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Pink for Boys (Pink for All!)

A reader named Karin wrote to me with a request.

“Nicole, I am wondering if you have a suggestion for pink shades in a boy child’s room. My youngest (3) loves pink. His room needs painting, and he’s been clear about pink being the color for months. I have never had a pink room, am a blue, silver lover, so I’m at a loss for how to make pink work in a boys room. I would love if you did some suggestions on your blog for how to honor little boys who love pink – what colors would go with it, shades you suggest, etc… any thoughts would be so appreciated.”

This is totally in my wheelhouse. First, up: paint colors, as requested! I put together a post years ago on picking perfect pink paint colors, and that’s a good place to start. The trick to choosing a color for a boy is to avoid baby pink, but then I also think that’s a good idea in general. You can go subtle or muted, bright and clear, or more toward the coral end of pink. Below are some excellent choices, depending on your personal preference.

Pink Paint

Row One – Subtle ChoicesWild Aster, Benjamin MoorePeony Blush, BehrRosy Outlook, Sherwin-WilliamsBarely Blush, Glidden
Row Two – Bright and ClearCarnation Bloom, BehrPink Moment, Sherwin-WilliamsPantone Quartz Pink, ValsparHopeful, Sherwin-Williams
Row 3 – Coral PinkStrawberry Mousse, BehrFruit Shake, Benjamin MoorePale Shrimp, BehrRed Grapefruit, Behr

There are also some fantastic pink wallpapers out there.

Pink Wallpaper

Harlequin (Rose) Wallpaper, Ferm LivingSpear (Rose) Wallpaper, Ferm LivingTriangles (White, Gray, & Pink), Lisa Congdon for Hygge & West

Pink is a warm color, and it mixes well with a combination of reds and oranges, which would be great for a boy’s room. Pink and yellow, pink and green, and pink and blue are also fantastic (especially if you’re already a fan of blue), and pink with black and white can look awesome. Below are a few accessories and pieces of furniture that could also be worked in to a pink room for a boy.

Pink Accents

  1. TPS Pink File Cabinet, CB2

  2. Cargo Pink Bedding, The Land of Nod

  3. Snöig Wall Lamp, IKEA

  4. Stella Cabinet, CB2

  5. Alfabet by Leise Dich Abrahamsen, Stilleben, via Door Sixteen

  6. Wire Basket in Rose, Ferm Living

  7. Canted Wool Rug in Salmon, West Elm

Karin, and anyone else looking to do a not-so-girly pink room, I hope that helps!

The Design Dash, and The Captain’s Retreat

I went to North Carolina a few weeks ago to design a room with La-Z-Boy. (Note: It is OK if you’re incredulous here. I wasn’t sure it was a good fit at first either.)

I was flown out and put up in Proximity Hotel. The event started innocently enough with drinks and dinner, but we were advised to wear comfy shoes without exactly knowing why. After dinner, we all went to the High Point showroom for the “Design Dash,” which was basically a version of Supermarket Sweep. (High school Nicole would have been jazzed!) Eleven of us bloggers were set loose upon the La-Z-Boy showroom, armed with shopping carts and sticky notes. We had two hours to mark or grab everything, big and small, that we would need to decorate our rooms.

The Design Dash

(I grabbed so many fake flowers because I didn’t know if we’d have access to real blooms, but luckily we did.)

We had each gone to a local showroom to pick out a sofa a couple of weeks in advance, and I chose the Kinsley sofa in its stock upholstery and brass nailhead trim. We were also asked to choose a Sherwin-Williams paint color, and I went with Loyal Blue, which is the same color I used for Eleanor’s room. It’s beautiful, and I wanted the chance to use it in another space — without having to work in pony bedding.

Each room had a different layout, with unique flooring, trim, and architectural elements. This is what I started with.

Room Design Starting Point

An hour or two in, and I was at this point.

Room Design Beginning

It was then that I was asked, while being filmed, what I would name my design. My thought process when a little something like this: Nautical? Maybe a ship captain. Wait, why can’t the captain be a lady? Of course it’s a lady! Let’s let the world know that this is a lady captain! So, on camera, I stammered out “this is the Lady Captain’s Retreat.” Oh, you guys. I’m so glad that didn’t make it into the video.

I had a canoe in the room already, but I did go off in search of more props to support my new theme. Model ships? You bet. Messages in a bottle? Let’s get literal!

Bookshelf Styling

Captain's Retreat Chair

The room came together pretty easily, and I was happy with my progress after the first day. We had a little time the next morning to put finishing touches in place. I arranged my flowers and lowered a painting on the wall by six inches. I was also glad to see that my heretofore missing lanterns were found! I had them hung, which through showroom magic looked real.

Hanging Lantern Lights in the Showroom

Nearly everything you see in the room came from La-Z-Boy’s design showroom. I was surprised by the variety they had there. I didn’t design the room for me, but with a few tweaks, I could see myself in it.

We were told on the last day that we could each choose a favorite piece to keep, as a thank you gift. I’d been crazy about that barrister-style bookcase from the start, and now I’m looking forward to its arrival. I think I’m going to claim it for my office because it’s a great size for large art and design books, but I could see it working in the second parlor, too.

Bookshelf Styling

More details. Star bursts (sea urchins, if we want to stay on theme) and compass roses. Brass decanters. A blue and white vase that I love so much.

Star Bursts and Compass Roses

Brass Bourbon Decanters

Blue and White Vintage Pottery as a Flower Vase

You can see my room and video, along with everyone else’s, on La-Z-Boy’s Facebook page. You can also vote for your favorite once per day (which I think is just a total matter of taste because there wasn’t a bad room in the bunch), and you’ll be entered to win $10,000.

La-Z-Boy Room by Making it Lovely

La-Z-Boy Sofa

At the end of the last day, I had dropped “lady” from the room’s name, and it became known simply as “The Captain’s Retreat.” But you and I know who was running this ship.

Elkhorn Flea Market, WI

I went to the Elkhorn Flea Market last Sunday, as planned. I took photos with my phone because I feel obnoxious with my big camera at flea markets, and sometimes I just don’t want to lug it around. I was there by myself, and I was there on a mission. I needed my hands free to carry the untold treasures I was sure to discover.

Spin that wheel!

Elkhorn Flea Market Finds

I loved the spinning wheels, but they were way too expensive ($1850 for the big one). I wish I hadn’t missed out on the deacon’s bench though. I liked it, made a loop, came back to it, and it was marked as “sold.”

Antique Deacon's Bench

You’ll be glad to know that I passed on the following two paintings, both of which were huge and cheap. Hera with a lazy eye! I was into it.

Old Paintings

Lots of other good stuff, including vintage and antique stoves. So many old stoves.

Magic Chef Vintage Stove

I bet you that beauty worked better than ours. (Every stove works better than ours.)


Vintage Cabinets

Elkhorn Flea Market Finds

Vintage MCM Dining Chairs

Antique Door Knobs and Plates

Then I spotted what I had come for. Not literally, of course, as one doesn’t typically know in advance to be shopping for creepy old mannequins. It’s a feeling. A lovely warm feeling that you are buying something that will delight and confuse.

Vintage Mannequins

The guy wanted way too much for them, and I paid way too much for them, but less than what he was initially asking. As I told my sister later, it’s always worth it for weird things. (They’re super out of place in a residential setting, by the way.)

Yay, Elkhorn! I’ll be back next year for sure.

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