Pretty Pavilion Blue Bedroom

In Praise of Pastels

A new direction with pastels

Over recent seasons decorating trends have been dominated by bold colours and colour blocking, but there has been an underlying shift towards a more restful palette of pastel shades.  Cleansing and hydrating pastels offer a welcome break from this more luminescent look.

Light Blue is a perfect example of one of 2015's 'muddy' pastels

Light Blue is a perfect example of one of 2015’s ‘muddy’ pastels

Inspired by the seamless wash of colour in water colour paintings and natural weathering, pastels are subtle but ever present. Indefinable and intriguing, their fluidity is suited to hazy summer days and counteracts the hard edges of colour blocked schemes.

When decorating in this way it is important to choose colours that blend. Chalky pinks and green-blues like Middleton Pink and Pale Powder combine perfectly in this way. Although different colours they all have the soft, slightly weathered feel that optimises this look. Using these colours in different rooms will create a sense of flow and unity in your home that can be likened to the mêlée of a water colour painting.

Blended soft pink and truquoise ikat fabric.  IMage courtesy of

You can used fabrics like this coral, mint and navy design in much the same way. Image courtesy of

Washed and nourishing pastels provide a tranquil backdrop to let go and just be. We need a break! Smart phones mean we are always working, always accessible, always online. By using these serene colours you can transform your home into an oasis of calm and comfort. Different from the more styled look of all white, minimalist homes, pastels have a lovable worn feel that’s easy to live with. The translucent nature of pastel hues gives them a freshness that rejuvenates even the most fatigued.

A calming soft yellow bathrooom

A calming soft yellow bathroom

Pastels don’t have to be sugary

Pastels encompass Gustavian greys, mint greens, soft pinks and easy yellows. When used together theses shades give a twist on sweeter pastel schemes, and create a more sophisticated feel.

A simply stylish study painted Cornforth White

A simply stylish study painted Cornforth White

Combine pastels with unexpected bursts of bright colours and neon hues. Add a shot of Babouche or Arsenic to an otherwise pastel space by painting the floor or an item of furniture. Pastels are also a great way to add colour to a sleek, minimalist home, bringing plainer décor to life. Adding lemon, pistachio or mint soft furnishings to a white room will add a sense of fun and vibrancy to the space.

Electric Churlish Green adds a shot of colour to a Calluna bedroom

Electric Churlish Green adds a shot of colour to a Calluna bedroom

Revitalised pastels, whether all encompassing or combined with brighter tones provide the restful and reassuring backdrop to everyday life that we are looking for in 2015. These delicate shades can equally be used to make a simple update you your existing scheme or to completely transform a space.


Rebecca Maclean


Rebecca’s interest in interior design began as a teenager when she had the ‘bright’ idea of painting her bedroom a striking tangerine shade. Today that passion for colour permeates her working life, and at home she enjoys trying new ideas while decorating her first home. Rebecca loves to travel, seeing the world and discovering new landscapes, sights and flavours.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist