Using pastel tones to decorate your home lightens up your interiors and injects a fun spark of colour into your spaces. The perfect foil to adding layers of warmth as we close ourselves in to snuggle down for winter, a palette of soft watercolour tones keeps the look light and contemporary and it’s up to you whether you use a little or a lot.
Decorating with colour doesn’t have to cost the earth either. A lick of paint, a throw cushion or simply bringing things together into one room creates a cohesive look. Look around your home for things you already own that have a pastel hue - you might be surprised!
How to bring colour into a room
Dot cushions around your rooms - on beds, sofas and armchairs and look for a range of shapes and sizes to keep it interesting. Choose cushions for both their colour and textural appeal - a lumbar cushion positioned in the centre of your sofa or nestled against a larger square cushion looks more interesting than all squares lined up.Embrace pattern and print in your fabrics - floral doesn’t have to mean frilly - search out contemporary pastels in blousey florals and strong geometric prints.
Invest in art
Artwork is a wonderful way to express yourself and work to a colour palette throughout any room. A large pastel painting hung near your dining table injects colourful tones and provides colour cues for table decorating - match your napkins, tablecloth or runner - even coloured glassware looks beautiful to create an atmosphere awash with colour!
What’s your palette?
Start by building a moodboard from collected magazine pages, paint samples and fabrics or fill your Pinterest pages with inspirational pictures of minty greens, peachy pinks and soft, warm yellows, which all work beautifully against a white and neutral background. If you’re after a coastal vibe, look to add the softness of seaglass greens and blues to lighter timbers that resemble driftwood - bleached elm, Victorian ash or the dusty grey tones of teak.
Don’t forget your home office space when decorating with pastels. Soft and pretty desk accessories are a great way to keep your workspace feeling calm and looking neat and tidy - particularly if it’s located adjacent to other living areas. Start with timber or white furnishing and punctuate with pale folders in pink or manila. Continue with document trays, pen pots, magazine files and storage boxes all covered in marshmallow hues. Consider adding a pastel painted feature wall or softly coloured pinboard to demarcate your work zone, build an inspirational mood board or choose a pastel desk chair to complete the look.
Paint it pastel
Paint is a brilliant and affordable decorating idea to bring colour into a room. With most of your walls painted in your choice of white as the mainstay, keep it simple and use colour blocking for a contemporary edge here and there in your home for maximum impact. Mint is having a moment so go with lighter tones in green or move to a soft sage for a warmer look. Use restraint and apply pastel paint colours selectively on feature walls, fireplace or architectural recesses such as stairwells or bookcases, or apply to VJ panelling below or half walls above the chair rail. If painting walls is not an option, upcycle existing timber furniture with watercolour washes of pale pink or lemon sorbet. Pair with furnishings covered in natural fabrics, light timber flooring or washed-out vintage rugs and keep metal framework powder coated in crisp white to continue the softer aesthetic.
Killer kitchen colour
Perhaps not conventionally decorated with pastels, the kitchen can benefit from the use of a paler range of colours to soften the look of hard surfaces. Keep it contemporary by starting with an all-white base on walls and use delicate colour to highlight architectural elements. Surfaces such as tiles for your splashback are a great place to introduce colour or think pale mint green cupboards beneath a sweep of marble benchtops. Consider how pastels will work with your choices of fixtures and fittings - benchtops, cabinetry, flooring and hardware all play a part and can form look lovely with soft pastel colour tones. A fleck of rosey pink in terrazzo flooring or benchtops can be picked up in enamel pastel appliances and makes a winning combination with brass or rose gold tapware.