *think* I first became properly aware of Mylands via my friends and neighbours Jordan and Russell from 2LG Studio. I was swooning over the stunningly saturated paint shades they’d used while round at theirs for coffee; they told me they came from the Mylands Film, Theatre and Television range. I’d been hankering after brighter colours and when I discovered Mylands was a local company too, I knew I had to find out more.
How did you get to the pink shade of Pink House Pink with so many to choose from?
I started the inspiration process by visiting the Mylands factory in South East London, which is only 15 minutes from The Pink House itself. The incredibly helpful and knowledgeable Mylands team sat down with me to go through their colour archive and British Colour Council colours – Mylands has the exclusive rights to their paints. I pulled out shades of pink that made my heart sing, and which I felt would be versatile enough to work in various rooms in my house, and the homes of other pink lovers. I’d also brought along samples of décor items from my home, including a piece of the pink glazed tile from my breakfast bar, and a glass sample from the pink pendant lights that now hang in my hallway. The clever people at Mylands took all of this and created nine bespoke pink shades for me to choose from, which I then painted onto large sheets of paper (I find the back of old wallpaper rolls works well) and left pinned up around my house. In the end Pink House Pink was the clear winner – I’d describe it as a soft, fresh pink with a hint of fizz! Not only does it look perfect in every room, but my decorator has also raved about the quality of this and all the Mylands colours he used to decorate The Pink House. For my part, I’m delighted with the excellent colour saturation and finish, as well as how the paint stands up to a pair of boisterous, mucky-pawed little boys!
Your interior design projects are bold and original - where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Colours that catch my eye in my clothes, on the street, during my travels. Beautifully put-together homes belonging to my friends or that I see featured in magazines, or on social media. Bars, hotels and restaurants have definitely helped inspire my love of bright, bold, fabulous interiors too. After I had kids and found myself staying at home much more I realised that if I wanted a daily dose of interiors fabulousness I was going to have to create it myself!
What are your predictions for trends in interiors for 2020 in terms of colour and style?
Colour trends I’m seeing coming through include a cosy, almost ‘toasted’ palette – which makes Pink House Pink with its warm tones very much (accidentally!) en vogue for 2020! It also pairs beautifully with the mustard yellows and oranges that are increasingly prevalent. Green will continue to make waves, and the pink-and-green colour combo will hit the mainstream – and no wonder because it’s quite possibly my perfect pairing. Aside from colour we’ll be seeing more texture – plenty of boucle, cord and raised-pattern velvet – and powder coating, such as I’ve used on my new pink steel extension, will be everywhere.
‘Reveal your true colours’… Now that your house refurbishment is finished, do you have any exciting upcoming projects in the pipeline? What next for Pink House Living?
Ah – the renovation isn’t finished; merely on hold while we save our time and energy for the next stage! In the short term I’ll be tackling the spare room, which also serves as the Pink House Husband’s study, so you can imagine that’s a fairly tricky brief to work to! Bigger future projects for my house include renovating the basement garage to create a ‘den’ for the kids so when they become smelly teenagers I can stash them down there with a pool table and a Playstation and keep the rest of the house nice for myself! Besides the house, I’ve got some very exciting creative projects lined up for this year with some of my favourite brands – all will be revealed on @pinkhouseliving soon!
And finally, any top tips for decorating in pink?
There is a perfect pink for every situation, every mood and every room, so don’t let any pink-prejudiced person tell you otherwise. And if in doubt, pick Pink House Pink!
- Pink House Pink
- Belgravia No.6
- Blackout No.41
- Eaton Square No.232
- Archway No.106
- Cotton Street No.3
- Mayfair Dark No.218