Pinks and Blues For Girls and Boys

It’s a cultural norm to gravitate towards pink décor when you’re having a baby girl, and blue décor when you’re having a baby boy. But are these colors really tied to being gender-specific by nature? The answer is definitely not!

You may be surprised to learn that pink used to be the color for boys, while blue was considered the color for girls. It wasn’t until around the 1940s that this began to change. Though pink for girls and blue for boys is now the cultural norm, parents shouldn’t feel confined to these overly simplistic categories. Don’t be afraid to go after the color you love. There’s a good chance you’ll be satisfied with the results.

Whether you’re preparing the nursery for your new bundle of joy, redecorating the kids’ room, or planning a remodel in your home’s common areas, here are some tips for decorating with pinks and blues for a beautiful look to suit all genders.

Opt for Light, Natural Tones

Hot pink has become sort of a poster color for femininity, but not all shades of pink give off the same vibe. For a less polarizing look, opt for more toned-down, natural pinks closer to the color of pink wine or pastel flower petals. Champagne pink works great if you’re going for a light color palette, but want more than just white or eggshell. It’s toned down enough that it can work as your backdrop color — such as for bedding, or your couch — but it also has just enough flair that you can use it to accent other colors — with pink accent pillows, for instance, or area rugs against a white background.

Blue works the same way when you shoot for more muted, natural tones. The right blue color scheme can brighten a room and create a wonderfully calming atmosphere. A pale or pastel blue mimics the color of the sky to help soothe you. Sky blue works well in any room in the house, whether it’s the living room, the bathroom, or your bedroom.

Don’t be afraid to mix your pale pinks and blues, either. A light blue couch with pale pink accent pillows creates a bright, relaxing space, reminiscent of sweet-scented flowers against a crisp sunny sky.

Use Blue and Pink as Accents

Walking into a room with pink walls may feel a bit… well, childish (even for your kids). Tone it down a bit, and give the room a “grown up” look by using these colors as accents, instead of base colors. In the living room, you might add pink throw pillows, flowers, and paintings against a gray or tan color scheme. Blue dishes, towels, and chairs can help dress up your white kitchen.

A neutral tan bedroom with accents of blue can have a fresh, fun, and sometimes beachy feel; while a white or gray-based bedroom with pink touches can feel bright, warm, and uplifting. These color schemes can be tailored to fit a mature, sophisticated master bedroom, or a more whimsical and bold bedroom for your 13-year-old.

Try Different Color Variations

A slight change in color can take a space from looking like a nursery to looking like a grand estate (whether that space actually is your baby’s nursery, or your own adult bedroom!). If you’re a lover of pink, but it feels too young for your taste, you might lean instead towards the “red” side of pink, with shades and tints that remind you of roses. Or, bring some purple into your aesthetic with colors like magenta or orchid, to give you the taste of pink with a more “grown up” feel.

If you love blue tones, but want to stay away from baby blue, try a greenish-blue color scheme or a shade of teal. Alternatively, you may find that a muted navy blue, or a light, dusty gray-blue gives you the cool relaxing vibe you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades to find one that suits you.

Get Creative With Patterns

Colors aren’t the only thing that gives an object its flair and stylish aura. Patterns also help communicate the right vibe in a room.

If you’re redecorating your daughter’s room in blue, and she wants a feminine aesthetic, try using floral patterns, butterflies, or polka dots to reflect her personal style. In your son’s room, you might use muted shades of rosy pink or navy blue in bold striped or patched patterns, for a strong and mature look. Or, your kids may go for something more whimsical — like zig-zags, swirls, or geometric patterns — to express their personal interests.

In common rooms like the living room, couple your patterns with your color choices — like blue floral accent chairs, striped area rugs, or pink patterned drapes — to give off a sophisticated, whimsical, or elegant vibe.

Blue and pink don’t have to be reserved for the nursery. When designing a space, the vibe you end up with all comes down to the hues you’ve chosen, the patterns that accent them, and how you’ve decided to layer it all within the room. Above all, whether you’re redecorating for yourself or your kids, truly good interior design incorporates the colors that the individual loves most — no matter what cultural norms suggest.