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Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior

By 08/11/2016September 11th, 201767 Comments

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

source: Best Friends for Frosting

My virtual design assistant Tricia who lives in Edmonton is an artist as well as a True Colour Expert™. She sees undertones from miles away and is truly gifted! And what’s even more amazing is she has my aesthetic. She is the ‘team’ in my exterior and interior econsulting services.

Recently, we had a client who asked for a shade of pink to sample for her exterior and I said:

“Whaaaaaat? Am I hearing things? Could this be true? In the almost 20 years that I have been specifying colour, no one and I mean no one has ever asked me for a pink exterior! Okay maybe once, but still.

Tricia said, “Funny, I have a friend who’s talking about painting her house a pale pink too”.

After all, we did that in the 80s, and some of us still remember that era well. And if you are younger than those years, you might have renovated or lived in an 80s house and couldn’t wait to paint your pink exterior, or rip out the pickled pink oak cabinets or pink entry floor tile.

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

Well my new, fabulous local assistant Kelly and her husband Mike, recently bought an 80’s house with an existing pink/peach exterior.

When we stood in front of her house evaluating what should be done, she said her husband hoped I’d come up with a less expensive solution that they could live with, other than just repainting the entire house.

They would paint the exterior eventually, but their current budget was allocated for the flooring and kitchen renovation inside. Exterior could be next season.

I totally agree. I have mentioned this in many posts here and here. This is where a design professional can truly save their clients money by spending it in the right place at the right time.

If you have money to burn, I said, sure, paint the entire exterior now, but if not, the worst part about the colour is the sage green trim colour which was surely added in the 90’s since that was the trendy colour back then.

The windows are white so if the casings go white, it’ll look much better, just like the house next door (below).

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

Kelly’s garage door will be replaced since it’s warped and in this case it will stay white until the house is repainted.

I always write a blog post when a client asks me for a colour that I have never or rarely specified in my 20 year career, because that, is the first indication of an emerging colour trend.

Just like in March 2012 when I was standing in a client’s playroom and she said “Could I see something Mintier?” Mint and seafoam greens had been all over fashion in the previous 6 months, so no surprise that suddenly that shade of green was making it’s way into interiors.

That is exactly how colour trends work. It’s not a bunch of colour forecasters sitting around with their crystal balls saying to each other “Why don’t we introduce pink to the masses?”

And the fact that pink and periwinkle blue were Pantone’s colours of 2016, well I have been seeing more pink requests for interiors but now that it’s moving outside? I’d say it’s here.

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

SW Rachel Pink Door (source)

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam


Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

Pink roses (source)

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

Image source

Trend Alert: Pink for Exterior | Maria Killam

BM Monticello Rose siding, Brown Teepee siding and details, Incense Stick Trim and details

Here’s a pink heritage house in New Westminster one of my True Colour Experts Heidi Nyline and her company Warline Painting completed recently!

Over to you my lovelies. What do you think? Do you see pink coming to your home anytime soon? I’d love to hear your opinion!


Also, I did a podcast recently with LuAnn Niagara the host of A Well Design Business where we spent the entire hour talking about my upcoming Specify Colour with Confidence™ Workshops, What they look like, what happens each day and find out what a high-end designer said to me over dinner at my New Jersey Workshop this past Spring!

You can see that Understanding Undertones® is critical to choosing the right exterior colour. Become a True Colour Expert this Fall, here.

If you’d like help with your exterior this season, check out our eDesign packages here


Related posts:

Trend Alert: How Blue is Your Green?

Trend Alert: Is Navy the New Black?

Warning: This Mistake Could Instantly Date your House


2157 pins


  • Lucy HAINES says:

    No pink here and have not seen it at all in SoCal. When it is rainy and dreary outside somehow pink looks dirty. Hope it doesn’t come this way soon!

    • marcella manning says:

      Hope you don’t come my way soon with your Debbie Downer attitude…I love houses painted in Salmon!

  • Nancy kinkead says:

    No pink for this lady.
    I don’t care for pink exteriors .
    If I was going to bring in pink .
    It would be in a pillow / candle but that’s about it .

  • Heidi Geldean says:

    I painted my house exterior SW Oleander last summer. I live in Florida, so pink exteriors are not uncommon. My husband was questioning my choice, but now loves it. I have received many compliments. It looks freshe and happy and goes well with the next-doo neighbors’ canary yellow house. I am so happy to hear rthat others are warming up to pink for their exterior. It is not for everyone or every house style, but when done right, it looks fabulous!

  • I have never been a fan of pink personally. I guess in a tropical setting it may work. Here in PA not so much 🙂

  • Chris says:

    This is really a regional question. Yes, for the south, especially Florida and SoCal maybe. A definate no here the Pacific NorthWest and probably all other states north of the Mason Dixon Line. We had a house on our street which was pink…beautiful 1 acre gardens but the house was a light pink. That house took over a year to sell, and only after they took the plunge to re-paint a light gray. There is something that turns exterior pink sad looking in the darker and rainy winter months. But I have pink undertoned concrete shingled roof, and can’t think of an exterior color tone that would match this or hide it other than somethink pinkish, but don’t really want to go there.

    • Renee says:

      Chris, I agree with you; pink is appropriate in the southern hotter states only, definitely not on the western 49th parallel.
      If I did live in the south, I wouldn’t go any further than white with a pink undertone as in the first photo above.

    • Lorri says:


      That’s very interesting to me that exterior pinks turn a sad looking color in the PNC.

      I wonder if a very strong pink would do the same? Seems like if strong pink flowers look good there, then a stronger pink paint might look better.

      I like to look at houses for sale in different areas of the country just to see the differences and the PNC is definitely not a colorful place for housing. It’s the landscape that’s more colorful.

    • I agree. However, I don’t think it’s for all the southern states – really, I can only see it on home exteriors in the coastal regions in the southern states.

    • marcella manning says:

      I think that’s bologna! Houses in England are often painted pink and they look beautiful and cheerful! Pink is an uplifting color and it’s sad that so many people are scarred to try it.

  • Joanna says:

    My neighbours would think I had lost it! I do like those pink doors, but again, not for myself. I’m more a red lady versus pink girl. Lol

  • I’d like to recommend reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. The story takes place in a house full of love that is painted Pepto Bismol pink!

  • Maria Lofftus says:

    I love the pink front door – it’s Carmel’s front door from the blog Our Fifth House – here’s the link!


    • Joanna says:

      I checked out Our Sixth House. I love it! It’s fun, she’s young and it looks great with that shade of green. Thank you for the link, Maria.

  • martha groenwold says:

    lol yep all coming back but in the lower mainland ..don’t think it works. You can see all the peach/pink houses and know exactly when they were built. Neighbours used to have a pepto bismal pink house, wifes choice..when they rebuilt dark brown lol husbands choice. Love pink but not as a whole house colour.

  • Carol says:

    Here on Cape Cod, most of our homes are weathered gray shingles. My Ben Moore Yours Truly pink front door satisfies my need for pale pink and is frequently complimented. Next….a grayed-pink for a guest room.

  • Pat Talcott says:

    I grew up in a pink house in the 1950’s and 1960’s – it’s taken years to recover! Seriously it can be a lovely sophisticated color that lifts your heart and spirit but tricky to find just the right shade. I’m thinking with all the turmoil in the world perhaps a touch of pink is just what we need right now!

  • Elaine says:

    I think various shades of pink work nicely in tropical settings, in little girl bedrooms, playrooms and the odd bathroom. However after living thru the dusty rose era – I find most pinks just look dated. Could live to eat my words but haven’t seen anything outstanding in pink lately.

  • Rosemary says:

    I love pink houses in Bermuda and in the SE. It’s not an exterior color you see in Massachusetts though I did see a pink/beige cottage-type house in a woodland setting and it looked gorgeous. I guess it all depends on your location and taste. I do love a raspberry pink door, again, depends on location and type of house.

  • Mary Ann Bunyan says:

    With Cuba in the news and their Caribbean colors we have been flooded with these beautiful color combinations. Pink works if the sun/sand/landscaping fits into the scheme. If nature doesn’t agree then the colors won’t work.

  • My 70s ranch is …. pink brick, I think the only one in the neighborhood. The current trim is a faded maroon/brown and I plan to repaint a much lighter beige. And I want a purple front door.

    • Nicole says:

      Oooh. Our new house has pink brick too. And brown front door and exterior trim. Deciding on paint colors is a mess. What beige are you thinking of using? Thx!

      • BM Whispering Woods is one I have been looking at. This is one time the dreaded pinky-beige might be appropriate! My blog has some photos of the front when I was doing landscaping; click on my name and look for a post called Before and After. Generally I write about wildlife but sometimes venture into the personal.

  • Michale Stapleton says:

    One of my all time favorite interior rooms is Miles Redd town home. Farrow Ball Pink Ground walls in his study with lots of gilt, red and black.


  • Laura M says:

    I’m small and blonde and hated being ‘cute’ if I wore pink. I did paint a bathroom pink once way back when borders were ‘in’. There was some rule about choose the 3rd colour from the border. It turned out Pepto Bismol. Horrible. Last year every clothing accessory I bought was indigo. Lately though I’m totally attracted to the green you use on your website. It’s the colour of the cushions for our outdoor furniture and it’s the colour of the new bedspread I just ordered (with bright yellow)

  • Pam says:

    Pink houses are not terribly common in the SE, but not rare either. I have had friends with pink houses though I have never lived in one. My powder room is BM Odessa Pink, with Calacatta marble tiles and brass fixtures.

  • mrsben says:

    To each their own Maria, but certainly not for myself. Recall many years ago when my (single) daughter was looking for a 2nd-hand dining room table and upon questioning the location of the residence; the home owner giggled and said ‘No need to worry about a house number, just look for the pink house’. That said; it was an understatement as not only was it all done in the most horrid PINK stone I have ever laid eyes upon but it was also a mega mansion and one that I (or my daughter) have never forgotten. I mean, this home was PINK!!!!! -Brenda-
    P.S.: The interior was done tastefully though and the owner was a real sweet heart as even upon our arrival she jokingly announced ‘no I have no affiliation with Mary Kay cosmetics.’ Oh, my dtr. didn’t purchase the table as it sat up to sixteen people comfortably thus was much too large for ‘her’ needs.

  • Debbie says:

    I must be the oddball because I love ( little pink houses for you and me) iI’m a SoCal girl and they are everywhere…all shades. Especially on Spanish style exteriors. I do think they are more of a southwest palate though or tropical. Lots of sunshine. They remind me of fabulous sunsets.

    • Valerie Abate says:

      If you have ever been to Key West, Florida the conch houses are always painted happy shades of pink, yellow, turquoise or periwinkle. Sometimes even all of them (front door, trim, shutters, body). I’ve always dreamed of living in one!

  • Christie says:

    Maria: I agree with painting the casings white. Did you specify white for the trim near the roof ? That would be a lot of contrast.

    New Mexico has beautiful adobe homes with pink and brown tones.

  • Suzanne Davis says:

    I am so glad to hear this as my 80’s house is half pinkish brick and the other half is painted grey siding. I saw recently a color grouping on Pinterest of pinkish brick with tan, turquoise, sea green, and white trim. I hope pink comes back in because I cannot afford to paint the brick. Another example of if you wait long enough, everything comes back in style!

  • Christina says:

    I was visiting Nantucket Island and saw the quaintest cottage taupe with bubble gum pink front door! The mailbox was a light pink pig… White shutters and white picket fence. Gorgeous I even took pictures of it

  • Marcia says:

    A friend from France bemoaned the number of American homes painted blue. I asked her what color she painted her home in Nice. PINK, she told me! Her rational was that in nature you saw pink rocks but you didn’t see blue rocks. There probably are blue rocks but it did give me pause to consider using a color that is found in nature and used to build a home.

  • Have you seen picture of Monet’s pink house in Giverny with green shutters? It is set in the middle of perpetual-flowering gardens. Quite beautiful.

  • Pink Azalea says:

    Pink seems more “at home” in the South and may be pretty for a beach house. There are many colorful beach houses and renovated Victorians in Galveston. Google Bayou Bend, a historic home in Houston. Built in 1928, it is now a museum and part of the MFAH. The original owner was a Houston philanthropist. She chose a pale pink stucco with deep green shutters and black wrought iron trim and so it remains. It is timeless and beautiful against Houston’s lush green foliage.

  • Sandy Salm says:

    Funny, Orlando Soria is travelling in the South of France right now and just devoted his Instagram posts for today to the theme “France does pale pink better than everyone else.” Beautiful. I think a case can be made for every colour, if it’s done in an artful and tasteful way.

  • Pamela says:

    I live just south of Boca Raton, FL so pink houses are the norm around here. Commercial building, churches too. We build a lot of clay tile roofs and combined with pink stucco and blooming Bouganvilla it is something we are all quite used to. Our last house was pink with barrel tile roof and white trim.

  • Victoria says:

    Our brick here in Texas is a salmon pink, so I guess I’m already there, and not by choice. I’m sure I would love a pink house if I lived in Miami or Italy and if I were single. Can’t wait to see where this trend goes!

  • aprilneverends says:

    Vastly depends where one lives.
    I saw a lot of bright pinks in Caribbean, and Central America. I imagine there are a lot of pink exteriors in Florida. Don’t see it that often in SoCal.
    I come from Eastern Europe-the climate was very different there as you can imagine, but big beautiful buildings in the cities were often painted..especially the older ones, with lots of architectural details, ornamentation, etc. Some colors were deeper, some- lighter, but I remember quite a few blues, greens, yellows-and pinks. They looked very encouraging on gloomy winter days)) They were like a distant promise of tea and a cake..)) after you get home.

    I love pink inside the house(as I love many other hues), I won’t take it to the exterior anytime soon, because I doubt my house’s style will support pink. Even though I saw it done a couple of times, and liked it, But all sorts of pink flowers are warmly welcome))

  • Roberta says:

    There is a pink house in my area with a black roof and black window awnings Maria and I love it! Very pretty though I can’t remember what color the trim is. I’ll report back to you on that!

  • Roberta says:

    p.s. I’m in the northeast…it gets cold here.

  • Mid America Mom says:

    I am one that does recall the 80’s. Gray carpet was around and used to sell a home and yes there were salmon pink chairs! I have seen pink homes when in Western Europe, Caribbean, or traveling in the southern US (like below Tennessee). Having lived in Denver, Toronto (Canada), and Chicago all these years maybe seen 5 painted pink houses (there has been more pinkish brick and I feel for them!). I see a lot of what I call Colonial Blue here in Chicago (a muted blue that is not on the green side). I do not see pink ever being “in” here – not even on trim.

  • Sharen says:

    I just finished having the interior of my condo painted. I have a bit of open concept going on and only 2 bedrooms so I had to careful with not too much or too little paint color. But for the main living areas I chose a French Blue (the same blue from my Pottery Barn quilt and duvet). And in the hall I chose a bright pink (some blue) rug. On my balcony I have colbolt blue pots with bright pink roses. It just looks stunning, not thinking about the new Pantone colors. I do think pink done right as an exterior color with the right house looks great. Like house #1 with all the green foliage, gorgeous. Great topic Maria!

  • Alison says:

    I am well ahead of the possible trend and all by accident. When we built I gave the name of the paint ‘Indiscretion’ to the painter but it got lost in translation and I ended up with ‘Indecision’. When I arrived to look at the house one afternoon after work I just about freaked when I saw the boards that were supposed to have a grey tone looking positively pink in the afternoon sun. Number one lesson learned is use the number of the paint, not the name. We decided to leave it and live with it as we had been traumatised because of floods and were desperate to move out of the rental and into our home. It is only in the late afternoon when the sun is at a certain angle that it looks pink otherwise it is just a beige.Three years on I quite like it now and it looks great against the trees. I live in very sunny Brisbane Australia where we have an abundance of light so I am not sure of how the colour would go in a cooler climate.

  • Ellie Cassio says:

    We have a person in our town who painted her house pepto bismol pink with beet juice trim. A couple of years later, they changed their roof color to gray. It is just one disaster after another.

  • One of the most famous Victorian houses in Eureka, California is the Pink Lady (202 M Street, directly across the street from the Carson Mansion). It’s one of several pink Victorians in the area.

  • Susan S says:

    Whoa, some of us ROYBs (readers of your blog) have such a visceral reaction to the color pink, but done in the right situation, it can be striking. It may have been on your blog quite some time ago, but I remember weighing in on a raspberry front door which I thought was gorgeous; however, having said that, I usually, kind of, sort of cringe unless (as mentioned above), it’s painted in the right room. But a whole house?Meh, not so much. IMHO

  • Julie says:

    For exteriors it’s all about context. And just like some people can pull off an unusual stand-out choice in clothes or hair, some can do some with their homes – they have an artist’s eye for when and how to stand out. Most of us can’t pull it off most of the time. I’m not going to repaint my exterior often, maybe twice in my lifetime at the rate I’m going, so I’ll be choosing something neutral and designed to blend in with the surroundings. Looking around my neighbourhood I see that neutrals age a lot better while light & bright exterior colours really show dirt, peeling paint, etc.

  • Lorri says:

    Ha ha. My grandmother grew up in Virginia and one day she saw a pink house and fell in love with the idea. She vowed to have a pink house.

    When she and my grandfather moved south to Miami, they built their house and it was painted pink all the decades they lived there, right up until she had to move to a nursing home.

    I once took a picture of an old house in Winter Park, FL that was the most beautiful wood-sided cottage. It was pale pink with lots of white trim and a yard full of huge trees. When pink works for a place, it is really charming.

  • Barbara Krai says:

    I took “pink” to the next level and just painted the exterior of my ranch home in Clearwater FL a deep purple – Benjamin Moore #1393 grappa. And the front door is painted Ben Moore #1387 rock harbor violet. Much to my surprise – everyone is loving it! I have silver travertine pavers on my porch and walk and black cushions with black and white accent pillows on my outdoor furniture. Sometimes it’s worth taking a risk – after all, it is only paint!

  • JoyceBinAtlanta says:

    In the early 1970’s, I thought the most beautiful house in all of Northern Virginia was a huge stucco painted pale, but definite, pink with sand colored trim, and a medium brown roof. I would drive home every day and look at the house and think the world was good. New owners painted the house stark white with dark brown trim and I felt the house had moved into the dark ages. With all the big trees and greenery around the pink house, it was sophisticated and refreshing. After the new owners bought, I changed my route home from work!

  • This reminded me that when I was growing up in the Fifties, our ranch house was painted pink with dark blue trim! Can’t believe my dad got talked into it since our future house was white on white.

    But, personally, I love pink! I live in the Midwest so it’s not common here, but we have great diversity in housing types. I think a charming cottage would look great in pale pink, off white trim, and a green door!

  • Not a thing wrong with using pink outdoors, or any other color like green, yellow, peach, aqua, etc. so long as you have an all-wood or stucco body. Those type houses can get away with much clearer colors than a home that’s mostly brick or stone, where the color would tend to look garish against the natural material. Coincidentally, I just had a customer email me with a request for a pink front door – seeing her tomorrow!

  • Cheri Keckeis says:

    I love the pink trend! I just painted my home Sherwin Williams Pink Shadow and it looks great as a backdrop to my English gardens. I did a dark gray shutter to keep it sophisticated. It makes me smile every time I drive up to my home.

  • Diane says:

    Unless you live in Miami or Beverly Hills, no way on the pink. It is too trendy a color and should be reserved for interior options that can be changed. Maybe a white or tan with a pink undertone, but that would be as far as it should go. I guess if you embrace copper and rose gold (also trendy) you could send it over the top. But in most of North America it won’t be embraced by the neighbors .

  • Elizabeth says:

    In the UK you often get very old pink cottages with thatched roofs of straw. Do a Google search on ‘pink thatched cottages’ and see what comes up. Very cute and chocolate-boxy. When I was small I used to refer to them as ‘fairy cottages’.

  • Beth says:


    Have you written about pink bathrooms before? Would you consider a post about that? We have plans to renovate our pink bathroom but that’s pretty far down the line and I’m looking for ideas of how to make the pink livable until then. I painted the walls charcoal grey when we moved in which was better than the dingy white that was there, but it still doesn’t feel nice in there. (Which may be inevitable I guess since I’m not a huge fan of pink). And it’s not the fun, kitschy vintage pink from the 50s. It’s 80s builder-grade 4.25″ pink square tile. Ugh.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Beth, I don’t think there’s a standard answer for your dilemma. Each bathroom is different and will require a different colour solution to make it work if there even is one. Sometimes there isn’t one. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Janet R says:

    I have seen a few bright orchid pink houses in my rather non-tropical area*. It makes me happy when people go with color!
    My own house is blue-gray with bright periwinkle “wedgewinkle” trim/white windows which I will keep forever because I love it though. It was all brown when we bought it in the 70s.
    * still waiting for a red tomato in the garden….

  • Popocolor says:

    I live outside of Boston and there are a couple pink houses in the neighboring communities that are quite lovely. The next time I drive past them I will stop and take a picture of them for you. I think they are painted BM Queen Anne Pink HC-60 with a navajo white trim so they don’t look like they belond in Palm Beach or Bermuda.

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