Playful, girly and kitsch, pink is suddenly everywhere, thanks to the upcoming release of Barbie, the movie starring Margot Robbie in the title role, with Ryan Gosling as her faithful companion Kane.
Preview shots of the film’s candy pink and magenta sets may be a bit of a reach for their sunglasses, but the hashtag ‘barbicore’ has attracted nearly 500 million views on TikTok. As an interior designer and guest judge on hit TV shows including the BBC’s Interior Design Masters, I encourage everyone to free themselves from the ‘beige-box home’.
Lockdown has changed our relationship with our home. Being forced to spend so much time confined within four walls has made people realize how joyless a neutral palette can be. Now, thankfully, nobody seems to care too much about having the ‘right’ shade of gray on the wall.
People overcome fear to make bolder choices.
In my own home – a late Victorian farmhouse in East Sussex – I have just installed a new kitchen, with soft pink cabinets. The front door is a welcoming pastel pink, and the office wallpaper has pink accents everywhere, from a deep-pink stair runner to bright pink.
Amy Griffith’s six-bedroom, seven-bathroom Essex home is known by many as the ‘Barbie House’
My husband Tom is a builder and we have a 12-year-old son, Arthur, so I know all too well the battle many women face when trying to bring this color into their homes.
It’s silly because pink wasn’t considered a girly color until the 1950s, but if you’re facing resistance, be smart and choose pinks with names like ‘putty’ or ‘plaster’, so they fly under the radar. .
To go barbecue, though, you have to be cheeky: There’s no point in playing it safe with a few pink cushions or accessories — as these extraordinary homes illustrate.
This is my dream house and Barbie will adore it
Like most women of her generation, Amy Griffith, 47, enjoyed playing with Barbie dolls as a child. Now, she has two real-life Barbie dream homes of her own, one in rural Essex and the other in Morocco
Her six-bedroom, seven-bathroom Essex home is known by many as the ‘Barbie House’. Small wonder, it has even been painted pink outside.
‘When I invested in the property in 2009 it was a rundown beige house that hadn’t been shown any love for years,’ says Amy, an artist and entrepreneur who lives between the two houses with her partner and is not there when they rent.
Like most women of her generation, Amy Griffith, 47, enjoyed playing with Barbie dolls as a child. Now, she has two real-life Barbie dream homes of her own, one in rural Essex and another in Morocco
‘I wanted to design a house that would serve as a masterpiece in its own right.
‘I chose pink as a main theme that runs through the room because it’s a good colour.’
The style is eclectic, bold and the bedroom, bathroom, a dining room, hallway and extensive garden are decorated and decorated in every shade of pink from pink to neon.
‘I wasn’t the original inspiration for the Barbie house, the pink theme just evolved. I realized that color is just part of who I am’.
Some say it’s childish but I love being girly
From the outside of Sophia Ferrari-Wills’ traditional five-bedroom cottage in rural Cambridgeshire, you’d never guess it’s like stepping into a Barbie dreamhouse.
On a break from her career as a midwife and health visitor, Sophia, 35, lives with her husband Chris, 43, a sales manager for a print company, and their daughters Clemmie, four, and Minnie, two.
Sophia Ferrari-Wills lives with her husband Chris, 43, a sales manager for a print company, and their daughters Clemmie, four, and Minnie, two.
Her love of pink interiors has earned her 494,000 followers on Instagram (@thiscolourfulnest).
Her love of pink interiors has earned her Instagram (@thiscolourfulnest) 494,000 followers.
Sophia laughs, ‘I’ve always been feminine.
‘My friends bought me a Ferrari Barbie as a present when I was a teenager because of my surname. I still got him.’
Two days after buying the cottage in October 2019, Sophia started working. ‘It was a joy to hand paint each spindle of the dark wooden stairs in pink.
‘Last year I painted everything pink in the kitchen including the log burner and microwave in the living room.’
The garden fence is painted in a shade called ‘My Husband Said No’. Not that Sofia ever had trouble convincing Chris.
‘When we first met, she was wearing a pink shirt and socks,’ she says. ‘Like me she loves colour.’
Other members of his family are not so enthusiastic. ‘When some relatives came to stay, they were not too impressed. ‘Everything pink is a bit childish, isn’t it?’ They said. ‘Surely you will be more neutral when renovating the house in the future?’ The answer is no.’
I even painted the patio pink
Kate Morgan’s three-bed townhouse in an Essex village has been given the full Barbie treatment. ‘The house was a new build when we bought it six years ago and everything was magnolia. I slowly added colors to inject some personality.
‘I’ve always been very girly and obsessed with Barbies, so using pink isn’t about me jumping into an inner trend, it’s my neutral. Our old house also had pink bedrooms and a pink kitchen.’
Kate Morgan’s three-bed townhouse in an Essex village has been given the full Barbie treatment
Kate’s home is now a glorious tribute to all things pink and pastel, from the pink paving in her yard to the blooming flowers on her staircase.
Kate’s home is now a glorious homage to all things pink and pastel, from the pink-painted pavers on her patio to the flowers on the steps of her staircase.
As a child, she had several Barbie dolls and a much-coveted Barbie camper van. ‘I especially love my pink-themed kitchen. To keep costs down, I’m a dab hand at DIY, doing most of the decor myself, including upcycling furniture by painting it pink and other pastel shades.
‘I painted my bedroom floor pink, and the kitchen units too. I frequent second-hand shops and car boot sales to buy vintage items.
‘Friends love my house, they see it as a novelty. But it would be quite strong if everything was pink, so I offset it with lots of greens, blues and lilacs to break it up.’
She’s a self-described ‘accidental Instagrammer’ who has gained more than 430,000 followers (@kate_rose_morgan) since posting a few photos of her interior progress in 2019. Her husband Lammert, 44, an NHS trainer, is no slouch when it comes to color choices.
‘I especially love my pink-themed kitchen,’ said Kate. ‘To keep costs down, I’m a dab hand at DIY, doing most of the decorations myself, including painting the furniture pink and other pastel shades.’
‘He knows how much I love to do things indoors, so says yes to any idea I have to make me happy! I’m lucky, because I know a lot of men wouldn’t entertain it,’ said Kate, 40.
As for the Barbie movie, Kate says she and her eldest daughter are on the countdown – while her husband is ready for more pink house projects after watching it.
The kitchen fitter couldn’t believe his eyes
Communications manager Lucy Saxton-Quinn heads into her bright pink kitchen for an all-out barbeque — with her husband’s full encouragement.
‘The chap from the kitchen company who came to fit it thought we were joking when we called him pink. When he unboxed the units he was so tickled he asked if he could FaceTime to show his wife,’ says Lucy, 39, whose pink-themed home is a two-bed maisonette in Tunbridge Wells that she shares with Jason, 58, a . Writers and magazine editors, and their two dogs.
Communications manager Lucy Saxton-Quinn heads to her bright pink kitchen for an all-out barbeque — with her husband’s full encouragement.
‘As a little girl I had Barbie dolls and pink Barbie cars. It’s such a crazy, happy color and you can’t help but feel alive when surrounded by pink.
‘I fell even more in love with it a few years ago when Jason was speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India, a city famous for its gorgeous colors – there was orange, pink and bright fuchsia everywhere.
‘This inspired our Bollywood wedding theme at the Club Tropicana meet in Kent in 2019, with a bright pink tuk-tuk instead of a traditional wedding car.
‘Pink is our trademark and makes us so happy that we decided to go for it with our kitchen and when we renovated it in 2018 we found the most cheerful, pink colored units.’
Lucy (above) says friends describe her house as ‘a cross between a disco and a Bollywood set’ and she’s already planning to extend the whole barbeque trend to another room.
‘The living room needs to be redone so it’s going to be pink, followed by the outside of the front door,’ she adds. ‘Our neighbors comment on the pink kitchen because they see it when the lights are on and say how cheerful it is. Even our street kids love to walk past and peek.
‘Jason loves to cook Indian food, so the kitchen is a fun place for him and we often match our outfits to the unit.’