How to use PINK in your Interior Design

White Pink Orange Turquoise

Ways of using Hot Pink (or what I like to call Schiaparelli Pink):

PINK… in all of its visually delicious options, from pale blush to deeper more aged and contemplative grey pinks, to the visually rich and luscious hot or fuchsia pinks, have LONG been thought of as a colour only fit for little girl’s rooms.  NOTHING could be further from the truth!  The reality of Pink is that it is really a Design “go to” colour that pops or accents nearly all palettes, designs and styles beautifully.  Pink has begun to have a resurgence in Interior Design in paint, fabrics, wallpaper…it literally is everywhere.  I am a big exponent of using Pink.  It adds freshness, vitality and Pizzazz…BUT you need to know how to use it and where.  When painting, try colour blocking one focal wall in a rich, deep pink and then mixing it with creams, whites and a spare colour palette. 

A hint of pink 2


Some of my favourite Pink paint colours are Beet and Hollyhock by Martha Stewart, Razzle Dazzle, PEONY and Royal Flush by Benjamin Moore (not for the faint of heart), Rose Fantasy by Pittsburgh Paints  and Tutti Frutti by Behr.  Mix them with an abundance of white for a fresh almost “salivatory” look…or with greys, charcoals and black for a very bold, glamorous look.  If your a little more adventurous try doing your Pink wall in a HIGH GLOSS lacquer finish… the effect is BREATHTAKING.  For those of you pining for som Pink in your life, try one of the following Design combinations.

Red and Pink create warmth, vibration and excitement.  Because of their closeness on the colour wheel, this combination creates a dynamic and exciting tension that literally causes the eye to vibrate between the 2 colours.   When using this I would mix creams, whites and neutrals into the Design to give it a tailored freshness and conceptual underline.

Black and Pink, the Designer Classic.  This pairing is stark and dramatic, yet at the same time is referential, intelligent and crisp.  This works especially well when accented with tones of grey and sharp white.  This combination works especially well in a living room or reception room of some sort.

Pink and a dark buff /Taupe.  This combination works especially well as a result of the power and powerful energy that the colour Pink possesses.  Pink can cut through the  surrounding noise and distraction like a fog light, so mixing it with the Taupe gives it balance and tempers its Diva nature.  This combination works especially well in more traditional or classic Design settings and especially if there is an abundance of natural light.

Pink and Plum.  Another bold, extravagant and luxurious combination for Pink.  This one is about boldness, richness and an homage to past cultures.  This is another pairing that works especially well for traditional spaces where the Design is based upon fabrics, patterns and textures.

Pink and a calm green are visually stimulating without being aggressive.  It is akin to how you find the colours in nature, such as a blossom and the stem.  The combination is so even and visually soothing that it almost melts the 2 colours together.   This combination is tricky to achieve as it is also the easiest to become stereotypical “Barbie” in nature, but when mixed properly can create a beautifully soothing and inspiring space.

Pink and Tangerine Orange has to be one of my favourite colour combinations.  It is energetic, sexy, fresh and I love the multicultural twist it gives to a space.  It is the Design equivalent of added spice to your Design.  Just temper it with a strong dose of white and some punches of black to ground it and you have a winning colour palette.

Unsure how to use Pink in your home?  Try one of the following tips:

  • Use Pink as a Surprise in your Design.  Add pink in a small and controlled space like on the wall of the foyer and then create an Art or mirror arrangement on it.  It creates a STUNNING statement without being a big financial or time investment.  It is also easy to live with as it is not an area you spend a great amount of time within.

unexpected pop of pink

  • Try going BOLD, SEXY and the “HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS” in your Dining Room.  If you love to entertain, then a hot rich Pink in your Dining room is the perfect solution.  It complements your guests, reflects a beautiful light during day and evening, it psychologically encourages conversation and your appetite and most of all, it sets the stage for a brilliant and successful dinner party.  Try Checker Berry by Glidden.
  • Add pink to add energy and vitality to a dull or more traditional space.  A fresh coat of an exciting pink livens up any lackluster space. The pop of Pink is the visual statement declaring your passion for life and beauty.


  • Mix Pink with a metallic silver or gold to give it a more sophisticated and luxurious feeling.  It softens the pink while adding a sense of exclusivity.  This works especially well in bedrooms, dining rooms and powder rooms.
  • Try using pink as your ceiling colour in a room with tall ceilings and good natural light.  Yes… on the ceiling.  It is a rich and elegant way of adding colour in a controlled format and making a space feel young, fresh and vital.
  • If you are afraid to paint pink, upholster in pink or do anything “larger” in pink.  Then try using one bold and powerful Pink accessory in a room to act as a punctuation mark in the space.

As the immortal Kay Thompson would say… “THINK PINK”.

Pink with crisp white and glossy finishes gives this space an urban yet soft effect.

This room with the wall painted Royal Flush by Benjamin Moore gives the room a sexy depth while the chartreuse accents add whimsy and a conceptual layering.

Grey pinks and a layering of mauve and gloss finishes gives this space an Upper West NYC feeling.

  1. Meredith BrownMeredith Brown07-05-2011

    Absolutely love the article and the underlying spirit it conveys. I love the idea of adding pink and I AM GOING to add some pink. I need a fresh outlook. hugs to you Robin

  2. KristinKristin07-06-2011

    I love this post! Pink is my favorite color but I never get the right shade when painting (too hubba bubba), thanks for tips!

  3. Andy MorrisAndy Morris01-23-2012

    Pink is Fun! and I love it, great article. Pink can be dangerous in a painting, but I use it anyway.