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Pink: A Timeless Color in Latin American Architecture and Design

The color pink has had a significant impact on the architecture and design of Latin America, as explained in a recent article, The Importance of the Color Pink in Latin America, by Architectural Digest magazine. Influential architects Luis Barragán, Ricardo Legorreta, and Mathias Goeritz often incorporated the dynamic color in their designs. From Mexico to El Salvador to Brazil, pink is ubiquitous, and there are compelling reasons as to why... artist Ramón Valdiosera inspired the term rosa mexicano, or Mexican pink, which can be seen across Mexico on textiles, crafts, houses, and taxis. Those artists and architects are from a bygone era, but there’s still a current crop of Mexican creatives that are embracing their cultural roots. Designer José Bermúdez, founder of Studio Bermúdez and a professor at Universidad Iberoamericana, notes the modern importance of pink. “In architecture, pink still gives a good contrast—it brings a lot of profoundness to the atmosphere. That makes it timeless...”

"When touring Barragán’s Casa Estudio, the first thing one sees is a small desk facing a bright pink wall—a shade known as Barragán pink—and one immediately feels at peace. The architect’s other projects also use the seemingly ubiquitous color: Casa Gilardi has pink walls in the courtyard and Casa Pedregal has an entirely light pink exterior, as well as a pink kitchen and hallways. Barragán believed the ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery, and mystery, Mariana Esqueda Pérez, a tour guide at Casa Pedregal, explains. His architecture, with the color he selected, did just that.

"Although Barragán’s use of pink played a major role in modern architecture in the 1940s, the history of vibrant Latin American architecture had been established long before that. “Color in Latin America goes way back—the Mayans, Aztecs, and many of our ancestors painted their pyramids and ornaments in a colorful way,” Bermúdez says. Much of the early distinction in Latin American architecture was due to the fact that regional materials were the most readily available. Most buildings were made with stucco, then painted over. Stucco was easily accessible and a breathable material, which was great for warmer cities that needed to deal with the heat. ... [Plus,] limestone can kill certain bacteria so there are multiple reasons to continue building with it,”

The pinks in our designer paint collection for non-toxic ECOS Paints were definitely influenced by this architectural history.

Maximalist is a vibrant warm pink that brings life to any room, and could have easily been found dotting the town landscapes of Mexico.

Rosa Palido is a versatile pink that warms a room without being too sweet. It can also act easily as a neutral on millwork when paired with stronger colors.

Pop adds dynamic energy to any color palette or can provide an immersive experience when used throughout a space.

BEFORE: A dark Arts & Crafts living room

The dark living room is transformed with luscious shades of pink, including burlap wallpaper custom-matched to our Rosa Palido pink. We mixed in a cheerful group of patterns, and, in homage to the Arts & Crafts heritage of the home, recolored and scaled up architect William Morris' iconic acanthus leaf pattern on the ceiling.

We built in a luxuriously deep new window seat as if it had always been there. Now, one feels part of the beautiful gardens even while sheltered indoors.

After several art options from various galleries did not connect with the client, I anonymously created a painting that was inspired by her family life and an English garden. Turns out, she loved it. :)


Wallpaper: Twenty2

Ceiling: Patina Design

Carpet: Steven King

Art at Fireplace: Lisa Tharp

Chair: Cisco Bros

Sofa Velvet: Clarence House

Patterned Fabrics: Schumacher, Zak & Fox, Raoul Fabrics, Quadrille, Galbraith & Paul, Robert Allen

Photography: Michael J. Lee

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