Pretty in Pink
By Karen Parr-Moody

As roses unfurl from their buds and peonies burst into bloom, shades of pink color our landscape — and the halls of GasLamp Antiques and Decorating Mall. The Deep South is a part of the country that has pink in its soul, from the redbuds and azaleas that line our streets to the pink oxford shirts that men wear with khakis to church.

This Mid-century Modern style General Electric clock radio in the photo, right, possesses the prettiest cotton candy shade of pink ($69; Booth B-106). This tone was wildly popular in the 1950s, when some lucky lady would have first flipped the switch on what is now a fabulous retro find. The black face and gold tone fittings provide a dramatic contrast to the blush body. A bonus? This decades old, tube powered device still works.

The GasLamp booth S-104 specializes in antiques and vintage items from an array of cultures, from African to Asian to South American. The 1970s handmade South American wall hanging in the photo, left, is a fabulous example of the wares found there ($50; S-104).

South America is a continent known for its beautiful textiles, from the appliqué story cloths of Chile to the alpaca rugs, shawls and sweaters of Peru. In this wall hanging, a young girl approaches a house of worship alone; a sense of inner quiet permeates the piece, which is colored by gorgeous blocks of pink.

One of GasLamp's dealers is the local artist J. Todd Greene. The booth he operates with his wife, Rusti, is a melange of Mid-century Modern finds, Outsider Art works and his own paintings. Greene calls this piece, which is full of rich pink tones, "Reflection" (photo, right; $950; Booth B-311).

"Pink is my favorite color," he says. "There, I said it. I'm a man and pink is my favorite color."  

This painting, like many that Greene creates, is inspired by “The Paw Paw Sermons.” These are index card sketches that were drawn by Greene’s great-grandfather, Herbert Morgan, a Southern Baptist minister. As he never properly learned how to read, Morgan used these index cards, with their illustrative pictures, to conduct his weekly sermons.

The pink pair of Grecian style urns embody the Neoclassical style that continues to be a popular and elegant decorating choice (photo, left; $285; B-234). During the 1800s, many grand American homes were designed in this style that took aesthetic cues from the recent archaeological discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The look became a mainstay and has never left the stage.

Ceramics, one of man’s most ancient arts, reach back in time to back to around 6500 B.C. And while ceramics and the more recent incarnation, porcelain, have been produced in many countries, Italy has always been a standout. The plates in the photo, right, possess that distinctive Italian flair. As if picking bouquets of flowers from the garden, the Italians hand-paint such plates with wild, free brushstrokes. And the Italian color palettes are typically bright and natural; these two plates happen to showcase the beautiful color pink.

Pink is a color that retains a certain sweetness that can be tempered by creative decorators with other tones. Anyone seeking a soothing tone for a room will find that pink offers many possibilities. It looks great with pops of yellow, moss green, grey or lavender. And whatever the shade, a room will suddenly be coming up roses with pink.

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