Pink is a colour with an interesting history, it has gone in and out of style more than almost any other colour, always coming back in a new hue, shade or tone. What is even more interesting is that the colour pink rarely appears in nature, which may explain why the colour only entered the English language as a noun at the end of the 17th century. But in other languages, the shade remains difficult to pin down. In Japan, at least seven different terms are used for pink shades! A 17th-century Chinese word for pink meant “foreign colour” because of its rarity in the natural world. So how did this unusual colour come to be so popular today, and more importantly, how can you incorporate this beautiful colour into your own home?
'Sehyun and Her Pink Things' and ''SeoWoo and Her Pink Things 2' by JeongMee Yoon
Pink’s cultural significance can vary widely between countries. In contemporary Japanese culture, pink is usually perceived as a masculine and mournful colour that represents young warriors who fall in battle. In Germany, pink is known as rosa, which is a colour that is bright, soft, peaceful and sweet and so is often associated with childhood, similar to in British culture. Different shades of pink are also more popular in different cultures. For example, European art and fashion usually favours a warmer toned pink whereas Japan and many other Eastern countries often prefer a cool, blue toned pink. Though pink comes from the primary color red, pink isn’t actually part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This means that when we see pink, we’re not seeing actual wavelengths of pink light. It’s an extra-spectral colour, which means other colours must be mixed together to generate it. The diversity of pink tones and hues is the result of adding or subtracting yellow and blue tones from a wide spectrum of colours which leaves you with either a warmer or cooler shade.
A Gulabi Gang protest via One Future Collective.
In the modern day, pink is not often viewed as the colour of cuteness, sweetness and innocence like it once was. Instead it has gained a powerful role, often used during protests or activist demonstrations, from the pink hats worn during feminist rallies in the US to the feminist vigilante Gulabi Gang in India. However, pink is still often used to market products towards women, especially in the West. This was a concentrated post-World War I effort led by media giants and department superstores such as Time, Best & Co., Marshall Field, and more, however we still see this present today in the packaging of children’s toys, women’s toiletries and even food and drinks marketed towards the female population.
Pantone colour of the year 'Rose Quartz' via True Fit.
Apple rolled out its first Rose Gold iPhone in late 2015, popularising this shade of pink to younger generations. The same year, Pantone released “Rose Quartz” as their colour of the year and the shade really shot to popularity, forming the basis for the ever-so-popular Millennial Pink. Millennial Pink has been so popular as it is viewed by many to be genderless, reflecting the shifting attitudes of the generation it is named after. Pink in all it’s tones and hues is a firm favourite of ours at Artisans & Adventurers, so if you are looking for tips on how to style it, we’re the ones to help!
A collection of our pink marbled soapstone accessories
So we're sure that by now you're wanting to incorporate some of this fabulous colour into your home, right? One of the easiest ways to start adding splashes of colour to your home is through small accessories that can easily be swapped out. Pink is a surprisingly versatile colour that compliments many different palettes and decor styles. We particularly love styling pink tones with neutral colours such as whites and greys which is particularly great if you're a little colour shy. Our kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most neutrally decorated rooms in our homes, so we would recommend adding a few colourful pink accessories to these rooms first. Our Kenyan Soapstone collection consists of a range of dishes, bowls, plant pots and soap dishes - all of which are available in 'hints of pink.' Our contemporary hand carved soapstone accesories are crafted in Nairobi by Zephania and his small team. He uses soapstone sourced from a local quarry near his workshop. The classic, timeless design of these pieces means they will compliment a wide range of different interior styles whilst still allowing you to experiment with a little bit of pink. We recommend our Kenyan Soap Dish in Marbled Pink for all under-loved bathrooms to give them an injection of this uplifting shade. Another great option for small accessories are baskets. Our Kenyan Set of Three Sisal Baskets in Blush Pink & Natural are the perfect storage solution for anywhere in your home and can easily be styled alongside existing decor.
Our Nebula Cushion Cover styled alongside other blue and pink accessories
Another great option for injecting some pretty pink tones into your space is through textiles. Textiles are a really great way to add a big punch of colour into your space without having to drastically change your decor. For a really fun, fresh look, we love pairing pink accessories with contrasting blue tones. Our Tanzanian Throw in Pink is made from super soft 100% Tanzanian cotton and each one is loomed by hand. They are perfect to use as a bed-spread, throw or blanket, making them very versatile whilst you're still experimenting with colour. Another great textiles option are our Nebula Cushion Covers. The soft pink and royal blue galaxy inspired print has been designed by co-founder Amy and printed in London. Cut and sewn by our friend Dru in East London, these luxurious handmade cushion covers are accentuated with white cotton piping. We love mixing patterns like these together - our top tip for doing this is to keep your colour palette small by picking 2 or 3 colours to use and sticking with them.
Our Ugandan Craft Collection baskets in Black, Yellow, Natural and Pink
If you're looking for some pink decor that will really change up your space, we recommend trying out a gallery wall! Whether you have plain white walls or perhaps even less-than-desirable rental wallpaper, gallery walls are the perfect, impactful choice to change up the style of your space and also provide a fabulous opportunity for incorporating new colours. For a really cohesive look, we recommend keeping all the elements of your gallery wall within the same colour palette. Our Ugandan Craft Collection Basket Bowl in Pink is the perfect starting piece for a gallery wall, each bowl has a handy loop on the back perfect for hanging. The natural texture of these baskets as well as their 3D shape adds interest to blank walls instantly. It can also be taken off the wall and used as a fruit bowl if you like to switch up your decor often. The perfect focal point for your gallery wall has to be a wall hanging. Rich in texture with a bold, geometric design, our Woven Kenyan Wall Hanging in Geo Pink is perfect. Our beautiful wall hangings are woven in small batches by hand in Kenya and are made from 100% wool.
We hope you found some helpful styling tips and enjoyed learning more about the rich history of one of our favourite colours! You can shop our entire pink edit here. You can also read all our top tips on styling with yellows here and styling with blues here.