How to: Pastels for Grown-Ups

Jul 7, 2017

First lets dispel any beliefs that pastels belong only in a nursery or child’s bedroom. Gone are the days where baby pink and light blue are associated only with newborn babies. With Rose Quartz being Pantone’s 2016 colour of the year, it comes as no surprise that the past few years have given rise to the popular use of softer, muted pastel tones to create sleek and stylish homes. You only have to flick through an interior magazine or scroll through Pinterest to be inspired by a plethora of sleek and sophisticated pastel driven designs. That being said, I can completely appreciate that opting for pastel colours might seem a bit daunting, fuelled by the fear that the room will look childish or whimsical. So I thought I would compile some fail safe tips to brighten and uplift your home.

Pastel chair pink blue colour design

Pastels actually provide similar benefits as using neutrals, they are toned down versions of a bold colour so are a great option for revitalising a dull, dark room. Why not try using them in a small or dingy bathroom to add freshness. Using a muted yellow such as Farrow and Ball Tallow is a great alternative from white and the yellowy undertones work really well to reflect the light. I also love the use of pastel tiles in a bathroom like the one below. I’ve recently used some similar light blue tiles in an en-suite and they are the perfect antidote to an otherwise bland and basic bathroom. There are some pretty affordable options out there on the market too so they are a great option. I think one of the main fears of injecting pastel’s a drastic way like this is that they are limiting. However pastels actually work really well with a variety of styles so, in the same way as neutrals, they are pretty versatile. 

Pastel blue bathroom design tiles

Incorporating pastel colours is also great when used in a bedroom, the soft tones actually evoke calm and relaxing vibes and so act as a perfect light and airy decor option. Rest assured that when chosen carefully, even pastel pinks can be feminine but still chic and stylish. The key with making pastel shades work in a more sophisticated way, is to ensure that the colour has a touch of grey in it to prevent it from being too sugary sweet. (e.g. Farrow and Ball Calamine). But I should add that the accessories and soft furnishings for the room MUST be carefully considered. Avoid anything lacy or frilly as this will end up looking too sickly. It’s actually a great opportunity to play around with different finishes such as mixed metals or even concrete. See below, the use of the gold photo frames creates a point of difference and contrasts the soft pink tones. Also mix up different textures, this will take your pastel accessories from simple to stylish by adding dimension and interest to your space. 

Pastel pink bedroom interior

However if you’re not feeling confident to take the plunge and splash pastels on the walls then don’t worry, they work equally as well integrated into the room through accessories and soft furnishings. This can actually work really well in a simple room, where accents of muted colours add contrast. Aside from the obvious ways to inject colour through cushions, rugs and throws, you could also opt for hanging pictures on the walls with a similar pastel colour palette. This beautifully styled room by Emily Henderson shows this in action – I absolutely love how the colours in the images marry up with the yellow sofa, however this would work just as well in a more neutral room adding a pop of colour.

Colours design styling sofa gallery wall

I think it’s this time of year when we get the itch to revamp our homes a bit, the summer sun makes us yearn for lighter and brighter spaces. I think pastel accessories can really come into play here, introducing them into the kitchen is a perfect summer solution. The fab thing about experimenting with styling pieces is that it won’t break the bank but it can make a big difference to your room. Kitchen appliances, tea towels, vases or plant pots are some great ways to inject colour. Definitely keep your eyes peeled on H&M Home as I love their range of colourful styling accessories. However if you are looking to make a bigger statement, how gorgeous is this use of pastel blue on the kitchen cabinets?!

Pastel interior light blue kitchen design

There’s no secret that the combination of pastels and darks are a match made in heaven! It definitely seems to be a favoured combination when by interior designers and heavily features on Pinterest. It’s pretty guaranteed that mixing pale powder pink with a dark green will dispel any fear of a space looking sickly sweet. Instead the stark contract creatives an undoubtedly chic and sophisticated look.

Contrast colour dark light kitchen design

Pastel accessories contrast living room pink

I would love to hear your opinion on decorating with pastels, or have you already used them in your home? Make sure you let me know below! If you’re looking for more inspiration then Pinterest is the place to go, I’ve actually created a board including all of my favourite pastel pins so head on over and have a look! 



Sources: Chair | Bathroom | Bedroom | Picture Wall | Kitchen | Dark Kitchen | Living Space

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