Pretty, subtle and bang on trend, pastel shades are having a moment

Decorating with pastels may be on-trend at the moment, but it can be tricky to walk the line between creating a soft, chic space and one that looks like a four-year-old’s unicorn party.

Light and relaxing, pastels allow for the addition of colour without it overwhelming your space. This works particularly well where other elements of the scheme, such as the style of furniture, are meant to be the focal point, or where the overall aim is a gentle, soothing look in which no one component is intended to shout.

At the more muted end of the spectrum, pastels can read almost as a neutral, adding warmth and interest while making a subtle statement. Cool, washed-out blues that invoke Nordic skies are the perfect addition to a pared back Scandi scheme, while modern lilac is a dialled-down, more liveable version of Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2018, Ultra Violet.

The use of baby pink in interiors has also become so popular in recent times that it is now referred to as ‘millennial pink’, representing a kind of ironic prettiness. One way to prevent pastels from feeling too saccharine is to use them in an otherwise masculine or edgy space. The unexpected juxtaposition of a soft pastel hue with industrial brick work or rustic wood adds a quirky twist and increased depth to the scheme.

If you’re not ready to commit to pastels in one of your main living spaces perhaps try introducing them in a room you don’t spend much time in, such as a guest bedroom or hallway. Mint green is soothing and fresh, making it a great colour for bathrooms, while yellow can add subtle, sunny warmth to pale neutrals such as white, beige and grey.

Paint and wallpaper are both relatively inexpensive, easy ways to make dramatic changes in your home. If your walls make a statement, stick to simple, neutral furniture and accessories so the space doesn’t become busy or chaotic. For a contemporary look, try mixing pastels with clean lines, natural wood, metallic accents and plenty of leafy botanicals.

Bright pastels are some of the happiest hues out there and look fabulous when several appear together, as illustrated by these chairs upholstered in fabric by Scion, pictured. If you’re feeling brave, try combining aqua with peach, or lemon with pink. The softness of pastels allows for the pairing of colours that might otherwise clash or overwhelm.

If you want to brighten your home then adding accessories in a few of these shades is a great place to start. Cushions, throws, photo frames and vases are all items that can be bought inexpensively and used to experiment with a splash of calming colour.

Changing your bed linen is a quick, non-permanent way to totally update the look of your bedroom. This otherwise neutral space would have far less personality without the pretty pastel bedding from Zara Home, pictured.

Don’t forget about your dining table either. Pastel tableware and crockery is guaranteed to raise a smile and looks fabulously feminine when teamed with with glamorous gold or rose gold cutlery. For a more understated look, the addition of pastel textiles to your table, such as the pink tablecloth from H&M Home pictured, gives a subtle nod to the trend.

For those who are drawn to dark decor, pastels are still very much an option. Pale, playful accents within an otherwise subdued or dramatic palette provide an interesting contrast, elevating the entire scheme. The combination of these light, airy shades with grounding black strikes a balance that is about as chic as it gets. So from the palest tints through to dusky hues and on to cheerful brights, there really is a perfect pastel for everyone.