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Pink does not always have to appear pretty |

Pink does not always have to appear pretty

Both Barbie and I made our appearances on Earth in the same year, at a time when pink and green was a hot colour combination for a kitchen. Of course, neither of us would admit that we like the idea of a boldly-coloured kitchen because of how it relates to our youth.

The 1950s, after all, was a particularly colourful time for interior design. For the first time, paint manufacturers were offering a huge array of what have become the era’s ironic colours.

Creating stark, in-your-face colour contrasts defines the style of this socially rebellious time. Designers popularized both pastels and muted hues for kitchens and bathrooms featuring, among others, flamingo pink wall and floor tile, turquoise metal cabinets, or banana yellow plastic counter tops — colours that we today refer to as retro.

In the early 1980s, combinations of pastel pink and peach, combined with blues and green (think The Golden Girls) were revived, predominantly in textiles and manufactured masonry products.

Always the drama queen, Barbie’s signature kitchen was, and still is, bubble-gum pink, but for the rest of us, basic white is the most popular choice for cabinets, followed closely by light grey. Every so often a brave soul might break from the pack, opting for a shade of pastel blue, green or pink, incorporating fashionable vintage large and small appliances, tiles and accessories for one cohesive look.

In an open space, large wall expanses painted any one of the three iconic colours might feel like colour overload, especially if the same, or similar, tones are used on vertical and horizontal surfaces, appliances and accessories.

By using pops of colour in architectural details like crown mouldings, window and door frames, baseboards, and integrating decorative accents, along with coordinated appliances and countertop accessories, will create a space with a personal and unique flair.

Anyone still not prepared to jump into the fray could consider glass-front cabinets, with the back of the cabinets painted that special pop colour. Similarly, using coloured drawer lining and/or hardware counter-edge detail, or merely swapping out a few pieces of a neutral mosaic tile, will provide a soupcon of the effect without bursting the budget.

Pink does not always have to appear pretty. Combined with base construction materials like concrete, raw woods and unsealed stone and ceramics, pink will show its tough side.

For the record, I was born in 1959 — in June — so that’s practically the 60s. I have started a new Facebook page, Interior Design for Every Body, which I hope you will take the time to visit and like. There I hope to explore ideas and share information about universal design, the concept of making a home equally accessible to anyone, regardless of age, ability or situation.

I also hope you will take the time to read more about this and other projects, or browse through the archives for other stories, at my website, For other information and fun conversation join me on Facebook (CreativeSpace), or chat me up on Twitter or Instagram (DFCreativeSpace).

David Ferguson, writer of the nationally syndicated weekly column, Creative Space, has been creating perfect living spaces for newspaper readers since 1980. David’s website,, offers readers an expanded version of the column, video, and interactive illustrations.

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