Decorating with pink: new ways to work it

Think pink is just for little girls? Think again! From soft blush pastels to upbeat corals and richer tones of raspberry, fuchsia and cerise, these versatile shades can be used to create a sense of romance, sophistication and fun

The time has come to think pink – or rethink pink, anyway. Once the preserve of girls’ bedrooms and boudoir looks, powder and blush pink are now the colours du jour for any room.

Use the right shade and it will make any room look fresh, modern and really very grown-up. Banish all thoughts of pink velour tracksuits – we’re not talking chav, but sophisticated and sexy.

Less is more, so think petal pinks as an accent and use no more than three tonal shades in your palette. Use white as the base. It’s the colour that sets off any pink to its best advantage and other colours are hard to mix with petal tones without looking garish. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with your selection.

Want more colour inspiration? READ: Decorating with bright colour to revitalise your scheme

Keep it subdued

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

If a hot pink is too punchy for you, why not try a powder pink? Don’t think of it as pink, it’s really a neutral – a barely there flush that gives a room a layer of colour and blends in rather than contrasts. Use it to add quiet sophistication and a fresh hint of prettiness that’ll upgrade any look, from simple country to upscale glamour.

Get the look
Buy now: Dylan in Gainsborough Rose Quartz, from £2,295, Content by Terrance Conran

Buy now: Diamonds cushion, £19.95, West Elm
Buy now: Helle Stripe Coral Throw, £44, Holly’s House
Buy now: Hebe stripe in oyster pink, £50; curtain made in Gabriela Oyster Pink, £55 per metre, Neptune
Buy now: Mid century planter, £149, West Elm

Pretty up with patterns

Image credit: David Brittain

Sprinkle a little spring charm over your home with cheerful cottage garden florals in a pretty pink hue – hibiscus and raspberry are great choices. Set the table for afternoon tea with ditsy tablecloths, napkins in contrasting polka dots and traditional china. Avoid using oversized florals as this will completely drown out the delicate scheme. Anchor the look with lashings of fresh foliage and vibrant florals to line the table.

Get the look
Buy now: Cherry Tree fabric on tablecloth, Clarke & Clarke 

Create a cool and calm study

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Powder pink is a quiet shade, perfect for creating a clean, low-key look in a home office. A fabric-covered pinboard will add pattern to break up big, plain areas of colour.

Get the look
Buy now: Den desk, £595, Loaf

Buy now: Easdale Lloyd Loom chair, £329, John Lewis
Buy now: Mid Century task lamp, £149, West Elm
Buy now: Hand thrown pink mug,£23; Concrete clock, £99, Oggetto
Buy now: Rattan CD box, £26, Lombok
Buy now: Rose tall pot, £15, Holly’s House
Buy now: Noticeboard, £135, The Dormy House
Buy now: Pretty Maids dusky pink fabric (on noticeboard), £49.50, Vanessa Arbuthnott

Take it on the wall

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Make the look less country and more modern with a plank-effect print that blends tonal neutrals and a hint of powder pink for a feature wall with a textural, 3-D effect. Here grainy finishes bring texture to flat matt pink and white.

Get the look
Buy now:
Wallpaper, Geometric Wood Panelling, £16.99 per roll, Albany at Wallpaper Direct
Buy now: Felix apothecary chest, £699.99, MY Furniture
Buy now: Easdale Lloyd Loom chair, £329, John Lewis
Buy now: Penelope in Oyster Pink cushion, £42, Neptune
Buy now: Anzia vase, £30, Habitat
Buy now: Rose low storage pot, £18.50, Holly’s House
Buy now: Hexagon vase, £31.50, Hollys House

Pretty up

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Offset curvy furniture and frills with industrial and mid-century pieces to stop the look getting too girly. Matt grey or concrete finishes create a cool contrast in this delicate and floaty scheme.

Get the look
Buy now:
Walls painted in Dusky Rose, £40, 2.5L, Sanderson at John Lewis
Buy now: Laverton rug, £310, Neptune
Buy now: Blind in Organic Ticking rose, £32.50 per m, Ian Mankin
Buy now: Coco double bed, £945; Jackflash chest of drawers, £645, Loaf
Buy now: Gaspard, side table, £84.99, MY Furniture
Buy now: Midi Original 1227 pendant lights, £75, Anglepoise

Balancing act

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Balance powder pink walls with an equal amount of soft white and touches of warm neutrals – sand, stone, caramel. Powder pink is a cool colour, so natural wood warms it up.

Get the look
Buy now: Walls painted in Pink Slip, £42, 2.5L Intelligent emulsion, Little Greene
Buy now: Aina curtains, £45, Ikea
Buy now: Blind made in Organic Ticking Rose, £32.50 per m, Ian Mankin
Buy now: Oslo rug, £150, John Lewis
Buy now: Baxter console table, £640; coffee table, £620, Neptune
Buy now: Blakeney swivel armchair, £1,395.00, Oka
Buy now: Isaac sofa in Chalk, £2040, sofa.com
Buy now: Marv floor lamp, £235, Loaf

Fix a mural

Image credit: Mel Yates

Give your room a pink makeover without picking up a paintbrush or mixing any wallpaper paste. Just start with an all-white backdrop, and then add a piece of wall art like this digital photo mural. You could get a similar effect with a gallery of white-framed rose prints or a series of oversized canvases. Take the look from girly to glam with a white crystal-droplet chandelier.

Get the look
Buy now: Pink Rose Mural, £80, Graham and Brown

Image credit: Mel Yates

Subtle white-grey walls and hits of wood and metal are fitting foils for vivid and blush pink accents. A wall of storage with cubbyhole-style shelving creates an interesting focal point in this symmetrical scheme. Pick a dark raspberry, a mid-toned bubblegum pink and a light blossom tone and use them behind alcove shelves. Leave a big gap between each shelf so you can display large frames and pretty trinkets. Finish off the look by choosing one thing that will tie everything together. In this space, the paints and accessories have been matched to the sofa.

Get the look
Buy now: Fuchsia Falls 1 matt emulsion; Sweet Sundae 4 (palest); Sweet Sundae 2; all £19.49 for 2.5ltr, Dulux
Buy now: Lino 6328 fabric, £35 per m, Elanbach
Buy now: Casella Reverse 15 fabric, £34 per m, Harlequin

Will you be decorating with pink in your home?

Ideal Home loves...