The summer of 2022 could unofficially be called “The Summer of Barbiecore.” After photos of Margot Robbie as the title character in the upcoming Barbie movie were revealed, the Barbiecore aesthetic began to permeate fashion and interior design. It’s easy to understand why. Coming out of a pandemic and such a dark period of time has people gravitating toward nostalgic icons and cheerful colors like pink. Fortunately, it feels like Barbiecore is here to stay.
“Pink is not just for eight-year-old girls anymore, or summer beverages— or summer for that matter,” says interior designer and author of Mood, Anne Hepfer . “Pink is perennially a favorite that always gets invited to the party. It’s pretty. It’s happy. [Even] the subtlest little pop of pink is always a pleasant surprise. And I don’t see it going anywhere for a while.”
Still, it’s a bold choice and when done improperly, Barbie’s Dream House can suddenly become a Pepto Bismol-hued nightmare. So, it’s essential to design wisely and choose furniture and decor that will stand the test of time. Think more sophisticated and less “Come on Barbie, let’s go party.”
Barbiecore spaces require an element of fearlessness. “If you’re into it, lean in!” says interior designer Jennifer Hunter. “Just keep it tasteful by making design choices that convey a fresh and updated take on the brand.”
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While Barbie might have a reputation as a modern girl, Barbiecore truly brings something special to more traditionally designed spaces. For example, Hunter used bold pastels including pink, green, and aqua in a project she worked on in Palm Beach, which is the ultimate locale for the Barbiecore aesthetic.“[These colors] feel both cheerful and playful, incorporating scalloped sofas and scalloped edges on the coffee tables and mirrors, fun surfboard art, collections of shells, and even a collection of straw hats. This celebrates the beach lifestyle that Barbie is so famous for without being too over the top.”
However, Barbiecore is also a great way to complement more contemporary spaces, especially for those who love color. “My designs are the epitome of what Barbiecore is about— over the top, full of color, glitter, and boldness,” says artist and designer Elizabeth Sutton.
While pink is most associated with Barbiecore, other colors can also capture the same essence. Purples, greens, and even bright blues can make a space feel just as cheerful as pink does. Using one multi-colored element such as Sutton’s “I’m On Fire” wallpaper, instantly evokes this mood.
Small Details Can Make A Big Impact
While interior designers know how to create chic Barbiecore looks, the average person just doing a refresh on their own probably doesn’t want to take the look as far. More subtle Barbiecore details and pink decor can bring pizzazz to the aggressively neutral spaces that have been so popular in recent years.
“If you want to try a smaller dose of the trend, try incorporating three to four different complimentary colors within your decorative objects. Think white furniture, hot pink pillows, a bright yellow candle, and a neon blue coffee table book like the ones from Assouline mixed with dark wood, acrylic and brass tables” says Sutton.
Or just add pink accents, “Accents of pink can go a long way. The entire room doesn’t have to be done in the hue, but you can incorporate it by mixing varying shades without being afraid to position it alongside complementary colors,” says Hunter.
To take it a step further, Jessica Davis, principal designer of JL Design suggests mixing it up with red. “Think pink powder bath with a red ceiling, or if you don’t want to commit too much, then add fun pink velvet throw pillows with red tassels, add a multi-shade pink duvet cover to your bed or a fun pink throw rug to your bathroom.”
Or opt for different shades of pink explains Fanny Abbes of The New Design Project. “Anchoring a room in a calming tone of pink is a great place to start, then add accents of coordinating hues to really make the room pop.”
A great example of this is Abbes’ Brooklyn townhouse project. “We used varying shades of pinks and maroons to keep the design of the space tasteful and not overdone,” she says.
Create A Pink Gallery Wall
Creating a pink gallery wall or hanging pink artwork throughout a home is a smart way to add a Barbiecore element for the long haul. “When I started ArtSugar in 2017, hot pink was our primary brand color. Hot pink and really any bright color are my personal favorites,” says Alix Greenberg, founder of ArtSugar. “Hot pink is still a huge seller for us.”
She tells me, “Adding pops of color to your space can be done so tastefully and go well with neutral tones already present. Our acrylic wall smilies, disco balls, and even Barbie-themes framed prints can elevate your walls, without taking it too seriously. I think art should be fun and a reflection of those living with it. So, if you love color as much as I do, but want to keep it tame, add any of these to your gallery wall for the Barbiecore look without a big splash.”
Mix It Up With Pink Textures
“Pink is a bold, powerful color that camouflages itself in soft, inviting femininity. Adding pops of pink to a space, whether in a preppy bubblegum or a glamorous fuchsia, adds a dynamic touch. We love a textural or shimmery pink to create a bit of drama using velvets or flocked wallcovering,” says Kellie Burke, owner and principal designer of Kellie Burke Interiors.
Choosing pink wall coverings such as Party Pink Tweed Wallpaper from Housewife Essentials with pink pillows, pink bedding or a throw blanket can easily create this elevated look. It’s also worth noting that Housewife Essentials has an entire line of Barbie doll art called “Party Girls,” which coordinates well with all of the brand’s wallpaper offerings.
Go Barbiecore In The Bathroom
A Barbiecore bathroom can range from sophisticated to downright cute. The easiest way to incorporate the look is by using pink towels or white towels with a pink (especially hot pink) monogram or pink piping. Then swap out cold stainless steel hardware for pink knobs and pulls. Paint the walls pink or opt for any pink wallpaper. Then add pink or Barbie doll artwork.
Those who can do a more extensive renovation may want to choose a pink stone such as Rainbow Onyx from Artistic Tile. This neutral shade of this stone brings the Barbiecore while still feeling chic and most importantly, grown up.