I guess it’s no secret that I’m a fan of decorating with pink. So far I’ve used it as a significant design element in our mudroom, laundry/bathroom, and even master bedroom, and I’ve got touches of it throughout the house. But I’m also the only girl in a houseful of boys- my husband, and my two sons, ages 16 and 8. And one of the most common questions/comments that I get on the blog and IRL is how on earth did I manage to convince my boys to let me use so much pink in our house.
Questions/comments like that puzzled me at first, because it’s never been a big issue in our house. In fact, when I brought it up to Michael (my husband), he said, “Isn’t this 2018?”
For context, Michael is about as far removed from the design world as you can get. Many of you would think of him as a “redneck” 😉 He drives a big Chevy truck, drinks beer-never wine or champagne- and listens to Solid Gold Saturday Night (think Waylon and Willie, not Warwick). He loves the Bulldogs and any sport they happen to be playing in, but especially football. One time, when I mentioned “millennial pink” to him, the confused look on his face was priceless.
And my boys, they’ve never given me any grief about it either. They both wear pink occasionally, and they’re generally pretty confident in themselves and their choices. They’re don’t say, “ew gross, pink!” just because it’s pink- which I honestly think is just a gut reaction of some men, rather than a true dislike of the color. (Of course, some men do truly hate pink, just like some women do.)
But when I got to thinking about it, I realized that there may be some other reasons behind their acceptance of pink other than just being really enlightened modern gentlemen ?. Here are my tips to what might work for you to get the men in your life to be a little more accepting of decorating with pink.
(Product links at the end of this post)
(I realize this may read all kinds of sexist, or like this situation only applies to a husband/wife dynamic. I don’t mean it that way. I’m just writing about my personal experience, and in response to questions and comments that I receive on this topic).
Decorating with pink when you live in a houseful of boys
*Affiliate links included- see my disclosures here
Start small. Real small.
The very first thing I introduced into our decor that was pink were the faux cherry blossom stems that I keep in the kitchen. That was when we lived in our old house, and I had them in the dining room then. I didn’t make a big deal of them, just brought them home, put them in a vase, and added them to a shelf. I don’t think Michael even noticed them.
The next things were a dark pink throw with two matching pillows that I added to our living room. Those he noticed for sure, but they complimented the room so well that all he said was, “looks nice”.
From there, I began adding touches of pink to most of our rooms, until finally I worked up to using pink as a more significant design element.
Make sure that decorating with pink complements an overall design aesthetic that both of you love
So it might sound like I just do what I want in this house without consulting Michael and the boys at all, but that’s not the case.
When we first moved into this house and we were discussing how I would approach decorating it, we established pretty early on that we like light, bright, casual, coastal inspired design. We all LOVE the beach, and while we didn’t want this house to scream, “beach house!” we did want it to feel as if it could be someone’s old cottage on the coast. Not overtly “beachy”, but a collected, coastal inspired design. As a family, that is what makes us happy, and I’m usually very mindful of that with every single room that I decorate in this house (read about the mistake I made when I wasn’t so mindful of this here). And I make sure that when I use pink, it complements this design aesthetic that we’ve chosen as a family.
I think because when I do use pink, it is done in a way that definitely nods to, or at least supports, the light, bright, coastal inspired look that we love, that has gone a long way to making sure my boys love it too.
The laundry/half bath design seems a bit wild, but it’s definitely in line with how we want our home to feel!
If you haven’t discussed with your SO how you want your home to look and feel, I would definitely recommend that as a first step. Then, you can work on decorating with pink to support that overall design aesthetic that you and your family loves.
Explain why decorating with pink works in your space
The only time Michael has ever really questioned a design decision that I made with pink is when I wanted to paint the trim in our master bedroom pink. And his only question was, why not blue?
I could see his point. Blue, or aqua, would make more sense for a typical coastal look than pink!
I had two big reasons for wanting to use pink trim. One, the aqua trim against the floors would bring out the orange in the floors, which we both do not like. Two, pink would look amazing with the bedding that I had chosen, which definitely had a coastal vibe.
When I explained that to him, he was good with it!
Use moodboards to show him what you are thinking
So many of us are visual, and it may be hard for him to visualize what your plans are in a space, and how it may fit into an overall design theme. Pull together a moodboard to show him exactly how decorating with pink will work in the space! Sometimes just seeing it is enough. (I use Olioboard for moodboards).
Show him that you know your stuff
The proof is in the pudding. If you’ve decorated your home to be a space that your family loves, he’s going to be much more accepting of any “out there” ideas that you throw at him, because he’ll trust your design decisions. You’ve been right all these other times, right?
If you’re just starting out together, you don’t even have to have any rooms done yet to start showing your mettle as a decorator. Start with smaller vignettes (decorating the mantel, a coffee bar, etc.) that can still pack a punch in a room, and go from there!
If you can, give him his own space that you work HARD to help him make his own
Michael’s Georgia room is a detached workshop/garage that had good bones but needed a lot of cosmetic work when we moved in. We both worked our tails off to make it a pretty amazing space for him. I wanted him to have his own space that he loves and can do whatever he wants to with.
I think that my support for helping him get his own space that he loves, plus the fact that I worked every bit as hard as he did to make it happen, does help him be even more supportive of any design ideas in our home that I present! Plus, if he really hated the rest of the house, he can always escape to his room 😉
I guess an obvious question is, does Michael really like how our house looks with pink, or is he just “letting me have my way” and not making waves?
Well, I will tell you that whenever I finish with a room, Michael is usually the first one to show it off- he’ll bring in our friends and family to show them what we have done with the space. And he is always so proud whenever there is a bigger DIY element that I have tackled. The mudroom, in particular- he told so many people that I put that pink buffalo check fabric on the wall myself (here’s the how-to)! So I think he really does like it.
Any other ideas for decorating with pink when you have a house full of boys? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Bird prints-thrifted (here’s similar)
Doormat- sold out (here’s similar)
Sectional- Ikea Ektorp
Pink throw blanket- gifted, but this is similar
Lamps- these were super cheap bases and shades bought separately years ago
Side table- similar
Everyone asks me about that mirror, but it’s an antique that’s been in our family for years. Here’s a somewhat similar option.
Large artwork on wall- thrifted
Small artwork on bedside table- Jenny’s Print Shop
Trinket box- bought years ago, but here’s a beautiful option that I love
Everything’s thrifted/collected- go check out the post to find out more!