The other day I was thinking about colors that change our mood, in particular pink. Pink comes in so many shades. It’s such a happy color. So many products rely on color as their reason for existing. Think lipstick and of course, paint. Cars could be all black and white and still sell, But – would you buy a box of black and white crayons? Would you be happy to wear black and white all your life? There’s an entire industry of “professionals” who create shades of color for products and a slew more that make up the names. What a cool job!.

While natural textures and shades of white are soothing, most people need color to be happy. Even those with all white rooms eventually add colorful paintings and accessories.

The absence of color is really hard to accept in an interior design, but it’s extremely difficult to keep this way. Color creeps into our spaces whether we want it to or not. Most people want flowers in their home. Floral fabrics or paintings dominate and create a pretty room. It’s as simple as that. I like my dose of flowers to come from the real thing. But most people don’t find this a satisfying quotient of “flower power.”

When I was working on my Key West style book (“Key West: A Tropical Lifestyle”) we photographed many houses that were furnished in muted colors, which is unusual on this island of brilliant color. One of the houses belonged to an architect. I asked about the all gray color scheme and his answer made sense. He said, “, “I love color, but serenity works better for me at this point in my life. Neutrals, off-white, earthy tones are easy to live with when your life is busy and quite hectic,” However, I think color is uplifting for most people.

If the art galleries here are any indication of what people like to look at in their homes, flowers definitely rival most subjects. Pick up any magazine and you’ll find page after page of pretty rooms filled with floral fabric and paintings of flowers. Pretty is definitely not dead!            I admit that while I still strive for that clean minimalist look I like to see stuff when I thumb through my style magazines. I need a “pretty” fix. I want to see what people are collecting and using to create comfortable nests.

So back to my current “flavor of the month” Pink. I did some poking around about different shades of pink, thinking I’d use it for some new products we’re developing. Here are some amusing trivia facts I uncovered:


There is every shade of pink available in paints and fabrics with names that vary from the ordinary, “Light pink” to the exotic “shocking pink”, to the amusing, “tickle me pink” and “piggy pink”, to the sweet, “cherry blossom pink”, and all have a back story. For example, almost any color you can imagine, was formulated by Crayola. Or: On the 15th of September, everyone in Brisbane Austrailia wears a pink shirt to celebrate “Cherry Blossom Day” to welcome spring. Sort of like islanders wearing yellow on Daffy Weekend!

The first English record of the name “carnation” pink dates back to 1535, and’ Mexican pink’ (an actual color) is most popular in clothing like serapes and traditional, native crafts. Close in color is “Barbie pink” (yes, a registered color name) used for all things Barbie, like logos packaging and promotional material. (I wonder if I use Barbie pink stationary I’ll be slapped with a copyright infringement suit).

On the opposite spectrum we have a pink called Baker-Miller (never heard of it before!), a tone of pink created by two U.S. Navy officers who experimented with its use in 1979 at the naval correctional facility in Seattle, WA. Obviously someone had an abundance of white paint and a little leftover red! Leave it to the government to save money on paint even if it means having pink prison cells! So, if you’re in the mood to “pretty up” your rooms think pink. Pink makes us happy, pink is easy to live with and everyone looks good with a pink glow!

Don’t you think we should have an official “Nantucket Rose Pink” color?

Photos by Terry Pommett from our new book “Nantucket Cottages & Gardens”