Is Mauve the Next Millennial Pink?

published Nov 3, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Sure, blush is still all over the place, but now there’s a new cool “it” shade of pink on the block. You’ve definitely seen it before in 1980’s design and movies from that era: mauve. Once the color of tulle bridesmaids dresses and retro bathroom tiles, this sultry pinkish-purple hue is back and can actually look modern when paired with the right furniture and accessories. In fact, it’s the perfect way to introduce a touch of romance or even whimsy into a room, but it doesn’t have to be totally devoid of edge, either, especially if you find a grayed out, neutral version of this color and use it as more of a grounding shade, paired with pops of black.  

It’s easy to see why mauve is so versatile and can hang with so many other hues: its blue and red tones help it play off of both warm and cool palettes. Plus, mauve’s a great way to get pink into a room without it feeling too youthful, saccharine, or bright. If you’re looking for a way to work this cool color into your own home, these ideas (and a few shoppable items!) will help you get you started.

Credit: Leanne Ward

Paint a wall or a room mauve 

Adding a light, subtle shade of mauve paint to the walls will warm up a room instantly, and these kind of hues also pair super well with greenery, as shown above. Try shades like Sherwin-Williams’ Vaguely Mauve, Benjamin Moore’s Hint of Mauve, or Glidden’s Moderne Mauve. On the whole, when it comes to paint, the beige-like mauves will give you more of a neutral base to build upon with your choice of furnishings and accessories.

Layer tonal textiles

Don’t get too worked up about finding items that are all exactly the right shade of mauve either. Layering lighter and darker accents with textiles — like pillows and bedding — creates an eclectic, lived-in look. Again, the mauve and green combination really shines in this homeowner’s bedroom, but you can also see how well mauve can play with natural wood tones, too. Again, when you find a grayer or beige-like version of mauve, this hue really can read as a neutral.

Credit: Viv Yapp

Pair it with gold fixtures and hardware

I’ve already sung the praises of mauve and green, but this hue also looks regal and cool when teamed up with mustard or gold. Specifically, when it comes to hard finishes, muted shades of mauve can make shiny gold and brass really pop. Likewise, gold accents make the pink tones in mauve seem brighter. Call it an optical illusion, but either way, this effect is stunning and downright dreamy in this bathroom, which features both mauve paint and tile. The painted wood vanity even has a faint cast of mauve to it! You could also try mauve in a kitchen, too, as a backsplash or accent color. Again, this hue looks good with warm woods, whites, grays, and blacks, all of which tend to be popular kitchen cabinetry colors and finishes.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Go a little bold with mauve furniture

Velvet furniture is still having a moment (or many moments at this point). Jewel tones tend to look extra luxe in this fabric, so a mauve velvet chair or sofa will definitely earn you some on-trend style points. You could also try a mauve bed frame.

Want a few suggestions for some mauve home decor? I’ve picked out a few pieces below so you can get the look at home.

Credit: Wayfair

ModShop Martinique Wide Velvet Barrel Chair

Yes, it’s a total splurge, but this barrel chair has a very retro ’80s look, from its cool curves to the sculptural base. The mauve actually makes it feel modern, and I could see it as a fun accent in a living room or bedroom.

Buy: ModShop Martinique Wide Velvet Barrel Chair $1,699.99 from Wayfair

Sophie Faux Fur Throw Blanket

Can you ever have too many faux fur blankets? Clearly, the answer is no. Place this saturated version over a neutral couch for a trendy pop of color.

Buy: Sophie Faux Fur Throw Blanket, $98.00 from Anthropologie

Ava Bed

If you’re considering adding mauve in a major way, look no further than this upholstered bed. I especially love the brass accented feet, which as I said above, really bring out the pink tones in the mauve fabric. It’s available in both king and queen sizes.

Buy: Ava Pink Bed, $1,399.00 for a Queen bed from Crate & Barrel

Credit: Z Gallerie

Torrie Rug

The geometric shapes on this wool rug feel Memphis Movement-inspired. Try it in a living room or bedroom for a fun, funky touch underfoot. The designer, Michel Smith Boyd, says this particular piece was inspired by hand-etched brass and carved woods and then made luxurious through its mauve colorway. I’d say mission accomplished!

Buy: Torrie Rug, Starts at $599.00 for a 5-foot by 8-foot rug from Z Gallerie

Credit: Lumens

Flowerpot Rechargeable Table Lamp

This iconic lamp by Verner Panton radiates warm light, thanks to the saturated, beigy-pink dome at its top. Since its battery-operated and fairly lightweight, you can easily move this task lighting to any spot where you need it.

Buy: Flowerpot Rechargeable Table Lamp, $292.00 from Lumens

Asher 2-Seat Fabric Sofa

A sofa with clean, mid-century lines gets a romantic makeover when covered in mauve velvet. Try this small space-friendly design in a tiny living room. It’s also customizable in terms of its length, depth, leg style, cushion style, and cushion fill, so you can put your own spin on it.

Buy: Asher 2-Seat Fabric Sofa, Starts at $1,495.00 from Interior Define

Credit: Food 52

Blomus Matte Porcelain Vase

Not ready to go big on this color? A vase is the perfect way to dip your toes into the mauve trend. Try putting a mixture of pink and purple flowers in this sweet porcelain matte vase.

Buy: Matte Porcelain Vase, $38.99 from Food52