Behind the Color Pink

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

DP_Aplanalp-teen-pink-bathroom_s4x3 Photo courtesy of Cindy Aplanalp

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 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.


Browse Pictures of Pink Bedrooms

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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