What on Earth is "Barbiecore" Style? Examples and Tips

September 24, 2022 4 min read

What is Barbiecore? Home decor tips and examples

Pop culture often surprises us with seemingly odd trends that cross over to the decor world. This season, a trendy word you might encounter is "Barbiecore" or "Barbie-core," which sounds like a weird combination of fashion dolls and rock music. But Barbiecore is actually a sweet, playful design trend, and when done right, it can definitely result in lovely interiors for your home.

Here's what you need to know about Barbiecore and tips on trying out this decor style.


What is Barbiecore?

Barbiecore is an aesthetic or style that evokes the fun, feminine world of -- you guessed it -- the Barbie doll. Think dollhouse meets Malibu, or girly meets chic. And yes, it's now for grownups!

One theory regarding the rise of this style is that people are coming out of the pandemic feeling nostalgic about childhood while wanting to brighten up everything. Hence, they turn to Barbie for inspiration.

Barbiecore first emerged as a fashion trend circa 2021 or 2022, thanks in large part to celebrities wearing bubblegum-pink dresses with shiny little purses. Then, of course, this aesthetic spread into interior design in no time.

What does a Barbiecore interior look like? For starters, it's pink and pretty and whimsical! Now, you're probably thinking, "Wouldn't this style look ridiculous? Would my house look like my 8-year-old decorated it?" Not if you do it right! Learn the elements of this aesthetic, borrow some of them, and apply moderately into the room for a lovely, fresh space.


How to Decorate with Barbiecore Elements

1. Pink -- lots of it!

Splashing pink everywhere is the cardinal rule of Barbiecore. There are plenty of pink shades you can play with: bubblegum, hot pink, salmon, fuchsia, peach, coral -- you name it!

If you're not feeling quite so bold, don't worry -- a light neutral will work as your dominant color, then you can inject moderate doses of pink, such as on your wall art, pillows, and coverlets. Occasional flashes of pink are enough to bring on that sense of playfulness. See our two examples below:

Wall art pictured above: "Enjoy Today" Premium Canvas


Wall art pictured above: Personalized "The First, Yes, Best Day" Premium Canvas


2. Complementing pastel colors

Alongside pink, the Barbiecore palette is filled with powdery candy colors fit for Sugar-Plum Princesses. But, again, you don't have to go all out with this palette. Pick one or two pastel hues that are cohesive with your current color scheme, and utilize these pastels for accent pieces here and there. Try some of our picks below:

Pillow pictured above: Personalized Name Pillow With Floral Print


Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Food, Family, Love" Premium Canvas


3. Glints of gold

Barbie is known for her all-American glamour, so of course, metallic accents are in. Choose gold or rose-gold finishes that are more muted than shiny, and never go overboard with them. The goal is to look elegant, not garish. Try it out with some metallic hardware, minimalist tableware, or, as the photo below shows, some gold-framed seating.

Bonus tip: Light pinks look really good with gold finishes. Try painting one piece of furniture with a pink of your choice, then match it with some gold-finish handles or pulls.


4. Tropical touches

What's a Barbie world without bikini beaches? The doll's packaging and adventures often include blue skies, palm trees, Hawaiian florals, and even an occasional flamingo friend. If you love Florida resort interior style or a beach-house vibe for your home, these decor elements are right up your alley.


Wall art pictured above: "Elegant Pink Flamingo" Premium Canvas


5. Sparkly ornaments

A true-blue dollhouse inhabitant wouldn't pass up on a grand crystal chandelier or some light-catching baubles. But because we're adults now (supposedly), we know that we have to keep our shiny things in moderation.

How about a touch of crystal on your centerpiece or some colored glass vases on your console table? Or, make like superstar Barbie and bedazzle your vanity mirror lighting! The bling lights below were crafted by DIY darling Julia:


6. Retro furniture

Barbie was especially popular from the 1950s to '80s. Her most iconic looks included neon leggings, plastic accessories, and big teased hair, while she posed in miniature rooms reflecting the designs of the era.

What dominated interior design during those decades? To name a few from the '50s: pastel appliances, checkered kitchens, and everything Americana. And from the '80s: chunky sofas, rounded vases and other curved accents, and lots and lots of Lucite (acrylic). These are actually making a minor comeback -- just look at these recent examples:


Wall art pictured above: "Food, Family, Love" Watercolor Premium Canvas


7. Plush fabrics

As the quintessential glamazon, Barbie lounges in the softest, warmest, most luxurious textiles in her dollhouse. Fabrics like velvet, satin, silk, and faux-fur immediately come to mind. (Plus, she wears velour tracksuits!)

Of course, we can't all have velvet sofas at home, so as an affordable alternative, pick one or two of these textiles for throw blankets and slipcases. They need to be featured prominently in the room for maximum effect!

Wall art pictured above: "Purple Hummingbird" Premium Canvas


Wall art pictured above: "Five More Minutes" Premium Canvas and "Gold-Framed Art Deco Sky" Premium Canvas


8. Sprightly prints

Feeling a little more whimsical with your decor? Add a lively splash of patterned prints. It can be an accent wall filled with a fun floral wallpaper, or an eye-catching wall art with a pretty watercolor print. Whatever print you choose to display, make sure it's coordinated with your color palette and anchored with other solid-colored (i.e. no-pattern) elements.


Wall art pictured above: Personalized "They Are The Beat Of My Heart" Premium Canvas


So how do you feel about Barbiecore style? Too saccharine, or just the right amount of sweet? We can't deny, though, that borrowing some Barbiecore elements can brighten any room that needs it!

If you like the wall art and home items featured here, click over to GearDen.com for more pieces you'll love!



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