Refresh Your Space: Think Pink

Why You Need To Add Millennial Pink To Your Home Right Now

By Jaymi Naciri

May 15, 2017

The hottest color in home decor right now is something that might surprise you: Millennial Pink. But don't be put off by the name. Just because it has a generation right there in the name doesn't mean it's not for everyone.

In fact, Millennial Pink isn't even one color. You can't go to Sherwin Williams and ask for it by the name. Apartment Therapy's Nancy Mitchell wrote a cheeky story about the color (or non-color), noting, "I would've called this article 'Millennial Pink is Not a Color' and left it at that, but Heather Schwedel at Slate already wrote that article, pointing out, rightfully, that the wildly different shades of pink being lumped together under the banner of millennial pink are wildly different shades of pink. You can't say that you've identified a new color and then provide examples of things ranging from pale, pale pastel pink to a robust salmon. That is just not how colors work."

But that hasn't stopped Millennial Pink from catching fire and continuing to smolder, despite its apparent range of shades, and also in spite of "normal" color trends.

"Even if you haven't heard of Millennial Pink, or didn't know that it went by this name (it's also known as Tumblr Pink and Scandi Pink), you've seen it," said New York magazine in a story that's aptly titled, "Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away." They note its introduction in 2012 "as a toned-down version of its foil, Barbie Pink, a softer shade that looks as if all the blue notes have been taken out," and its stronghold in 2016 when "everyone started calling it Millennial Pink," and how, at that time, "the color had mutated and expanded to include a range of shades from beige with just a touch of blush to a peach-salmon hybrid."

A broad reach

But their most interesting point is about how this color keeps invading the fashion and home décor worlds, expanding its reach well beyond a Millennial crowd. "Colors always come in and out of fashion, and as our fashion editor-at-large, Amy Larocca, points out, often when Pantone declares Marsala Red or Radiant Orchid to be the next color to watch, we shrug knowingly, fully expecting to see that shade on shelves but not expecting it to invade our consciousness," they said. "This pink is different. Even now, just when it seemed like we had hit a peak and it was finally on the wane, there it appeared again in Fenty's spring look book and on army jackets at Madewell." 

Sure, there was former One Direction singer Harry Styles gracing our TV screens this week during the Today Show's Summer Concert Series in a Millennial Pink suit - in perhaps the ultimate ode to his generation (and that of his fans). But there was also Fondazione Prada's new exhibition space in Milan, which was just decked out with pink columns and upholstered benches for Prada's Resort 2018 catwalk show.

Fabiana Faria of the boutique Coming Soon, told NY Mag that, "We've upholstered things in this emerald green that we're excited about, but it sits there for months. The second I show a pink thing - anything - it leaves so quickly." 

It gets in your head

In addition to being a color that can create a fun and chic atmosphere, it turns out that Millennial Pink may also have a psychological superpower.

"A study from 1982 digging into the effects different colors have on upset children cited bubble gum pink as the hue that could take kids from kicking and screaming to silently snoozing in as little as 10 minutes," said Travel and Leisure. "In an interview with The New York Times in October 1982, clinical psychologist Paul E. Boccumini shared a few words on the discovery: ‘We used to have to literally sit on them,' he said. ‘Now we put them in the pink room. It works.''

If you were looking for a great excuse to go pink, millennial or not, that may just be it. So how do you pull it off in your home? In so many ways.

The bathroom

If you choose to deck out your shower in the hue like in this pic from Lonny, remember this: You can keep your space from looking like a 50s throwback with modern fixtures.

The dining room

You're probably not going to create a restaurant dining room in your home, but what if you applied this luxe idea to your home's dining area?! Keeping the space monochromatic with pink on pretty much every surface makes it that much more luxe.

Overkill? Try this instead. The modern shape of the chairs keeps them from looking too "girly."

The living room

The blush on the lower part of the walls and the couch make this living space serene and stylish. The accessories in the room show how many different colors play nicely with Millennial Pink.

It's all about texture in this living room, and the pink patterned wallpaper that backs the bookcases gives the space depth and interest.


Not ready to take the full Millennial Pink plunge? You only need one great piece to dip a toe

This light from Anthropologie gets in on the Millennial Pink act while showcasing another trend: metallic finishes.

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