Color Inspiration

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

July 20, 2011

Do you love pink but have a hard time using it at home? Do you find it tricky to know which colors to pair it with in order to avoid an over-the-top Hello Kitty loves Barbie fest? Well, are you familiar with designer Emma Lamb? If you’ve been reading decor8 for awhile, I’m sure you are — I’ve mentioned her before and find her crochet work so nice — especially if you are into the ever popular homespun style that is taking over the internet at the moment. Emma’s blog really caught my eye lately because of her color boards and the more I see them, the more I’m reminded to feature them on decor8. Like most of you, I like peeking into the imagination of those working in creative fields to see what their starting point is for a design. On Emma’s blog, I particularly enjoy her color palette series and though she has tons more on her blog, here are five of my favorites at the moment, all layouts below are by Emma and images are individually linked below.

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

1: GEMSTONE: A bold, almost neon pink paired with other jewel tones is so pretty. These colors make me think instantly of Kate Spade! Images: 1. Cath Kidston, 2. Penny Royalty, 3. Lepidoptery, 4. Kate Spade.

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

2: MINIMALIST AT HEART: This looks very Scandinavian mixed with a Japanese touch — all rolled into a minimalist, clean aesthetic. The black makes this palette work so well. I love how pink is almost bubblegum but looks so grown up alongside the “hot” colors and the very cool grays. This palette reminds me a bit of the most recently Chloe collection. Images: 1. Conni Matta, 2. Retro Villa, 3. Wu Guanzhong, 4. In Queue.

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

3. ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE: This is a romantic, cool palette using various tones of pink which gives this palette a lot of depth – it’s subtle, layered… sweet. Images: 1. Alicia Bock, 2. Sarah Wynne, 3. Derya Davenport, 4. Tetsu-FMR.

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

4. AUTUMN FEVER: Pink here is used in various tones with a variety of brown, yellow and some orange-red to warm it up. This is a great alternative to the typical Autumn palette that so many stores throw at us with the normal brown, orange, red and copper colors. Mix in some warm mustard, apricot and fuchsia for a kick! Images: 1. Marisa Peterson, 2. Violet May, 3. Hip & Clavicle, 4. Ruti’s Roots.

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

5 Color Palettes That Include Pink

5: FRESH PICKED: This is an enticing use of pink for the summer – for a wedding, patio decor, tabletop styling, even a pretty summer outfit. This is very J.Crew, isn’t it? Lots of blue, yellow and green tones here. You could wear white linen pants with a colorful top with lots of these colors in the pattern, a solid tangerine handbag and gold sandals to pick up the warm yellows in this palette. Here, pink is very retro modern and has zing. Images: 1. Style Me Pretty, 2. raehein, 3. Better Homes and Gardens, 4. Eva Magill-Oliver, 5. Better Homes and Gardens

Out of the color groupings above, which one caught your eye? What do you like about it? How would you like to use it? Did this inspire you to think outside of the box when it comes to pink? It doesn’t always have to be super sweet and girly?

Gorgeous palettes, Emma – we’re all so inspired by these mood boards you’ve done!

(images linked above to their source, collages by emma lamb)


  • Reply Shelley July 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Holly, you embody all that is right with the world. If those in power read your blog, just for even 10 minutes in the morning, I bet we would have world peace. Because really, how angry can one be after starting the day with beauty, calm and goodess?

  • Reply Sarah July 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I’m favoring the Autumn Fever palette. Mixing pink in with more yellow under tones is really appealing to myself as a yellow lover. There’s still a lot of neutrals to play up in this palette so the pink isn’t so “hi it’s pink!”. This inspires me while I prepare to move into a new apartment. A new color for my walls perhaps? Thanks Holly

  • Reply Pingos do Céu July 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Que cores lindas! Cada conjunto mais belo que o anterior.

  • Reply Heather Moore July 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks so much for this. I really really battle with pink, but that palette with the greys alongside makes it much easier to handle.
    xx Heather

  • Reply Genelle July 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Love the English Countryside!

  • Reply Amanda@doievenlikethis July 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    These are all stunning but I am in love with the Minimalist at Heart. I find neutral tones (ok, white) to be so soothing but definitely appreciate a pop of color. I typically gravitate toward a brighter “pop” but the more muted pinks in this collection are elegant and forward thinking at the same time. I will definitely have to take this idea for a spin.

  • Reply Terese July 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm


    I like your lovely inspiration!
    Maybe you like my moodboard I´ve done?


  • Reply Color Collective July 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Love Emma! These are beautiful, great choices!

  • Reply katie runnels July 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Emma is such a lovely person and wildly talented to boot! Thanks for the inspiration!! xox

  • Reply Ann Nordquist July 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Holly – perfect timing about the color pink. My home is a 3 generation one of us 3 gals–my mother(widowed), teen daughter, & myself( divorced after long term marriage). We are redoing our front/main bathroom–we’re being very bold and choose a magenta color for the walls and a shade of pink for the ceiling. Our accent colors are in the fabric we have for the shower curtain & throw rug. Some of those accent colors are a light coral, turquoise, teal, sage, beige, white. We, for the first time in our lives, have the freedom to play with colors instead of being limited to white, cream & beige. I love the palettes you’ve shown here—it gives us more ideas on blending colors in our palette. {hugs} & thank you for all that you do. ~Ann~

    • Reply decor8 July 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      @Ann N. – Wow sounds like a lovely home!!!!

  • Reply Anna July 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Wow! I love all of these! This might not seem “okay” but I have pretty much mixed the Autumn and the Fresh Picked as the theme of my kitchen/breakfast nook. Thanks for sharing this! It will be helpful and inspiring to me as I add to my kitchen.

    • Reply decor8 July 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      @Anna – That is VERY MUCH okay! You should live with colors that make you happy. :)

  • Reply Diane @ home sweet homemade July 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    hmmm, i’m trying to think about how i have applied pink in my house. might be a combination of fresh picked and gemstone. love pink just any which way! nice to see these broad color palettes. they are all so pretty. i think it’s the most flattering of all colors, to people and places alike.

  • Reply Penelope@thirdroomstudio July 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    These are beautiful – I hadn’t thought so much variety existed in pink. Looking at these, I was drawn to the second palette, small hints of black, lots of white. Very pure, feminine but not exclusively.

  • Reply Katie Truelove July 21, 2011 at 12:42 am

    What pretty color pairings! I’m bookmarking this page to come back to again when I need color inspiration:)

  • Reply sunny July 21, 2011 at 1:00 am

    love this post! very inspiring pink palettes!<3

  • Reply Donna July 21, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I painted the inside of my wardrobe a bright fuschia pink, then took the doors off so I can see all my clothes displayed. It’s my little secret splash of my favourite colour and everyday I look at it and think how much I love it!!

  • Reply fenny setiawan July 21, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I love this post Holly. Pink is my fave color :). Inspiring and pretty picture.

  • Reply Melissa Jaine July 21, 2011 at 4:13 am

    The “English Countryside” collection is calling my name!
    In the past I’ve always been very much about black, white and bold, strong colours such as red. But this year I’ve been enjoying softer colours but have yet to incorporate them into my home. Maybe when spring starts to peek its head out of the Aussie winter, I’ll get onto it!

  • Reply belledame July 21, 2011 at 4:32 am

    it’s always good to see the topic tackled. so many people get freaked out by pink. at least, in north america. i have so much in my apartment and wardrobe it is nuts. blazing hot pink against earth tones, browns and teals. i decided to buy a shimmery pink orange sheer fabric on a whim. it was the end of the bolt so the shopkeep cut me a deal to take it all (almost 7 yards).

    :sigh: color… it’s a passion.

  • Reply Zsa Zsa July 21, 2011 at 4:56 am

    What timing! My mom is thinking of redoing the kitchen and she’s looking at various shades of pink. Love these color palettes! If I were to pick which ones are more like me, it would definitely be both minimalist at heart and autumn fever. :)

  • Reply Carolyn July 21, 2011 at 5:10 am

    These are gorgeous!! Autumn favor is definitely my favorite, I should decorate my house in those yummy colors.

  • Reply Serena {Pretty Fluffy} July 21, 2011 at 5:19 am

    I love the English Countryside….so sweet and romantic. I like how these colour palettes are so involved as well. They’re perfect guides and inspiration for those of us that struggle to break away from the standard colour schemes in decorating and fashion.

  • Reply Sarah MacMillan July 21, 2011 at 5:38 am

    I love pink, and I love how you’ve put each of these palattes together. I’m going to use one of them to help me with some painting I’m doing. Now, to decide on which one!

  • Reply Rosa Contreras July 21, 2011 at 6:58 am

    love all of them!! thank for the great inspiration… by the way your book is incredible.. huge fan!!

  • Reply Amy July 21, 2011 at 7:16 am

    These are lovely. I’d personally like to have different rooms dedicated to each of these color schemes. And you’re right – it makes me see pink in a totally different light.

  • Reply July 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I love the fresh picked color combination. It’s a combination that freshens up you house. White and those colors = summer, sunshine

  • Reply Leanda July 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for featuring my dear friend Emma!! She is so talented and has an amazing eye for colour :)

  • Reply Casey Craig Art July 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I like them all! I have never really been into pink, but I had a craving to use the color and ended up painting an abstract tree using all pinks, and it was such an upper. Pink is such a cheerful and soothing color…now I’m definitely a fan! Thanks Holly!

  • Reply Jennifer Seales July 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I just love Emma’s colour palettes, she really has an amazing eye for fresh combinations. My favourite at the moment is the ‘Minimalist at Heart’ – so clean and beautiful.

  • Reply cathie July 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    As a pink lover I found each of Emma’s collections irresistible and she brought the hues together in such a gorgeous manner. I love a little splash of pink in home decor, especially in unexpected places. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Ege Denne July 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Oh…. I`m sitting here and thinking of this blog to be really a big goodie blog :)

    A lot of beautiful things :)

  • Reply Kristin Johnsen July 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Autumn Fever and Fresh Picked – both are just wonderful and full of colors that anyone could incorporate into work they do, or a pretty guest room, or what to wear! I’m using some of the ideas for my mixed media work next – just some great colors that I would NOT have used together! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply Carrie Hampton July 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I just did a color story about pink on my site the other day too — I love pink. It’s such a happy / fresh color. It makes people so happy. I seem to use it a lot in my inspiration boards & my blog posting. I didn’t know I was such a “pink lady” until I started an online presence.
    – Carrie

  • Reply Ariel July 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    love pink. so many ways to make it work! thank you.

  • Reply emma lamb July 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you so much for this fabulous post Holly… !
    Also, a huge thank you to everyone for your kind comments about my colour palettes… I am thrilled to know that they have inspired you in some way and especially so if you have a new found appreciation of pink!
    I have found inspiration in reading your comments and I thank you for that too… :)
    Emma, x

  • Reply Linda Hunt July 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I am a pink fan from way back and really enjoyed the article! I think my favorite was the fresh palette. The colors looked so clean and work so well next to each other.
    You have given me “pink” for thought!

  • Reply Trish July 21, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Oh Holly, I love this post as I too am always trying to fit just a little bit of pink into my home living with all boys & one man. Wee Miss Emma is always inspiring me too! Not only do I love the way she incorporates pink….but I think she’s got that wonderful sense of balance between sweet & sensible. Yay Emma my friend….so happy to see you appreciated for the color wizard you are!

  • Reply Superkitina July 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    What an amazing combination! everyone is great!

  • Reply Deepa July 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I do believe #2, the minimalist palette, will finally be my way of getting my husband to “approve” the use of pink for our home. My marriage is saved!

    Freshly picked would be great for a nursery, too. I seem to have babies on the brain lately…

  • Reply Amber July 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I’ll be honest…I was a total pink hater until I had a baby girl in April. Since then, my outlook on pink has changed drastically. Originally, I was anti-pink for her. I didn’t want any pink clothes or decorations. But now I love it! There are so many CUTE shades of pink now! I really love the fresh picked palat and would love to use that color scheme in my daughter’s room!

  • Reply el {what you fancy} July 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Fresh Picked for me, I just adore that bouquet… bright wedding details always look so much more interesting than just plain white/cream in my opinion. And it’s so summery! :)

  • Reply belinda/gretchenmist July 23, 2011 at 3:34 am

    i love emma’s style ~ glad to see her gorgeous collections here :)
    happy weekend!

  • Reply Michelle ~ Pocketful of Dreams July 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    These are flipping epic….I lurve all of them, so hard to choose as each one speaks to me in a different way. I am so pleased to see such a wide-ranging colour palette being used in each examples, inspired me for my own wedding inspiration boards to widen the net a little and be braver with my colour choices. I usually tend to stick to three or four main colours but now I’m going to mix it up a little. Thanks for sharing. x

  • Reply Qenbleu July 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    amazing post!! all these colours together are just fantastic!

    thank you for including my cards! :)

    (“q en bleu”, x-“inqueue”)

  • Reply Barbara Loyd July 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Pink scares a lot of people and that is a shame. What beautiful examples you gave us. I recently did two blogs about pink; one for blondes and the second one for brunettes. Pink is the best color to flatter us, so I say, more pink please! Your examples were perfect. Thanks.

  • Reply Kristen July 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve always wanted a black house (outside) with the entire inside of the house based on pink palates. While I can appreciate the very subtle pinks and having the entire house be more uniform with say all very light pink walls and lots of white, I would really love to use *each* of these palates in various rooms, but am wondering if I’ve just had too much coffee and am full of an excitement that will fade. Could something like this work? I think that the pinks, grays and blacks in each room could really tie it all together? I’d love the Autumn palate in my den, the English countryside in my bedroom, the fresh picked for my girls’ room, the minimalist at heart for the kitchen and sitting rooms, and the jewel for the dining room and maybe a bathroom. crazy? could one blend all of these palates in one home and also achieve harmony? I like a relaxed feel, too.

  • Reply Kristen July 30, 2011 at 1:31 am

    paletts, that is. ; )

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