Unless you’ve been hiding under a Ryan Gosling poster (which is perfectly fine), you’ve undoubtedly noticed the current wave of nostalgia rolling through the worlds of fashion and interior design. The Barbie trend is surging like crazy. The aesthetic, inspired by the iconic Mattel doll living her best single life in a bright, dreamy world, has found its way into our homes, and Barbiecore interior design in particular is trending on social media and in décor publications.
If you’re a minimalist at heart, though, you might be inclined to sit this one out. After all, don’t Barbie’s bright and bold fuschia hues and vibrant patterns clash with the principles of minimalist design, which typically favors a less-is-more philosophy?
The good news is, it doesn’t have to. While minimalism has dominated interior design trends in recent years, the Barbiecore style offers an exciting contrast with its celebration of maximalism and youthful accents.
But how do you incorporate a loud trend like this into your minimalist home without going overboard? The key is to start small, with accent pieces like a statement chair or a decorative accessory. By injecting a few Barbie-inspired elements into your space, you can stay true to your uncluttered minimalist style while still creating a unique and stylish space that reflects your personality and taste.
So if you’re a fan of both Barbie’s dream house and clean, low-key interiors, this post is for you. I want to explore a few ways we can style our homes like Barbie without compromising our minimalist sensibilities. So grab your hot pink hair scrunchie and roll up your sleeves. Here’s how to get the look at home without going overboard.
Wait, Why Is the World of Barbie Trending?
Barbiecore interior design isn’t new per se. The Barbie brand has been a cultural icon since its introduction in 1959. Still, the recent surge in the Barbiecore aesthetic definitely ties into the much-hyped, upcoming film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Hollywood heavyweights Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Although it doesn’t even premiere until July 2023, this movie has sparked a renewed interest in the world of Barbie, with sneak peeks revealing quirky fashion and a home filled with vibrant colours.
The set design photos of the whimsical world of Barbie have the internet buzzing, with Instagram and TikTok users sharing their take on the trend and, of course, snapping selfies. Even Ken is hosting the Malibu Dream House on Airbnb!
With these influences driving its popularity, Barbiecore might be more than a passing trend. After all, feminine charm never goes out of style, and Interior designers know that colours like pink are classics.
Breaking Down the Barbiecore Look for 2023
Barbiecore is all about glamor and a playful mix of colours and patterns rooted in nostalgia, femininity, and self-confidence. At its heart, it’s a celebration of Barbie’s iconic style that blends elements from different decades, particularly the 70s, 80s and 90s, when the doll’s influence was at its peak.
A prominent feature of Barbie’s home is its vibrant colour palette, with her signature hot pink taking center stage. She’s by no means limited to pink shades though. Mattel also liked to weave in other pops of colours like yellow, green, and blue that create a cohesive look.
Patterns and textures also play a vital role in achieving the Barbie doll aesthetic. Floral prints, ditsy patterns, and a mix of materials like wicker and high-tech add layers of interest, bringing depth and character to the interior design. And let’s not forget the occasional touch of luxury and glamour that Barbie is known for. Whirlpool with slide, anyone? ⤵
Barbiecore is also joyful and fun. It’s definitely an interior design trend that encourages personal expression, allowing you to channel your inner child.
Approaching Barbiecore Interior Design as a Minimalist
The vibrant and colourful world of Barbiecore might seem far off from the clean lines and neutral palette of minimalist décor. But it’s still possible to integrate this look into a minimalist home without sacrificing simplicity. It’s all about striking a balance between the two styles.
The key to merging chic Barbiecore with minimalism lies in the details. Consider introducing smaller magenta details into your décor, like textiles. They can add a touch of Barbie’s signature colour without overwhelming your clean style. It’s all about hinting at the trend, rather than going for a full-blown transformation.
Helen Ashmore, Laura Ashley’s head of design and lead interior designer, suggests playing with small details that add femininity to your interior. Small ties on bedding or ditsy floral prints can subtly weave some Barbie Dream House elements into your minimalist décor.
Havenly designer Heather Goerzen also confirms it’s more about infusing spaces with optimism and a touch of playfulness, even in unlikely areas. Think of picking up a fuschia vase for that white sideboard, for example. Or hanging a magenta picture frame above the toilet.
Softer shades of baby pink can also be a subtler way to commit to Barbie design. These quieter hues pair well with neutral colour schemes. Plus, you can blend them with timeless furniture of pretty much any style.
Try a candy pink throw or pastel pink cushions on a beige sofa. See how you like it. If you want to take it up a notch, you can gradually increase the boldness of your additions without overwhelming the room. Injecting a bit of Barbie into a minimalist setting is still fun, but with this considered approach it has a more elevated, sophisticated and subtle twist.
Pink Barbiecore Interior Design & Home Décor Ideas
Adding hot pink items and shades of baby pink to your space can require an element of fearlessness. Don’t be afraid to take on the trend at your own pace. Your home is cohesive when it feels like you. Ergo: don’t go filling your home with stuff you don’t like and be critical of any new purchases you make.
If Barbie style feels a bit much but you’re still enamoured, stick with adding just a few splashes of colour, or working with more subdued hues.
12 Ways to Get the Barbie World Look
While the trend might seem maximalist at first, it’s possible to introduce the Barbiecore look in many different ways in a minimalist interior. Here 12 product and décor ideas to do it.
Pink Accent Wall. If you’re willing to go big on the Barbie doll look, consider painting an accent wall in your living room or bedroom a bright Barbie pink. This not only makes a bold statement, but also acts as a focal point.
Pink Accessories and Appliances. Bright pink is Barb’s signature colour, but it doesn’t have to dominate your space. If painting a wall seems like a drastic move, consider incorporating Barbiecore through accessories. Hot pink pillows, throws, a Jonathan Adler tray, a runner rug, or some fun kitchenware can take you back into a Barbie world, even in a minimalist setting.
Pink Furniture. Consider investing in a single piece of pink furniture like a Barbie pink velvet sofa, chair, or ottoman. This can act as a statement piece and imbue the room with the Barbiecore vibe without overwhelming the space.
Barbie Art and Memorabilia. One fun way to get in on the pink home trend is by displaying Barbie art or memorabilia. Vintage Barbie posters, paintings, or photographs can lend a retro-chic vibe to your space.
Pattern Play. Barbiecore isn’t just about colour but also about patterns. Consider integrating polka dots, stripes, or chevron patterns in Barbie pink to inject some fun into your space. Wallpapering one solitary wall is a great way to work a pattern into your décor.
Layered Textiles. Barbie’s space is cosy. Pile on pink throw blankets, cushions, and plush rugs for a room that’s as comfortable as it is stylish.
Floral Prints. Florals are key to Barbiecore spaces. Opt for ditsy prints on cushions or wall art, which can bring a touch of nostalgia without overwhelming the space.
Subtle Hues. Softer tones of pink can be a more accessible way to commit to some subtle Barbiecore details. Consider dusty rose bedding, blush curtains, or wall colours that can bring a gentle Barbiecore vibe without clashing with a minimalist aesthetic.
Pink Lighting. Pink-hued lighting can instantly transform your space and set the mood. Consider pink neon signs, pink lightbulbs, or even pink tinted lamps to live like Barbie with dreamy lighting.
Sustainable Secondhand Items. Remember that adopting a new style doesn’t mean buying everything new. Check out thrift shops or online marketplaces for secondhand items that embody the Barbiecore aesthetic.
Classic Black & White with Pink Accents. Start with a classic black and white palette and add some pops of hot pink for a classic 80s look.
Pink and Green Combinations. Pink and green are a match made in heaven in Barbiecore. Incorporating these colours, whether as candy pink with emerald green or pastel shades, can add a fresh touch to a minimalist room.
Remember that Barbiecore embraces all that is fun, colourful, and has a bit of a retro vibe. It can be infused into minimalist interiors by focusing on smaller details and colour play, rather than doing a complete makeover.
Fine-Tuning Your New Barbie Style
Think of incorporating the Barbiecore aesthetic into your minimalist décor as an enjoyable excursion rather than an abrupt transformation of your space. Start by injecting small touches of Barbie’s signature pink into your existing interior, be it through art, textiles, or small decorative objects. That be might all it takes to give your space a little refresh.
If you want to go further though, a gradual approach ensures your space doesn’t lose its minimalist character. Balance is key—opt for softer hues to subtly communicate the Barbiecore vibe, or stick with just one or two bold pops of colour.
Ultimately, the Barbiecore trend champions fun, nostalgia, and a sense of joy, so don’t be afraid to play with colour and take some risks. Don’t forget the whole second hand market, either. Making sustainable choices by upcycling or thrift shopping aligns really well with the minimalist principle of conscious consumption (and old things usually last longer, too!).
As you fine-tune your Barbie minimalist style, you’ll discover that these two aesthetics can coexist beautifully, offering a unique blend of simplicity and playful femininity.