Given how much you loved decorating your Barbie Dreamhouse as a kid, is it really any surprise that the Barbiecore design aesthetic is trending as of late? Yes, that's right—your favorite childhood doll is having a major moment in the interiors world, with vibrant, pink pieces taking center stage.
"Although Barbie has been an icon for over 60 years, this trend is signaling a pop-of-pink that feels bright, cheery, and youthful—exactly what we need after the doom and gloom of the past few years," notes Noel Fahden Briceno, VP of merchandising at Chairish, known for its vast online selection of vintage furniture, art, and home decor.
Searches on Etsy for hot pink home and living-related items are up 21 percent in the last three months, and the style is particularly appropriate for the summer season. "With many nostalgic for simpler, sunnier, and more carefree times, it only makes sense that this ‘80s-inspired, unapologetically pink aesthetic is taking center stage as the ‘it’ style of the summer," Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson notes.
What Does Barbiecore Entail?
Why is the Barbiecore style all the rage, and what exactly does it entail? Before you start grabbing your dolls out of storage, note that Barbiecore isn't a literal representation of all things Barbie! Rather, the aesthetic draws upon a variety of popular, timeless design styles from over the decades.
"Barbiecore is so popular because it’s made up of a really fun mix of styles: post-modern meets traditional chintz meets old Hollywood glam," Briceno explains. "Think feminine silhouettes with frills and fringe combined with an array of edgier, very 1980’s pieces, like pink laminate case pieces and Sottsass, Memphis-inspired accents."
And obviously, when it comes to Barbiecore, there's one main color that is dominant through and through: Pink, of course! "You can’t miss the underlying thread of pink tying it all together," Briceno notes. "It’s a look that feels nostalgic in more ways than one.
Slowly Adapting the Style
If you like the Barbiecore look but you're unsure about going all in with pink everything in your home, that's A-OK. "Incorporate various shades through decorative pieces like art, vases and pillows," Briceno says of the color pink. Small accents like these will still make a major impact. Johnson agrees. "One of my favorite ways to incorporate ‘Barbiecore’ into existing decor is by mixing-and-matching smaller pink accents like art, jewelry bowls, or vases with timeless furniture to create a playful yet elevated space that feels intentional," she says.
Going Big With One Item
Another tactic for embracing Barbiecore is to simply go with a single bright pink item to steal the show. "For shoppers looking to make a bigger splash, I suggest investing in just one statement hot pink item, like a piece of furniture or a decorative mirror, and pairing it with neutral details, so that the pop of color can shine without being overwhelming," Johnson comments. For example, a hot pink sofa would look beautiful placed atop a classic jute rug, while a pink lacquered dresser would appear stunning in a bedroom rooted in black and white.
Not sure where to begin furniture wise? A great way to embrace Barbiecore is by incorporating furniture pieces that are curvy and playful, Briceno notes. Think half moon shaped sofas, round ottomans, and oversized velvet barrel chairs, for example.
Mixing Pink Hues
Love pink? Well, you're in luck, as Barbiecore is the perfect excuse to go overboard with the hue if that's what makes your heart sing! When you do incorporate pops of pink, the best way to do so is by embracing a variety of shades, Briceno notes. "Mix light, playful bubblegum pinks with deeper berry tones and raspberries to make this look feel a little more elevated," she comments. We like the idea of pairing a soft pink sofa with bolder pillows and throw blankets, for example. That said, the main philosophy behind Barbiecore is simply decorating in a way that makes you happy. "What I love most about ‘Barbiecore’ is that there’s no right or wrong way to embrace the aesthetic," Johnson comments. "This fun trend is the perfect opportunity for shoppers to express their personal style."