Paint Colors: Perfect Pink Room Design

Not just for little girls' rooms, pink is a great way to add drama and sophistication to any room of your home. These color-savvy designers show you how.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe ways to make pink work in a home are almost limitless.

All About

Pretty With Pink

"I often decorate with pink," says London-based designer Tricia Guild. "I use it as an accent color to add vitality and I also use it as a main part of the decorating scheme. Black and white looks softer with flashes of pink, and chocolate brown with shocking pink is a fabulously rich combination."

Margaret Walch, director of The Color Association of the United States, currently favors a "paisley pink," a soft, salmony color. "It's a pink that a man would wear for a necktie," she says, "so he'll take it comfortably in the bedroom." Walch likes to pair pink with a soft, elephant gray for a sophisticated look. "It's a bit conventional, but sometimes, it's nice to be conventional," she says.

Dutch Boy Color Specialist Donna Schroeder likes to mix Dhurrie Pink with deep sea blues like the company's Baltic Sea and Waterloo. "A dark color like that provides an unexpected pop of color to a sophisticated scheme," Schroeder says, "without shifting the feel to be too playful."

For a less subdued combination, try bright pink with Kelly green for a young, preppy look. And for a taste of English country, pick raspberry pink and cream. Although the pastel Santa Fe palette of peachy-pink and aqua that was popular in the 1980s looks almost comically dated today, you can update the pink/turquoise combo by using a deep, bright pink and a deep but not muddy teal. Or, go for the glam, as designer Jamie Drake ( recently did at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York City, by combining bright pink, soft plum and luscious lilac with little touches of burnished gold.

If you're not sure how you're going to like a particular color combination, Osburn says "pick all the paint colors that you like, no holds barred." Then narrow down to two or three options and paint test swatches of them on the walls, considering different lights and times of day, as well as how they work with the fabrics you've chosen. Once you've found a paint color you love, "just go for it. Remember that it's only paint," she says. "If you aren't happy with it you can change it very easily."