Design Recipes: Shades of pink

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Pink is one of those colors that you can dress up or down, and use all year long. Despite what many people may think, pink is more than just a feminine color. From the runways to home decor, pink remains one of the most popular accent colors.

Foundation of pink

Pink comes in all different shades and tones. Many darker pinks have undertones of blue, which is why some of the deeper tones come to life when paired with blue. On the other hand, some softer tones have more cream or white as their foundation color and work better with lighter shades, or can be used as contrast colors when paired with colors such as black or brown.

Tips for using pink

When looking for ways to incorporate pink into your decor, first decide if you wish to use it as a foundation color for your primary pieces, as a dominant color in your space or as an accent color. One of the best ways to use pink or any accent color is through the use of a popular designer color technique called color mapping, in which color is repeated throughout a space.

When using pink in your decor here are more top tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to pair pastel pink or lighter shades with white. Many consider this palette to be fresh and modern.

2. Lighter shades of pink can serve as great contrast colors when paired with darker colors such as black or brown.

3. Don’t be afraid to mix different shades of pink in the same space.

4. Consider using pink in unexpected ways like accent pieces such as coffee table books and artwork.

5. Don’t rule out hot pink! Hot pink remains one of the hottest accent colors in home decor.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at