Pink is The New Beige: How to Use Pink as a Neutral

pink living room rug

Brian Wetzel for Michelle Gage Interior Design

If the idea of using pink as a neutral surprises you, you're not alone. "Years ago, pink was associated with femininity and babies. No way would pink be used as a paint color on living room walls, or in furniture and pillows," designer Suzan Wemlinger commented. But, times are a-changing. "Luckily, that reluctance to use pink as a neutral has gone out the window, and it is now used in anything from rugs to sofas and chairs," Wemlinger added.

Pink can be incorporated into a space in a number of ways to achieve a neutral effect. "When combined with stronger hued colors, pink actually acts as a neutral and tones down a more saturated pigment," explained designer Charmaine Wynter. And, Wemlinger noted, it can add an touch of intrigue, too. "It can be used as a grounding color when beige is too bland," she shared. "Using pink in a room as a neutral instead of beige allows just enough of an edge into the space, and makes one do a double take when they enter the room." Below, we're outlining eight easy ways in which you can begin to introduce a pop of neutral pink into your own space.

  • 01 of 08

    Give Your Bedding a Refresh

    blush pink bedroom

    Studio HDP for Erica Burns Interiors

    Pink bedding isn’t just for little girls’ rooms, Wynter promised. “I'll pair soft nude-toned bedding with navy blue drapery and soft gray wallpaper in a master bedroom to balance the space, making for a fun gender-neutral environment that is still an arresting schematic,” she shared. Designer Erica Burns agreed, noting that it's all about choosing the right tone. "Pink is great in bedrooms as it adds a feminine touch, and if muted, does not go too youthful."

  • 02 of 08

    Coat Your Walls

    pink dining room walls

    Stacy Zarin Goldberg for Erica Burns Interiors

    Say goodbye to that off-white wall paint once and for all. “If you want to add some fun into your space, switch up your neutral walls for an unexpected pale pink,” designer McCall Dulkys suggested. “I love contrasting a feminine blush wall with some modern, black furnishings for a really different, unexpected pairing.” 

    Wynter agreed that there’s no need to go for an extremely saturated hue in order to add some oomph to a space. “I have been turning to a soft, barely-there tint of pink more frequently for clients who are looking to embrace a fresh, young vibe,” she explained. “If, like them, you are tired of the grey hues we have been inundated with for the last few years, but you aren't ready to turn back to the yellowy tints of beige that were popular before that, then blush pink is the way to go.”

  • 03 of 08

    Or Just Paint a Portion of Them

    pink wall

    Isabella Patrick Design

    Alternatively, cover just a portion of a space with a beautiful pink, as designer Isabella Patrick did in a recent project. "We suggested applying a pale blush shade on the ceiling and down one wall which really lifted and brightened an otherwise OK space to a special one," she explained. "By placing touches of pink accents in a similar shade and mixed materials it helped to tie in the color so that it didn’t feel random or stand-alone.

  • 04 of 08

    Opt For a Pink Rug

    pink living room rug

    Brian Wetzel for Michelle Gage Interior Design

    Designer Michelle Gage selected a hot pink vintage rug “to balance out the blues and whites” in the above dining room. “Pulling that shade out into the bench seat and pillows made it the perfect swirl of saturated color,” she explained. Designer Kelsey Haywood also decided to think pink when it came to flooring, and she, too, combined the hue with moodier colors. “Our clients already had a show stopping vintage rug that we used as the jumping off point in their family room refresh,” she noted. “The rich pink colorway was the foundational element to the space and served as the neutral we built upon. We layered on navy blues, teal, and brass to complete the room.” The end result? Just the right amount of vibrance. “It created that colorful, yet soothing space the client was craving,” Haywood reflected.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Pair Pink With Blacks and Browns

    pink and brown

    Ashley Roi Jenkins Design

    While designers have described pairing pink with blues and golds, you can also choose to style the shade with colors that are less bold. Noted designer Imani James, “We love adding pink to otherwise neutral rooms to provide contrast with other neutrals such as black, chocolate brown, and charcoal.”

  • 06 of 08

    Use Pink to Add Energy to a Space

    pink wooden end tables

    Stacy Zarin Goldberg for Marika Meyer Interiors

    "Pink has always been a go to color for me in rooms throughout the home, even if it has sometimes surprised my clients," designer Marika Meyer said. "It has all of the versatility of a neutral. It can read cool or warm depending on the hue and works with many different color palettes. But, right now, it's a great alternative because it brings more color and energy than a traditional neutral." Meyer added bubble gum pink end tables to her own home, as shown above. "A safer choice would have been white or wood, but the pink is way more fun and far less serious!" 

  • 07 of 08

    Don't Pair It With White

    pink in bedroom

    Ryan Hainey for Suzan Wemlinger Designs

    Designer Sarah Stacey shared a tip for a color combo to avoid. "The key to using pinks as a neutral is to avoid pairing it with white," she explained. "The white will make the pink more pronounced, and when white is not there, the pink then recedes and acts as your neutral color."

  • 08 of 08

    Know That Pink Pairs Well With Any Aesthetic

    pink kitchen

    Original BTC

    Whether your aesthetic leans boho, grandmillennial, or contemporary, the color pink will fit right in, so don't stray away from the hue because you fear it won't complement your style. "Pink can be used in traditional, modern or eclectic rooms—pink knows no bounds," Wemlinger commented.