This Deep Pink Hue Adds Energy to Any Room
Used to describe a wide range of reddish pinks, Raspberry is a pleasant and decidedly bold statement color.
Like the fruit from which it takes its name, the color raspberry has a pleasant and distinctive flavor. “Raspberry” is used to describe a fairly wide range of reddish pinks, which accurately reflects how the shades appear in nature: the exterior of a raspberry has a muted quality to it, but the berries’ juice is almost shockingly bright. Likewise, wild raspberries can skew towards tomato red, while a ripe farm berry deepens to a nearly purple hue.
All of these shades of raspberry are softer than true red and stronger than pink, making it a decidedly bold color. As such, raspberry will bring life to any room you put it in. “A small dose can bring a lot of energy!” says interior designer Cheri Etchelecu-Martin, who is based in Dallas. However, because it draws focus, you need to pay careful attention to the colors you pair it with and the proportions of each. We spoke to designers in New England and across the country to find out how to use this delicious hue.
Try it in lieu of red.
Red is a strong color—when used in big doses it can quickly overwhelm a room. “Raspberry is the perfect alternative to red, since it still gives a room that one-two punch, but with a softer touch,” says interior designer Elizabeth Drake, the principal of Drake Interiors in Winnetka, Illinois. Drake used raspberry upholstery on a sofa in an otherwise neutral room for a bold dose of color that blends more harmoniously with its surroundings than crimson might have.
Put it underfoot.
Bold colors like raspberry feel more rooted when you use them on the floor. Drake used a raspberry rug as a pop of color in a traditional living room that featured a natural stone fireplace, wooden beams, and neutral fabrics. Deep pinks are also often found in antique oriental rugs, notes Vanessa Helmick, an interior designer and owner of Fiore Home in Yarmouth. “Tradition defines these rug palettes,” she adds.
Give pink a twist.
For a client whose daughter wanted a room that would feel mature and sophisticated but also incorporate her favorite color, pink, Kate Davis of Davis Designs in New York turned to raspberry. “She trusted me with the suggestion to use a deep navy grasscloth and wallpaper and pair it with an amazing Clarence House fabric with bright raspberry tones.” To thread the color through the space, Davis also wove in raspberry trim and a bright pink mirror from Made Goods.
Take caution on walls.
Even if you love raspberry, you may want to think twice before doing all the walls of a room. “If you really want it on the walls, do wallpaper,” suggests Helmick, who recommends a traditional pattern that incorporates the hue. In a turn-of-the-century summer cottage in Maine, Davis used a deep pink Scalamandre grasscloth on the walls; the texture softens the bold color. Etchelecu-Martin suggests using raspberry as an accent wall. “I have wanted to try an accent wall of Farrow and Ball’s Lake Red for a sunroom or a breakfast room,” she says.
All the designers we spoke to agree: raspberry and other deep red-pinks are charming in textiles, and many used raspberry and white textiles in particular. Hand-blocked textiles look beautiful in any color, says Helmick, who notes you can often find raspberry in authentic Moroccan textiles.
Balance it with neutrals.
Davis wasn’t afraid to go long on raspberry in the bedroom she wallpapered in raspberry grasscloth, but, she says, “I tempered the deep pink with neutrals and white.” These mellowing elements included crisp white linens, a neutral rug, white bedside tables, and a pair of white vintage lamps. Use a similar tempering tactic to make this bright color work in your home.
Play with shades.
For subtle color pairings, Davis suggests matching raspberry with a soft pink. For instance, in a girl’s room in a beach house in East Hampton, New York, Davis used a soft pink and cream Schumacher wallpaper and paired it with curtains with bright raspberry zigzags.
Try it with cool tones.
Etchelecu-Martin used a purplish raspberry on the walls of a library she designed. “The color in this library was much more saturated than what was in the rest of the home, so we chose to accent the aubergine-like color with gray and blue-green fabrics to bring a cohesive feel,” she says. Blue-based colors play up the cool undertones of some raspberry hues.
Watch out for verdant hues.
Decorators always caution against pairing red and green because it can read as Christmas-y; watch out for red-leaning raspberry hues with greens too. “Raspberry can get a little loud if you pair it with green,” says Helmick. If you want to use both raspberry and green, she suggests they look best in smaller amounts, like accent pillows.