Behind the Color Pink

Pink can make your home feel playful, feminine or warm. The trick is choosing the perfect hue.
Bright Pink Bathroom

Bright Pink Bathroom

Photo courtesy of Cindy Aplanalp

From: Cindy Aplanalp

Photo courtesy of Cindy Aplanalp

By: Jeannie Matteucci
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When most people think "pink," images of fluffy cotton candy or a little girl's room float into their heads. But different shades of pink set different moods. A bright, vivid tone like fuchsia suggests energy and glamour. A soft and restrained pink, like blush, or a beige with pink undertones creates a soothing feeling. Many shades of pinks have a freshness designers love.

"Some people who lean toward white paint for their walls should try pink," says architectural consultant Bonnie Krims. "I'm not talking bubblegum pink, I mean something with some gray in it. It's a flattering color that makes people feel good."

You can use a more intense pink (like peony) for a space where you don't spend too much time, like an entryway. Or try a deep pink with raspberry undertones for a dining room that makes guests feel and look good in its warm, reflected light.

Pink Dressing Room

Pink Dressing Room

Use pink in rooms where you get dressed. The soft hue will make your skin glow. Photo courtesy of Lisa Flake

Use pink in rooms where you get dressed. The soft hue will make your skin glow. Photo courtesy of Lisa Flake

Pink can be paired with other colors, including chocolate brown, black, mint green, metallic gold and silver and white to create a variety of moods. When paired with a masculine hue like navy blue, pink can add a feminine balance.

Dusty pinks mixed with subtle neutrals add glamour to a bedroom. Pink can feel sophisticated when paired with brown or beige; try this color combination in a dining room with raffia walls.

"Keep in mind, pink has the tendency to go sweet and sappy quickly," says color expert Kate Smith. "So if you don't want that romantic, girly look, keep lines simple and clean and use sophisticated fabrics."

You can use pink on your home's exterior, as well. A light pink exterior can make a house feel playful while a salmon or deep rose color can make a home feel dramatic. Generally, pink works best on smaller homes, where you can appreciate the pop of color without being overwhelmed by it. "If you describe your home as cute, storybook or Victorian, pink would be a good choice (for the exterior)," says Kate.

Pink Bedrooms: 8 Fresh Ideas

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Welcome Guests, Beautifully

A tufted pink headboard makes an elegant focal point in this contemporary guest bedroom. Design tip: Carry the main hue through with flowers in the same color family. Designed by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Go Green With Pink

In the 2011 HGTV Green Home, designer Linda Woodrum takes a bubblegum-colored girls' bedroom to the max, using vibrant pink for the carpet, walls and ceiling. Kelly green and chocolate ground the bright hue and give it a grown-up edge. Designed by Linda Woodrum

Photo By: Eric

Pink: It's Not Just for Women

Champagne-pink walls, rich wood furnishings and cafe-au-lait accents make this master bedroom perfect for romance. Antique silver champagne coolers form the base of the bedside lamps, adding a custom element to a traditional space. Designed by Elinor Jones Interiors. Photo courtesy of Chris Little.

From: Elinor Jones

Cottage Charm

Try a darker pink to warm up a cozy bedroom sitting area, like the one in Sarah's Summer House. Design by Sarah Richardson

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

A Growing Girl's Retreat

A little girl's room is a natural place for this blissful hue to shine, because it's associated with purity and growth. Subtle wall decor and molding presents sophistication in this French-inspired bedroom. Designed by Steven Miller

The Perfect Color Combo

Consider a masculine hue, such as brown, to balance an all-pink color scheme in a nursery. Designed by Shirry Dolgin

Let the Floor Shine

The floor takes the lead when you choose deep-pink linoleum. It's also easy to clean and long-lasting, so it can stay while your daughter's bedroom decor changes. Photo courtesy of Forbo Marmoleum

Red and Pink Can Soothe

Top style-maker Sarah Richardson combines vivid pink and bold red for a whimisical, yet calming, nursery design. An elegant light fixture maximizes pink's flattering effect on skin.

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Ways to Create a Certain Mood With Pink

  • A light posy pink with a touch of gray can add innocence and sophistication to a room.
  • To bring spring inside, mix soft pinks with fresh greens for an inviting living room.
  • Add energy to a home office by painting one wall a vibrant bright pink.
  • A saturated begonia pink can bring excitement to a long hallway.
  • If you want to add sophistication to a room, choose a light pink with a touch of lilac and taupe.

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