Bringin’ Peachy Back

Ditchley Park - Alexandre Serebriakoff watercolor

If you can’t remember being dragged to a bazillion peach colored weddings in the 80s, chances are the notion of using a little peach in the home here and there isn’t that offensive to you.

The problem with the use of peach, or teal, or even mauve in the 80s wasn’t the colors. Colors, all colors, are timeless. They’ve all been used before. They’ll all be used again to great effect. The problem was that they were everywhere. And ubiquity is an invitation to revolt. Peach was bound to fall out of favor.

But there’s no need for it to stay there. I pulled the image above, a Serebriakoff watercolor of a state room at Ditchley Park to show its use prior to being spewed all over late 20th century pseudo-Victorian, panty-festooned bed and breakfast decor.

Why Bother?

  • Peach and its cousins are sunny and very natural–think morning sun.
  • It’s handy in colder, grayer climates–peach can warm a room without overwhelming it.
  • It’s a more neutral color than you might think.
  • Tips

  • It looks handsome with cream trim and woodwork.
  • Peach actually plays well with others and will take on the energy of the colors around it. While it’s best to mix strong hues with it sparingly, don’t shy away from them. Nancy Lancaster entertained in the room above. The tea tables she brought in for them were painted a lacquered red! Sounds completely elegant to me.
  • I can’t think of a room where I wouldn’t try using it, though I have not found a good version for our bedroom yet.
  • Picking the right shade is tricky. If it gets too muddy, as Mark Hampton said, it will look like pancake makepup on your walls. Test a few quarts to find a shade good for you.
  • Any other tips for using it? Let me know if you are or are on your way to being brave to give it a try. I’m no expert on peach, but I doubt it will ever be as big as it was in the 80s (thank God!–nothing should be that everywhere).


    3 Responses to “Bringin’ Peachy Back”

    1. April 15, 2007 at 12:04 am

      Just as long as you stay away from pairing it with seafoam in those watercolorey brushy swashes 😉

    2. April 16, 2007 at 10:08 pm

      Good advice, D. I remember a client of a designer I used to work for once had. The client could stand being around only one color–seafoam green! I kid you not. She had to have it everywhere–carpet, wall paint, furniture. Still blows my mind.

    3. 3 gunstreamgirl
      May 10, 2007 at 8:54 pm

      i’m interested in giving it a try in our next place. right now we have a terra cotta color (about 3 shades darker) on the walls in the dining room and the living room walls. now i wish i would have gone a couple of shades lighter– it’s too dark inside in the winter. i’m very open to the idea of peach and think the wood tones in our furniture would blend nicely with the warm tones of peach. anyway, i’d love to chat about it sometime.

      and i’m SO excited to see your bedroom plans developing. can’t wait to see the befores and afters!

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