Written by Laurie Davidson

7 ways to decorate your home with pastels

Pastels are having a moment. After all, gelato-inspired shades are perfect for spring-summer. But pastel decor can be tricky to get right. Overdo it and your interior scheme can go from South Beach chic to kid’s bedroom in an instant.

So how do you create a scheme that’s more calming sorbet than sickly sweet? Good Homes picks out some of our best pastel decor ideas…

1. Pick a tonal pastel palette

To create a more mature pastel decor scheme, combine a spectrum of shades. Bridging the gaps between contrast colours gives a softer, layered finish and adds extra depth to this palette, perfectly demonstrated by this styling from Sofa.com, from £1,704.

Sofa.com bluebell sofa in taupe - goodhomesmagazine.com

Photo: Bluebell sofa in Taupe, sofa.com

2. Make it monochromatic

Keep your pastels within one colour palette and you’ll create a sophisticated monochromatic scheme. In the purple pastel living room by Next, below, varying shades of lilac on the curtains, sofa, rug and flowers create depth, with each of the shades slightly darker or lighter than the others.

lavendar living room with purple sofa and lilac curtains, next home

Gosford large sofa in plush velvet purple, £1,675; Sloane coffee table, £425; Palais Vintage 6-light chandelier, £285; Mayfair rug, from £140; Cotton curtains in Lilac Purple, from £45, all Next

3. Choose modern muted pastels

The latest pastel decor trends see us steering away from the more candy-coloured pinks and overtly girlie shades and replacing them with muted colours like softened coral and dreamy sea blues. Add in a few stronger pops of colour and some pattern (shown below in the accessories and floor tiles) and you’ve got yourself a stylish pastel bathroom scheme to be proud of.

muted coral and blue pastels in bathroom

Made-to-measure One CF worktop in Abstract Blue, £7.47 per linear cm, Acquabella

4. Opt for less saturated hues

Super saturated pink and blue tones can sometimes set the wrong tone for a room, giving it a more child-like feel than the sophisticated yet playful ideal you’re after. This beautiful pastel kitchen from Day True uses a combination of blue and pink, but in barely-there hues teamed with luxurious finishes such as marble and brass.

Daytrue chepstow palace pastel kitchen design - goodhomesmagazine.com

Photo: Day True

5. Ground with natural finishes

One way to keep a pastel colour palette feeling grown-up is to combine with stylish natural finishes. Whether it’s this wooden vanity alongside these Ted Baker Stepped Up Pastel tiles, or simply introducing rattan, jute and natural stone finishes into your design, it’s sure to ground the design.

ted baker pastel luxury tiles in bathroom paired with midcentury modern bathroom cabinet

Photo: Luxury Tiles UK

6. Combine pastels with neutrals

Prevent your pastel decor scheme from feeling too feminine by teaming them with neutrals. Just one pastel piece can add that element of warmth, without being overpowering, while a neutral backdrop and flooring will keep your scheme beautifully pared back.

pastel blue snuggler chair with neutral accessories

Canterbury Luxury velvet snuggler chair in Lilypad, £1,099; Mila rug, from £69; Tapestry Oriental floor cushion, £35, all Dunelm

7. Mix it up

Combine a few sorbet shades together for a pastel decor scheme that feels fresh and summery. Pale pink, lemon, coral, lilac and mint all work well together, so all you need to decide is whether you stick to just two of these colours, or incorporate them all. The muted pink and yellow chairs in this dining room create enough contrast to keep the scheme visually engaging, while a brighter yellow pendant overhead adds an extra colour pop.

pastel dining room mixed colours

Houston chandelier, £340, with 14cm tall tapered shades in Yellow jute with pink lining, and Navy jute with yellow lining, £28 each, all Pooky


MORE ON PASTEL DECOR


Pastel decor buys

  • Pastel Figure No1 poster, from £8.97 for a 30 x 40cm, Desenio
  • Column candlestick holders in pink, £40 for a set of three, iamfy.co
  • Sunflower cushion, £7, George Home