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The New Pastels

  • By Lisa Hill
  • Published 03/12/2012

Pastels were big news on the catwalks so it’s no surprise this look has trickled down into interiors. Far more forgiving than brights, the new pastels are anything but wishy washy and are a palette of sophisticated, chalky hues.

Designer furniture

While you wouldn’t necessarily associate designer furniture with pastels, white versions of classic designs such as the Eames lounger and the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona are ideal for this trend. If you want to update your dining room the Canteen Utility chairs from Very Good & Proper with their painted metal frames are a good bet.


Given its delicate hue, you can afford to be a little more adventurous with pastel wallpaper than you round more colourful designs. Look for tonal designs which can be used on all four walls for maximum impact or hand drawn florals to give one wall or a chimney breast a lift.


The trick to using pastel colours to create a sophisticated palette is to avoid sickly baby blues and pinks. Instead choose almost-grey violets, blush, dusty sky blues, pale sages and warm putty shades. The usability of these colours mean they don’t have up be reserved for walls. Try using specialist paint in a myriad of pastel hues to revamp thrift shop wooden chair and place them around a sleek dining table for an eclectic look.


As with paint, using pastel fabrics means you can afford use them more abundantly. Try using different patterns in the same colour way to add interest to windows. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, try creating cushions of your own from remnants of fabric.


Pastel accessories are in abundance this season so make the most of the lighter evenings by incorporating them into your scheme. Pastel accessories lend themselves to be grouped into items of varying shades without the overall effect being too overbearing. For a affordable look, try a stylist’s classic trick of swirling leftover paint inside various shaped glass vessels and displaying them on a mantelpiece or shelves.

About the Author: Features editor Alexandra Thomas takes a step away from the bright and bold and looks at how to make the new pastels work in the home with everything from designer furniture to soft furnishings.



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