What Colors Match Pink?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Pink is all grown up -- no longer is it just for decorating little girls' bedrooms.
Image Credit: Onzeg/iStock/Getty Images

Pink is possibly one of the most misunderstood colors. It's associated with innocence, and is often considered a strictly feminine color -- but it's much more versatile than it seems. It can be pleasingly matched in several nontraditional pairings. For proof, check out these [five pink palettes] (http://decor8blog.com/2011/07/20/5-color-palettes-that-include-pink/) in moods from warm to cool. A derivative of the pure primary color red, pink naturally follows the rules of its mother color. For example, on the color wheel of the design world, red and green are opposite one another, and are known as complementary colors. As a result, green pairs well with pink -- but other color relationships should also be explored. When combining colors, remember to mix in neutrals to avoid an overdone result.

Green & Pink

A pink rose looks so perfect because it embodies a pure balance of color: pink and green on the same flower. Although greens and pinks are meant to coexist, keep in mind that a dark forest green with a very pale pink may not be an ideal pairing. Any color can be tinted with white or darkened with black -- or altered further by adding gray, a combination of the two. As a result, light pink and pale green harmonize better than a dark shade and light shade. It may seem elementary, but pink also matches pink. Pairing pinks that are just a few shades away from one another can add depth to a style or design.

Orange & Purple

On the color wheel, matching colors in an analagous color scheme means choosing any four side-by-side colors. In this way, pink can be paired with the three orange variations counterclockwise of it, or the three purples to the other side -- or any combination within the four contiguous steps. Simply matching the colors in their natural states is an option, but the groupings may prove too bright. Your four colors can also be mixed or toned down to create different moods. For example, a pairing of carnation pink and tangerine orange creates a different vibe than a combination of petal pink and peach.

Blue & Yellow

Using three triad colors is another way to create a matching palette. Evenly spaced apart on the color wheel, the primary colors -- blue, red and yellow -- are perfect candidates. Perhaps pink (a derivative of red) and yellow are not the first combination you'd think of when considering a color match. And we've been taught from an early age that pink and blue are pretty much mutually exclusive. However, navy blue and fuchsia look dazzling together. Equally stunning are a trio of Caribbean blue, warm saffron and salmon pink. You can stick with a two-color combination of shades, and include gradations of both with a few neutrals thrown in. Or, you can always go for the gusto and use all three primaries in differing doses.

Black, White & Brown

Black and white magically go with every color. Black with pink gives pink a grown-up spin, while white encourages a simple and fresh cottage feel. These two colors can be incorporated with any of the other mentioned matching schemes. Brown, however, is a color that might not seem like an intuitive match for pink, but it really is a nice companion. Created by mixing many different colors, including red and green, brown has properties related to pink, and they play off one another nicely. A chocolate brown or a cinnamon brown paired with a lucky shade of pink can create an exotic source of warmth.

references & resources

Cynthia Mulcahy

Cynthia A. Mulcahy has been published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire's "Accent Home & Garden Magazine", a home decor publication. She also provided copy for the magazine's website and copy edited a 2009 issue. Mulcahy holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a minor in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire.