Jul 15, 2023 - Real Estate

"Barbie" movie trends inspire hot pink home design in Illinois

Animated illustration of a drab couch, over which some sparkles pass, leaving a nicer, pink couch.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Expect to see more pops of pink around Chicago as Barbie powers the summer of nostalgia.

Why it matters: Reliving highlights from the past helps us find comfort and joy in the present, says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

Driving the news: Illinois was among the top dozen states searching for "Barbie pink" over the past year, according to Google Trends data from early July.

The big picture: U.S. search interest in “Barbie pink” in the home and garden category more than quadrupled in June 2023 and is currently at a 10-year high, Google Trends tells Axios.

  • "Pink" and "Barbie pink" were among the top 10 trending paint colors in June.
  • Also, Pinterest saw global searches for "Barbiecore aesthetic room" jump 1,135% from May 2022 to May 2023.
Change in global Barbie-related Pinterest searches
Data: Pinterest; Chart: Axios Visuals

What they're saying: Chicago interior designer Sarah Montgomery says today's clients are more open to maximalism, a look incorporating bold colors and patterns.

  • "You need a mix of styles and eras to achieve this look," she says. "Nothing should seem too precious."

Yes, but: Don't expect a deluge of Barbie Dreamhouses to pop up across Chicago.

  • Montgomery predicts Barbiecore home designs won’t last long term but she does expect a short-term jump in bright pink home accessories.

Pro tip: Following vintage stores and local dealers on Instagram and perusing Facebook Marketplace are great ways to get familiar with what's out there, Montgomery says.

The latest: Gig marketplace TaskRabbit tells Axios that ahead of the Barbie movie release, clients are incorporating Barbie-inspired decor into their homes more than ever before.

  • We asked AI to show us what a Barbie Dreamhouse might look like in the city and in Wheaton. (It didn't disappoint.)
chicago high-rise style barbie home
Chicago Barbie Dreamhouse. Image: Created with the generative AI tool Dream by Wombo
Wheaton Barbie Dreamhouse. Image: Created with the generative AI tool, Dream by Wombo
Wheaton Barbie Dreamhouse. Image: Created with the generative AI tool Dream by Wombo

The bottom line: Post-pandemic, there's a "pent-up desire to just have some fun," Pressman says. And incorporating Barbie's bold, signature shade at home — from countertops to wine glasses — is one way people are leaning into optimism.

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