Pastels, those saturated colors made light and bright with the addition of white, are the perfect balance between neutrals that we're getting a little bored with, and dark, bold colors that can overwhelm a space.
The appeal and impact of pastel colors in interior design is increasing; this is in line with a general trend. You know when you can get a light mint green phone case that pastels are having a moment!
These colors have a way of calming and refreshing at the same time. Don't just think about pastel colors like blush, pale yellow, mint green, or soft blue on walls. Consider how frames, furniture, and accessories can elevate or complement your design.
Pastel interior design features so many choices—soft pinks or peaches, tranquil blues and lilacs, mellow creams and yellows, pale tans and greens.
Some people shy away from pastels out of concern that rooms will look too sweet or childlike, but remember that any color can be light, and they don't all have to look like ice cream or candy!
Mixing in gray or brown with primary and secondary colors yields countless sophisticated shades. Think light sage green, dusky blue or earthy pink. Mustard yellow can be mixed with white as easily as a bright lemon yellow. Mauve can yield a much softer pastel when mixed with white than the bright lilac that emerges from white mixed with purple. There are so many possibilities.
The Psychology of Pastels
Mixing color with white brightens and dilutes it, which is what makes pastels calming and serene—they're easy on the eyes. Lighter colors also tend to make a space look larger than darker colors, so remember them when you want a room to look spacious.
Mixing two or more pastels lends a whimsical, fun quality to a room, but there are subtler ways to work with pastels that will give you their fresh, invigorating quality without making your room look like a nursery.
How Not to Overdo Pastels
There are several ways not to overdo pastels:
1. Use Neutral Bases
If you make white, cream, or gray your main color, the pastel you use with it will be toned down, especially if you use more of the neutral.
2. Add a Dark Color
If you incorporate a darker color with the neutral and pastel, the scheme becomes more sophisticated. Imagine a bathroom that's primarily white, with pale mauve tiles. Now add an oriental rug repeating the mauve, with some golden and dark browns mixed in. Add a white vase of bare twigs to the vanity. The brown has elevated the look of the room.
3. Use Natural Materials
Integrate natural elements like wood or stone to provide a grounding effect to the lightness of pastels. For instance, a pastel green room can be enhanced with wooden furniture and stone decor. A bathroom mirror frame from MirrorMate in wood tones, such as the Big Sur Warm Teak frame, could turn a builder-grade mirror into a design feature.
Of course, plants can beautifully complement pastel interiors. The natural green tones of foliage often work harmoniously with soft hues.
Styling Tips and Tricks
- Ensure that rooms with pastels receive ample natural light. Sunlight can enhance the softness of pastels, making spaces feel airy and open.
- Introduce fabrics and materials with various textures in pastel colors. Velvets, linens, and cotton can all carry pastel shades differently, offering a rich tactile experience.
- Experiment with patterns. Consider pastel wallpapers or fabrics with subtle patterns. Stripes, floral motifs, or geometric shapes in soft hues can add visual interest without overwhelming the senses.
- Use pastels in transitional spaces like hallways or staircases. These areas can benefit from the light and airy feel of pastels, making them seem more spacious.
Playing with Color
Here are some ideas for using single or complementary pastel colors:
You can layer different tones of one color. Use varying shades of the same pastel color to add depth to a room. For instance, combine a soft lilac with a deeper lavender.
On the other hand, you may want to mix and match; you don't have to restrict yourself to one pastel shade per room. Combining two or more can yield delightful results, like a pale blush with sage green for a whimsical touch.
Pastel gradients are another possibility. Start with a deeper shade at the base of the wall and let it fade into a lighter pastel shade as it reaches the ceiling.
Metallic accents are a great way to add elegance and depth to a pastel room. Use rose gold or brass to warm up pastel shades and add a touch of elegance. Dark metallics like black or antique brass will add contrast and depth. You can get the same effect with dark-colored accessories or furniture pieces. This can prevent the room from feeling too monotonous or washed out.
Elements of Pastel Interior Design
Pastel room ideas extend from floor to ceiling. Consider all these elements:
- Walls: Choose the right shade and finish. Order samples ahead of time, stick them on the wall and live with them for a few days before you make a final choice. Watch how lighting changes the hues.
- Wall Art: Choose artwork that either complements the pastel theme or offers a contrasting pop of color.
- Furniture: Decide whether you love pastels enough to carry them through walls and furniture. If you want complementary colors, look at a color wheel and pick two or three that are next to one another, such as blue and purple. For big-ticket items like a sectional couch, you may want to choose a neutral like gray to keep your options open.
- Textiles: Rugs, curtains, and upholstery can enhance the pastel theme, or you can choose dark or bold colors in textiles for contrast.
- Decor: Artwork, ceramics, frames, and trinkets can all enhance the pastel aesthetic.
- Lighting: Experiment with how different light fixtures affect pastel shades.
Pastel Bathroom Decor Ideas
Bathrooms are a great place to experiment with pastels. You can do something fun like drenching a bathroom in one pastel, floor to ceiling, that would be overwhelming in a larger room. Here are a few possibilities:
Pastel Green Sanctuary
Opt for mint or sage green tiles or wall paint. White or light wooden fixtures will keep the look fresh. Choose a brushed silver or rustic white mirror frame to match the cool tones of the green.
Soft lavender or lilac walls paired with marble or white countertops can evoke feelings of calm. An antique metallic frame, such as the Grandezza Bronze frame would provide an elegant contrast.
Blush Pink Retreat
Consider blush pink wall paint or tiles. Add brass or gold fixtures to bring out warmth.
Sky Blue Escape
Light blue tiles or paint can give a breezy and open feel. Keep fixtures and fittings in white to elevate the lightness. Driftwood and weathered white accessories could add a coastal vibe.
Buttery Yellow Delight
Pale yellow walls or tiles can evoke sunshine and joy. Gray accessories and chrome fixtures can ground the look and provide a muted balance.
Pastel Mosaic Marvel
Use a mosaic of various pastel tiles for a playful and eclectic vibe. A frame in matte black or dark brown, such as the Cherokee Espresso Walnut Slim frame, can anchor the variety of colors.
Frame Enhancements for Pastels - MirrorMate's Collection
After the big choices are made for bathroom design, it's time to accessorize. Introduce pastel towels, soap dispensers, and bath mats to echo the pastel theme. This reinforces the palette without committing to more permanent fixtures.Wall art is the final touch that makes the room uniquely yours. Mirror frame kits offer a convenient way to turn mirrors into art pieces. At MirrorMate, design enthusiasts will find frame colors that both complement and contrast with pastels, with interesting textures to provide depth to the pastel ambiance.