Blame it on the rise of so-called millennial pink and its brethren of trendy desert-inspired clay hues, but we think pink is experiencing a glow-up lately like no other color in the paint store. Whereas the pinks of the past might have had less-than-favorable connotations—childish bubblegum hues for children's rooms, or the blinding neon glow of the "girls'" toy aisle—this new class of pinks is everything its predecessors weren't: subtle, elevated, unexpected, and oh-so-adult.
But the controversial hue can still seem a little tricky to work with at first blush. The secret to making pink work in your home? Pairing it with complementary hues by looking across the color wheel (since red sits opposite green, pink, and emerald hues are an intuitive match), or selecting a shade that's far more saturated than the muted nudes you've chosen. Then, layer in tons of rich texture to complete the effect: a pink-hued room that's as livable as it is lovely (and one that won't elicit compare
isons to a certain pink Dreamhouse).
Meet the Expert
Emily Starr Alfano is an interior designer and founder of mStarr Design.
Check out our roundup of the most interesting colors to pair with pink, then get painting.
Carnation Pink + Teal
If you'd told us that a teal and pink bathroom would be our newest obsession a few weeks ago, we might've scoffed—but somehow this pastel combination feels way more refined (and less like an Easter basket) than we ever imagined.
Dusty Rose + Olive Green
This space is absolutely nailing the boho-chic vibe (and making us seriously consider painting our own rooms in dusty rose). Not only do the olive green drapes pair excellently with the half-painted pink wall, but the mix of textures thanks to the woven mirror and lamp make the child's room feel fun yet sophisticated. "My favorite [color to pair with pink] is a dark olive green. It's actually a combo I've done in my daughter's room and it feels rich and elevated, yet also playful, says Alfano. "It's also a color that can work with a variety of pink tones but I'm partial to it with a light dusty rose!"
Pale Pink + Cobalt
A good rule of thumb: when working with a washed-out, pale pink like in this nursery, pair it with a rich jewel tone to create tons of contrast and achieve an instantly regal look. It certainly worked in this space.
Ballerina Pink + Peach
File under: color schemes that shouldn't work, but somehow totally do. This peach and pale pink combination draws both hues from similar color families but switches up the saturation levels to make the look really pop.
Bubblegum Pink + Emerald
Juxtaposing stately emerald green with a bold pink creates a look that's totally statement-making. Bring both colors together in your artwork, as well, like in the living room pictured.
Flamingo Pink + Sage
We've already declared it our new favorite (honorary) neutral, so it's no surprise that sage green brings all of its versatile, muted elegance to a marriage with pink. Red accents in pillows and a rug make the same feel a bit more eclectic.
Blush Pink + Grey
Proof positive that pink and grey don't have to look twee together. This modern living room packs a punch, even while relying on two ultra-muted neutral shades.
Rose Quartz + Gold
Is it just us, or does this color combo look just like an idyllic, early-morning sunrise? We wouldn't mind waking up to this pink bedroom every morning.
Crepe Pink + Black
Of course, black goes with every color...but is there any denying that black and pink is an iconic color duo that always makes a huge impact? We didn't think so. This stately bathroom gives black-and-pink the grown-up treatment it deserves (no pop-punk connotations here).
Rouge + Burnt Orange
A burnt orange duvet plus rouge pink pillows and a headboard equals a bouquet of floral-inspired goodness you get to live inside. There's something so retro yet unexpectedly fresh about this combo.