Say hi to Barbiecore, and 9 items that’ll help you embrace the trend at home

Nostalgia and plenty of bold colors come together in a trend that’s taking over closets, makeup bags and homes

a salmon pink sofa in a pink paneled living room with wooden floors and white French doors
(Image credit: Getty/onurdongel)

Fire up the pink convertible and hop in – Barbiecore is here. 

Yes, pink is paving its way into all aspects of our lives, all through an unexpected source for the 21st century: Barbie herself. A quick scan through the last few years and you’ll find that many of the trends influencing the stylized parts of our lives have been inundated with neutral palettes. And while there have been loads of great pink room ideas in the past, the majority of us can agree we return to that safezone of greige and other new neutrals.

That no longer is the case, according to Barbiecore gospel: pink, and a host of other bright colors, are in.

So if you are tickled pink by the prospect of a more colorful and playful aesthetic, read on to understand just how to nail that Barbiecore look without it looking like your childhood bedroom.

What is Barbiecore?

You’ve likely heard that Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling will be gracing the big screen next summer as Barbie and Ken in the aptly-titled movie ‘Barbie.’ Fans of Mattel’s famous doll and cinephiles are rightfully excited about the upcoming release, but it has permeated a lot more groups than just these. 

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie wearing neon brights and pink while rollerblading on set for the Barbie movie

(Image credit: Getty/MEGA)

After a few sneak peek images were released from filming, the iconic doll’s color palette has exploded in popularity in every corner of people’s lives. This year’s fashion shows have seen a surge of attendees clad in pink outfits that could’ve been plucked from Barbie’s own closet. Beauty is another space where an influx of pink, bright and plastic has taken hold. But it hasn’t just touched the beauty and fashion worlds. 

Home decor has been tinged with pink, too. Whether it’s a fresh coat of pastel paint on the walls or a new flamingo-colored side table, pink and Barbie-reminiscent materials are popping up all over homes. Though the thought of adding a flash of neon pink to your home might be a shock to the system, it’s arguably perfectly timed. 

The popularity of Barbiecore seems completely out of left field compared to the recent trends that have taken over homes over the last couple of years. Where does a jolt of fuchsia pink fit into the grand scheme of things?

Coastal grandma trend in the bedroom: light, airy and simple

Calming, grounding schemes like this look with Coastal and Scandi vibes have been popular in a stressful world

(Image credit: Amara)

We’re currently swimming in a sea of trends that all have their own unique features but are very strongly connected with common themes. Japandi, coastal grandmother, minimalism, modern farmhouse, Scandinavian – their roots might be different, but you’ve surely started to draw connections and similarities from Scandi’s clean looks to Cottagecore’s slightly more shabby chic appeal. Soft, gentle colors, natural textures and materials and a movement toward cozy living is the underlying theme. You’d be hard pressed to find a neon green couch or taffy-colored set of curtains among them. 

Barbiecore takes these ideas and swiftly throws them in the trash. No offense to the jute carpets, wooden tables and white, gauzy curtains, but there’s no room for quiet and minimal in the world of Barbie. In fact, it’s nearly the polar opposite. Barbiecore goes heavy on bright, neon colors (mostly pink, let’s be honest) and heavily emphasizes synthetic materials and funky shapes. 

Why Barbiecore is fit for the times

This isn’t a thumb’s down to trends that fall on the quieter end of the spectrum – they were needed. Over the last few years, many of us craved comfort, stability and calm. When the world wasn’t any of those things, we turned to our homes to provide them. Therefore it’s understandable that the colors and textures many gravitated toward happened to be peaceful, tranquil and a reminder of nature or moments in time that held more positivity.

Green sofa in a modern boho living room with black display shelves and a rattan chair from Habitat

Bringing the outside in with biophilic design has been a popular trend in the last couple of years

(Image credit: Habitat)

After several years of beige and cream, hot pink is a refreshing drink of water. Trends are cyclical, and though it’s a little surprising seeing such a stark step into color, it’s the generous dose of maximalism we might secretly be craving for our hushed interiors. 

Should we go a little bit deeper? On top of its surface-level look, Barbiecore is sending a few more messages with its aesthetic, number one being that pink and feminine do not equate to frilly and frail. This reframing of pink is definitely needed. Colors typically deemed “serious” and “sophisticated” never include bubblegum or fuchsia. Historically, pink has always been easy to make fun of. We can tie it back to any other pink trend that wasn’t so successful.

Nestwell linen duvet cover

(Image credit: Nestwell)

Barbiecore has the confidence and self-assuredness that 2016’s Millennial Pink didn’t have. The chalky pastel peachy-pink that was Millennial Pink ushered in a lot more eye rolls than anything else. This hue was much safer and emblematic of a generation that stereotypically likes their products and branding to appear smooth, clean and minimal. 

While nothing is wrong with that, it was easy to satirize and didn’t really make it past 2018 as a lasting trend. Barbiecore might have a little more fuel. It’s brash and unapologetic. Obnoxious? Maybe, but in the world of Barbiecore, all facets of it are celebrated, even the ones people would likely mock.

bedroom with pink walls, colourful bedding, and blue ceiling

A pop of pink is not the only vibrant color seeking attention in this Habitat bedroom

(Image credit: Habitat)

Barbiecore’s bold attitude can be interpreted as an empowering statement, too. Rather than dismissing the mislabeled and misunderstood color, the message leans more towards: “It’s pink, so what?” It’s being redefined and proving that it can be used in homes and elsewhere in many situations, not beholden to one group of people or attached to an outdated storyline about people who like pink. 

Even if this trend wouldn’t have been something you adored in the past, it might be calling your name now...

How to do Barbiecore well: 9 home decor choices

Hot pink and loud statements may not be your thing, and that’s okay. There is no requirement for following trends, but they sure are fun to experiment with. If you’d like to dive into the world of Barbiecore, it doesn’t have to be as kitschy as it sounds. 

Included in this list are vibrant shelving units, elegant accent chairs and even a bubblegum pink electric kettle. Though everything is pink, they’re all easy pieces to fit into the setup you already have at home. Read on to discover nine products that’ll give your home a timeless Barbie-approved boost.

1. Try a chic powder pink accent chair

Altobene modern velvet accent chair in pink

(Image credit: Amazon)

Barbie would probably put this in front of her office desk or vanity – but it’s just as great used in a set for a dining room or as a sole accent chair in the living room. The velvety light pink material is a contrast from the creamy white bouclé and linen that’s seen everywhere, but it’s not bright enough to look gaudy. Therefore? It’s the perfect pop of color. 

2. Opt for light pink wine glasses

West Elme Esme fluted pink wine glasses

(Image credit: West Elm)

If you prefer subtlety, try swapping out basic wine glasses for ones with a hint of pink. The color won’t overwhelm or get boring after a few weeks, but it’s still a refreshing change from the glassware that typically sits in the cupboard. These are also dishwasher-safe, which is a win in both the style and function department.  

3. Make tea and coffee with a bubblegum pink kettle

Smeg KLF03 pink kettle

(Image credit: Smeg)

Kitchen statements are always a good idea, it’s just a matter of deciding the best way to pull it off. You may be considering paint, tile, or stone countertops, but what about adding a splash of color through your appliances? This baby pink kettle is a chic way to infuse a little pink into your cooking space without taking any extreme measures. 

4. Create a zingy statement with an electric pink shelf

Bright pink acrylic shelf

(Image credit: West Elm)

For a tasteful touch of pink that won’t overtake your room, look no further than this bright sliver of it packed into the form of a wall-mounted shelf. This particular pick allows you to jump in on two trends: Barbiecore and acrylic. It’s lovely in a playroom, but it’s also a great base for holding all your other favorite pink decorative objects. 

5. Hang up a hot pink mirror

Wayfair Rosdorf Park pink pop wave mirror

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Barbiecore and Barbie herself aren’t symbols of vanity – they’re all about feeling confident. When you need a quick outfit check, you might as well make it fun to look into. The wavy lines of the mirror are a good fit for modern homes and spaces where all-white decor has reigned supreme for long enough. 

6. Add some pink wavy taper candles

Wave taper pink candles from Urban Outfitters

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

To continue the fun shapes and saccharine pink colors, add a statement to any tabletop or bookshelf with these wavy taper candles. They’re Barbiecore-approved but aren’t obviously adhering to any one trend as these fit into other playful and uplifting niche styles like Kindercore and would be great accents next to chubby furniture. 

7. Add a dash of whimsy with pink pillow covers

H&M home pink geo cushions

(Image credit: H&M)

Perk up any sofa with a pair of pink pillow covers. Because of their abstract, modish pattern, they work in quite a few scenarios and won’t feel like a short-lived novelty. Aside from your couch, these work well on window seats and beds, too. If you decide you need a few months off pink (or a break from it), they take minutes to put on and take off. 

8. Update a space with peel and stick pink wallpaper

Schatzi brown retro jumbo daisy removeable wallpaper

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

This ’60s-inspired peel-and-stick wallpaper is a dream decor pick for fans of retro print and anyone looking to emulate the happy-go-lucky attitude of Barbiecore in their homes. Though any place would be brightened with a panel of this cheery wallpaper, the best candidates for it in our opinion include small powder rooms and reading nooks.

9. Channel your inner Barbie on the go with this neon lunch box

West Elm neon pink Astor lunch box

(Image credit: West Elm)

Ease your way into Barbiecore with something a little less permanent. Kids (and adults) will love the neon pop of color this lunch box provides. It’s well insulated and definitely spices up the look of sack lunches. To be honest, if Hot Skatin’ Barbie needed something to bring her meals in, this lunch pail would certainly make the cut.

Up next: Is it just me, or is everyone shopping for bubble home decor?

Melissa Epifano
Former Global Editor in Chief

Hi, I'm former editor of Real Homes. I cut my teeth in New York City, covering fashion and beauty but eventually made my way into the world of homes. I've spent several years writing and editing for The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, Forbes, MyDomaine, People, InStyle, Real Simple, Lonny and more. I track trends like it's a competitive sport but am equally excited about covering products and style ideas that stand the test of time.