For years pink has been closely associated with the younger set, the stuff of nurseries and tween rooms. But lately designers have been using the color in new ways. Today, we show you just how sophisticated pink can be.
When interior designer Alison Damonte created this room in a midcentury ranch house, she chose this peachy-pink color for a warm retro note.
“We treated it like a neutral—an unexpected but not overly girl choice that pairs well with dark colors like navy and gray,” she says. “Pink has such strong connotations of ‘femininity’ but it doesn't have to. By treating it as a neutral or unconventional color, pink can take on a fresh meaning. Here, the color does have a feminine application, but it's balanced with black and white elements that tone that down.”
Another pink Damonte favors is on the bolder side of the spectrum. “I’ve had a lot of fun using this color—a vibrant, rich fuchsia,” she says.
As the name suggests, it isn’t for people who are color timid which, in some cases, makes it the perfect choice. “I've found that my clients who gravitate toward pink are adventurous risk-takers,” says Damonte. “They are generally outgoing, love to entertain and don't shy away from making a statement. Pink is definitely not for the reserved homeowner.”
Interior designer Melanie Coddington is weary of the labels we add to color. When asked about the “baby girl” association of pink, she says: “If I could wave my magic wand, we would set gender stereotypes on fire and watch them burn in the rearview mirror.”
That said, she thinks the rosy hue could be ready to shake off preconceptions. “As men continue to wear pink, I think it will gain a wider audience,” she says.
In this chic living room, she took the pink color from the tile in the Victorian fireplace surround and repeated it in the walls, sofa, and drapery and accented it with gold. The look is at once soft, stunning, and bold—perfect for the owner. “This particular client is fearless and doesn’t take herself too seriously,” Coddington says.
Coddington considers this pale hue another good pink option. “When done well, pink can soften a room and make it feel relaxing,” she says.
Designer Cara Woodhouse considers pink a color that can be neutral or daring. In this bedroom, she plays it both ways, with soft pink walls and drapes crafted with a Studio fabric that’s adorned with hot-pink flowers. “Pink is such a fun color,” she says. “It can be elegant, soft, and pretty or it can be fun and give an amazing pop!”
For Claire Paquin of Clean Design, pink is the choice that people attractive. “Pink is a very flattering wall color, everyone looks good in the glow of a pink room,” she says. “Pink can be sweet or sophisticated; as a designer, it allows me to create a lot of different looks.”
Citing Elephant Pink as another favorite, Paquin adds that the color keeps interiors interesting. “Pink keeps a room fresh, energetic, and fun,” she says. “It’s not stodgy or boring—it’s always current.”
“I personally love Sherwin-Williams’s Rosé,” says interior designer Courtney Lake of Monogram Decor. “It's a beautiful deep-blush color that pairs nicely with a lot of colors, but I envision it with a plush navy sofa in an office or with black cabbage rose wallpaper in a powder room.”
This is a light pink with coral undertones,” says designer Lynn K. Leonidas. “In different lighting, it can be either bright and cheerful or very quiet and peaceful.”
Designer Ashley Roi Jenkins considers pink a happy hue. “Pink makes people smile and draws them in,” she says.
In this project, she chose the pink color to brighten the room without going too “Disney.” The color is picked up in the curtains and sofa upholstery in the room. “It provides a highlight and brightens a space better than a traditional yellow,” she says. “The color has a lifting quality.”
In designer Steven Favreau’s mind, pink is for everyone. “Pink is chosen by many different types of people: socialites, hipsters, bankers and bears,” he says. “In this case, the homeowner is a bachelor who loves Marilyn and midcentury. He is playful and confident and wanted something unusual for a kitchen.”
The world will never forget the vivid, mainly pink lightening bolt that bisected the face of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. Interior designer Sunny K. Merry memorializes the image in her living room with a diagonal pink stripe. “The inspiration is from a scene in a David Bowie documentary when he was preparing his face for the character,” she says. “The fuchsia spoke to me and I wanted it as a statement/homage to Ziggy in my living room.”