It may not be bold. It may not be invigorating or exciting. But in its own way, a pastel color palette can be a gorgeous, unique interior design scheme. Styling your space with a softer side has all sorts of advantages, both aesthetically and physically. Here are just some of the primary benefits of decorating your space with a pastel color palette.
Pastel Design tips and ideas
Pair pastels with soft shapes and textures
Because a lot of pastel colors have a fresh, soothing and calming effect you can pair them with soft furnishings and accent pieces to amplify it. For example, pastel cushions, blankets and other elements that have texture can make a room look fresh and serene.
Mix them with deep and muted colors
You can combine pastel hues with certain colors that have a deep and muted aesthetic, like a dark orange or brown for example. The colors would complement each one and they’d each stand out by contrasting with the surroundings. It allows you to create a balanced yet simple design.
Keep the décor clean and simple
You might not find pastel colors particularly attractive because of how delicate and feminine they look but try to keep an open mind. Although it’s true that a lot of pastels can look quite girly, that doesn’t always have to be the case. If you want to stay away from such an aesthetic keep the design and décor simple and avoid using ornate elements. This will put an emphasis on the color itself.
Another great idea if you’re looking for a way to introduce a few pastel hues into a room’s design is to add a few geometric prints or another type of pattern. This allows you to mix and match multiple colors and to create a fresh and eye-catching design without it looking too bold and cluttered.
Make a statement
Pick a pastel color for a statement piece such as the sofa in the living room for example. It will help it stand out and it will give it a unique and sophisticated look. It would be great to find a color that matches your style and also suits the room.
Consider pastel furniture
A lot of times we tend to stay away from furniture that’s colorful and choose instead to go with mainstream finishes that blend in. That’s a safe choice but doesn’t really allow you to express your own style. So consider pastel furniture and accessories if you want to give a room an uplifting and cheerful vibe.
Pastels in the kitchen
Express your creativity by adding color to your kitchen. Nowadays you can find appliances in all sorts of different nuances including some beautiful pastels. It might be cool to try something other than the typical white or stainless steel finishes so why not dare to make a statement? Pastel appliances can completely transform your kitchen without interfering with its functionality.
Reupholster old furniture
You don’t need to get new furniture if you want to change the color of a room. There’s always the option to reupholster some old pieces like sofas and armchairs and that gives you the perfect opportunity to try some new and fresh colors. Consider some pastel tones this time. They’ll give your home a soft and refreshing look.
Add some wood finishes
We’ve already established that pastel colors can add a soft, warm and inviting feel to any room but so can a lot of wood finishes. That means you can combine these elements together to create a truly magnificent interior design. Make sure you choose the right wood finishes to compliment your beautiful pastels.
Create depth in your designs
Pastels are really versatile. Sometimes they can be used to give a room a soft and feminine look but other times they can be used to add depth to a décor and to bring out a darker color. Use them strategically and keep an open mind.
Combine them with neutrals
If you want to maintain a simple and muted décor but you don’t want it to look too mainstream or boring, a good idea is to combine a few soft pastels with some neutral tones such as beige or white. They’ll give you that extra bit of flair without being too bold or eye-catching.
A pastel color palette is beautiful.
Pale colors are, by their very nature, softer and subtler than their saturated counterparts. This muted aesthetic has the uncanny ability to appear beautiful in design as well as soothe.
A pastel color palette lifts the space.
For the space that is painted white by default or builder-grade beige, a pastel color palette might be just the thing needed to lift some fresh appeal into it. The pastel tint won’t have an overwhelming effect like a bold tone might have, but it will still add that important foundation of fresh color.
A pastel color palette can be grounded.
Using a pastel color palette in your space doesn’t mean that you stay only on the tinted side of the spectrum. A pastel space needs to be grounded, often with earthy textures and deep tones. This could be done with dark floors or black accents or a grey-washed wood stain.
A pastel color palette can boost moods.
Probably due, in large part, to their shy nature, pastel colors provide a serene setting that can simultaneously boost your mood. Warm, energetic colors can be happy and enthusiastic, but a pastel color palette has a mood-boosting ability because of its work in the opposite direction – there’s an airy sense of cheer without the exhaustion.
A pastel color palette is versatile.
Pastel wall colors, for example, look amazing against wood floors, paneling, and other furniture, whether they are light or dark. The greater the contrast between the pastel palette and other elements in a space, the higher the energy level will be. Conversely, the more similar the tones of the hues used, the more neutral and calming it will feel in the space.
A pastel color palette can be contemporary.
Some of us might have a knee-jerk reaction to pastels as being old-fashioned or traditional, but the opposite is true. Many of today’s interiors are embracing softer hues as a refuge from the barrage of life. Soft peach, pale mint green, and fresh light lemon, as just a few examples, all find themselves quite at home in a contemporary space.
A pastel color palette works beyond just the nursery.
There’s a reason baby blue is named what it is, but that doesn’t mean the color only works in the nursery. In fact, any pastel tint (even baby girl pink) can work beautifully in a grownup space when it is paired with brighter or darker shades. The resulting contrast is beautiful and sophisticated.
A muted pastel color palette can be neutral.
For those who are looking for a soothing interior space but aren’t convinced a classic pastel color palette is right for the room, consider a more muted alternative. Pastels with grey undertones, for example, or even a soft grey with purple undertones can infuse a space with a calming and refined aura.
A pastel color palette makes a room feel more spacious.
A small room tends to look and feel much larger than its actual footprint when it uses lighter colors, such as a pastel palette. Natural light bounces around more freely in a pastel space, and the overall aesthetic is airy and light.
A pastel color palette looks well with LED lighting.
Of course, today’s LED lighting comes in a spectrum of warmth, from cool blues to very warm yellows. Pastel colors tend to be at their best in natural light or with somewhat cooler LED lighting, because traditional yellow light makes the pastels appear somewhat sickly or dingy. This is an easy thing to accomplish, actually, with LED light strand options as well as LED bulbs.
A tip for painting walls with a pastel color palette: A pro tip for incorporating pastels into your space with paint is to choose the pastel you like on the paint chip, then go one or two tints lighter on that same card. Most pastel colors will look much more intense when spread across a large surface, like a wall, than they do on the paint card.
More cool pastel color design ideas
Add a few pastels to an area that’s bright and sunny to amplify the effect. This window seat is a lovely example. The designers at Mandarina Studio used a few cool tones to set a fresh and airy mood and they also introduced warm yellow accents which give this space a cheerful look.
Cool pastels are ideal for bedrooms because they’re very relaxing and have a calming effect. Blue and green are both nice choices. There’s lots of different ways in which they can be used in here. For example, this bedroom by studio Miss Alice Designs has partial accent walls and the white of the ceiling is extended downwards to give the room a brighter and more open feel.
Mix bright pastels with bold patterns if you want to give a space a lot of character. These two design elements can complement each other and work together to totally transform what would otherwise be a very simple and basic type of space. Check out how chic this home office by Rikki Snyder looks with these beautiful coral accents and ivory surfaces.
If you feel like a pastel color would be too much for a big piece of furniture like the sofa, try instead to incorporate it in other ways and in smaller amounts. For example, this gorgeous living room designed by Kimberly Demmy features a gallery wall that draws the eye towards the back of the room.
Use pastels and light colors to balance out dark and powerful shades such as grays and black or to transform a room décor based on neutrals. The lighting really helps to highlight the colors and to put an emphasis on the different focal points of this living room designed by Elad Gonen. The same strategy can also work for other types of spaces.
The kitchen is not the first space that comes to mind when thinking of pastel colors. That’s what makes a design like this that much more interesting and inspiring. The soft blue and lilac furniture colors go really well with the cottage-style décor. The light wooden floor and white ceiling help to balance out the color scheme. This is a design done by Farmer Payne Architects.
Another lovely idea is to play with a mix of warm and cool pastel hues. You could also use a combination of lighter and darker tones to add more depth to the décor and to help certain elements stand out more. The symmetry suits this bedroom quite well, helping it to maintain a balanced and clean aesthetic. We also love the window treatments chosen by studio EB Designs for this space.
Texture and pattern play an important role in any interior design and you can clearly see that here. This cozy little bedroom by studio Jennifer Scully Designs is beautiful and stylish without being too girly. It features a nice mix of cool pastels with warm accents like pink and yellow. They’re complemented by light wood finishes and a white ceiling.
Sunrooms and pastels go hand in hand. Soft and bright nuances like mint green, pink or yellow are excellent choices if your goal is to make this space look refreshing, airy and full of energy. The colors are amplified by the sunlight that enters the room and you can also rely on patterns to make them stand out more. Check out this beautiful design by Echelon Interiors for inspiration.
Painting the ceiling is a wonderful use of color, especially for a space like a bedroom or a nursery room. We love the color scheme of this design by studio Mary Hannah Interiors, in particular the way in which the pastel accent hues are complemented by warm neutrals like beige and natural wood. Together they make this space look calming and relaxing.
This living room designed by studio Clarke & Clarke has a very subtle retro vibe and that partially has to do with the color scheme. The colors are soft and muted but they’re also very relaxing and fresh. The light grays set a neutral mood while the pink gives the room an uplifting feel.
Pastels can also be quite bold and uplifting, especially when paired with a few bold and vivid accent tones. This chic living room features a rather diverse color scheme, with neutrals as main colors, soft pastels as secondary hues and a few dark and bold nuances as accent colors. It’s quite colorful and eclectic but also well-balanced and simple. Check out this beautiful design by Holly Marder for inspiration.