In recent years, the rich deep colors of autumn leaves and “Halloween orange” have added a pastel partner – PINK! With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the typical color spectrum seems to have a sea of pink washing on its shores.
Now, more than ever, pink is everywhere. The breast cancer movement lead by the Susan G. Komen Foundation chose pink as their identity color for this predominantly female disease. Since the onset of their visibility and that of other breast cancer organizations the color pink appears more frequently in clothes and household products. Historically, pink was more associated with Flamingos, Barbie and little girls’ fashion.
After World War II, during the post-modern era of design, it was popular for interior finishes. The film Pillow Talk prominently featured shades of pink in Doris Day’s Manhattan apartment, including oodles of pink pillows (Doris played interior designer Jan Morrow). Even the posters were primarily pink in color.
Let’s not forget your Aunt Edith’s pink tile bathroom with the matching vanity and toilet. A few years later, Aunt Edith traded in her pink for that 60’s “avocado period.”
Pink had a minor resurgence in the 70s -This time it was the boys wearing it. Instead of burning bras, men found their own sense of liberation ditching the traditional blue and black suits for more modern colors and patterns. Some might credit the psychedelic revolution for that, but personally I believe this trend was inspired by Robert Redford appearing in a pink tuxedo for the film The Great Gatsby. For some of us, he looked as yummy as strawberry ice cream on a hot summer’s day.
Today, pink finally has its rightful place in design. Take for instance the Mary Kay Cosmetics headquarters in Shanghai. This is no dull “dusty rose” hangover from the 80’s. Designed by Gensler Architects, and finished in 2007, this is a seriously well designed modern office. A combination of color, sophistication, light and functional flexibility, it may well be one of the best palettes of pink ever used in a corporate office space. Its design gestures inspired by roses create a very inviting place to work and visit.Ecohaus for example carries Geostone recycled tiles and Sandhill tile made from 100 percent recycled glass. They also have some interesting combinations from the Yolo Paint’s Petal line.
In addition, I would recommend checking out Madison & Grow’s wallpaper. They are 100 percent toxic free, made from recycled content. I especially like “Bouganvilla at Night;” it’s a fairly traditional pattern, with a wonderful shade of pink on a gray background.
One of my favorite local design firms is Leisure Corporation. They are uber-creative folks with a great sense of humor who add this magical sense of delight to their work. I recently spoke with Justin Zier, their founder, about his project Agave, a hip Las Vegas restaurant. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think pink is the new Friday. I like pink so much I have four pink Christmas trees. The interior color palate of one of our restaurant projects in Las Vegas was inspired by a Mexican Begonia. It’s wicked pink.”
By the way, I share Justin’s sentiment, but I only have one pink Christmas tree for now. I proudly display my vintage pink reindeer along side of it.