Event design pros Amanda Hansen and Mara Marian celebrate the power of pink by creating florals and décor details profuse with the lively, all-the-rage color. The talented duo offers insight into using and choosing this oft under-appreciated color and give tips on making it part of your palette.

While your back was turned, pink has morphed from silly and saccharine into a seriously in-demand and dynamic color. Decorators love it, fashionistas flock to it, and millennials claim it as their own. Even guys are getting into it. Seemingly, everyone is in the pink, including event design pros Amanda Hansen and Mara Marian. This talented duo recently collaborated to create a rose’-inspired palette of pinks for an upbeat celebration in Salt Lake City. The takeaway from the party’s flowers and décor details: As we crave more and more color in our lives, pink—in a spectrum of shades from barely-there blush to deep burgundy—has the power and potential to give you, and your décor, a much rosier outlook.

Amanda Hansen of Decoration Inc. (left) and Mara Marian of Fuse WEddings & Events (right).

“Pink is one of the most widely available floral colors year-round, so we learn early how to use it,” says Amanda Hansen, floral and event designer with Decoration Inc. For the party’s bouquet bar and petit tabletop arrangements, Hansen selected seasonal blooms, including dahlias, fragrant garden roses and hydrangeas. She even bleached and dyed fern fronds pink to add rich texture. The designer selected a surprising collection of pinks, from rose-tinged white to saturated fuchsia. “Pink has a huge range and can even be used as a neutral,” Hansen says. Her palette captures the color’s impressive spectrum and its ability to move from soft and innocent to vibrant and sexy.

“In the old days, people chose a single color and matched everything to it. It was too matchy-matchy and intentional looking,” explains Fuse Weddings & Events’ Mara Marian. Times have changed. “Today,” she says, “whatever color you choose, always include two shades darker and two shades lighter. It’s more sophisticated to use a range of hues.” This lesson applies to everything from florals to decorating and fashion to gardening.

“Pink thrives in any setting, even those with rustic woods and edgy concrete.”

— Amanda Hansen

Staged on weathered-wood shelves, fuchsia-toned dahlias pose in a glass vase paired with a magenta container filled with whisper-pink fern fronds and blooms.

Pink can be so many things,” says Hansen, “sweet, bold, chic, vintage, modern and daring, to name a few.” In many cases, its mood depends on the colors you pair it with, she explains.

Ask for her favorite pink pairings, and she’s quick with a list. “Use navy to ground blush tones and you get a very sophisticated and subtle palette,” she says. To her, fuchsia paired with caramel creates upbeat sophistication, flamingo and emerald green is fun and preppy, and black gives any pink a grown-up, chic edge. “In the right hands, pink is a chameleon,” she says.

“We glammed up pink by pairing it with glass and brass,” says Hansen, describing small arrangements of light pink dahlias and hydrangeas placed on an elegant cocktail table.

Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink.

—Lilly Pulitzer, fashion designer

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.