Pastels are defined as any colour with a lighter hue – not just the powdery hues of blue, yellow, and pink, but also the soothing tones of grey, green, and brown. They function as the perfect design detail to round out your space, and they’re a clean and fresh way to create a unique quality in your home. Pastels have less emotional intensity than brighter colours, instead aiming towards a sober and intellectual spirit. They convey sophistication and subtlety in their environment, and draw careful attention to the layers of visual interest in a room. Here are a few pastel design ideas to inspire you.
1. Patterns & Pastels
A pastel colour, when set against a strong pattern, creates a contemporary and chic look that perfectly walks the line between fun and serious. The pastel blue of the sofa above really stands out against the neutral colour scheme, and helps the strong monochrome pattern of the rug become a key feature in the room.
2. A Touch of Retro Charm
In this example, carefully balanced pastel furnishings give the room both a retro feel and a modern edge. Everything in this space is muted, creating an understated yet appealing living environment.
3. Pop Art
The pastel sofa in this picture works perfectly with the brightly coloured wall, allowing the blue to really ‘pop’. A bright blue, like this one, can make a room seem cold and depressing, but the pink of the sofa lifts the colour and keeps the space feeling light and airy.
4. Fade to Grey
Pastels aren’t confined to the usual ice cream colours of pink and yellow. Think outside the common spectrum and explore the more sombre side of pastels. The grey in this example gives the room a cool, sophisticated feel – perfect for city living.
5. Sharp Focus
A new piece of furniture you’re particularly in love with can be made to stand out with a pastel background. In the picture above, you can see how the strong pattern of the green pastel wallpaper creates a vibrant and retro feel in the room.
If you’re shy about introducing pastels into your living room, invite the soft hues in with well-selected accessories instead. Whilst this is a more decorative example than is practical in most homes, it’s perfect for demonstrating how pastel tones can be gradually introduced into a space.
7. Clean & Bright
Pastels are perfect for recreating a retro feel without worrying about the heaviness of the colour scheme. This room has taken the classic elements of British sixties design – the simple shapes, the blend of natural and man-made materials, the arts and crafts light shade – yet avoided the strong, clashing patterns that can be off-putting in a living room.
8. Making Space
Here, the neutral pastels give the impression of space in what would otherwise be a visually cluttered room. The pale blue walls, combined with the bleached floorboards, make the room seem much bigger than it really is. It feels light, well-coordinated and carefully balanced to create a breezy and comfortable look.
9. A Splash of Colour
Sometimes, all it takes is the odd pastel accessory or piece of furniture here and there to really liven up an uninspired space. The otherwise plain room in the example above is brought to life by the addition of just a few pastel toned objects.