Bubblegum pink, baby blue and pale lilac may be a little too reminiscent of childhood but spring will always inspire a trip to the softer end of the colour spectrum. And this season the delicate colour palette is thoroughly on-trend if Burberry and Miu Miu‘s collections are anything to go by.
To master pastels fit for adults, step away from saccharine tones in favour of sophisticated salmon, duck egg and celadon green; contrast with dark woods for added depth; and accent with refined golden touches. Opt for elegant silhouettes, luxurious textiles and a combination of delicate materials to transform the look from fairytale to fabulous.
Image Credit: David Collins
1. Sidestep childish tones
Pastels come in a variety of shades and some can be a bit more childish than others. Try to find a shade which is intense but not vibrant – Farrow and Ball, Little Greene and Zoffany are all good options. Also, pay particular attention to the undertones of any shades you are contemplating. A pink with a slight orange tone, as opposed to a red one, will be more manageable.
2. Contrast with dark woods
Punctuating a room with cool, dark woods definitely adds an edge to a pretty colour scheme. There are times when lighter woods can work (limed finishes or pale sycamore work quite well) but these can sometimes have little impact. A wenge chair upholstered in a pastel tone is both modern and elegant.
3. Accent with refined warm metals
Nothing adds sophistication more than carefully chosen golden accents. Brass is a good choice for when you don’t want to go for gold. If they’re traditional accents, the metals should always be well-cared for (shabby will make the room look like an outdated child’s room) but rustic finishes like hammered or perforated metal can and should be embraced.
Image Credit: Intarya
4. Opt for elegant silhouettes
If there’s one rule for mastering pastels, it’s this – be careful of your shapes. A clean-lined sofa can get away with a delicate colour palettes or patterns because it makes up for it with confidence-infused designs. Choosing timeless silhouettes with a contemporary update will prevent your room from looking twee.
5. Choose materials wisely
Certain materials are more forgiving than others when it comes to pastels, for example, wood painted in lemon yellow or pink fluffy rugs are a no-go for adult spaces but fresh duck egg blue in a slub silk makes for an elegant choice for drapes. This space by Intarya maximises the potential of simple fabrics and subtle weaves in the palest of blues to create this dreamy master bedroom.
Image Credit: Intarya
Header image courtesy of Drake Design Associates.