Interior design fashions may vary but the effect of colours and tones really don’t alter. So whilst pastel shades are having a design moment with pink, aqua and lilacs leading the revival, they are a style investment that will never fade. A way to bring in colour but with the calm qualities of neutrals, pastels are the ideal tool to manage and alter the qualities of light. Here are eight powerful ways to find your perfect pastel.
Cool and Calm
Pastel colours can calm harsh light and affect the intense feeling of thermal gain that noon or late, low sun can deliver. This shimmering pastel blue Venetian Blind transforms what could be very imposing large windows into soothing design features. By keeping these other elements in the space to a tight palette, the sense of serenity is this room’s overwhelming feature. Venetian blinds can be subtly adjusted to physically block the thermal gain, as well as cooling the feel of the light as it passes over the icy tone of the wood.
Pastel colours work very well together but only when treated as a family. These tones are harmonious, and the darker tone adds some depth to the scheme. Note however that it is a darker version of the pale pink tone. Adding another hue such as a mint green would cancel out the soothing effect and make it seem unfocused and cluttered. Balance is also key; if the mauve is used only as a highlight, in a cushion or rug, then the overall scheme will still feel very light and airy. If the mauve was used on the walls, the effect will be richer and deeper. Work out the percentages of these colours you’d like to use as a rough guide before you start, to ensure you ultimately achieve the mood you want.
The effect of your pastel will be influenced by its material and the forms it takes. These Pirouette blinds give the fabric a wide range of effects. When closed, the silk feels opaque and filters the light in a gentle diffused fashion. When open, or partly open, the fabric becomes more dense, with a slick shine on the surface of the material. When choosing your pastel blinds you can use these qualities to plan the moods you want as the day changes: a coral pastel will seem more energetic when open in the day, but when closed it can create a cocooning softness for a lazy afternoon of relaxing.
Chalk It Up
Pastel designs have many different qualities. Some are more flat or soft, such as chalk pastels, or more pop art in feel, where the colour seems very dense and vibrant. If you want the biggest effect from your choices, use pastel shades and texture together. A flat pastel can work wonders in a modern wall for a bold effect, whilst using light pastels with a delicate texture or pattern can make them feel even softer. This pastel peach and white Roman Blind folds gently and gives a variation to the quality of light that flows through it, creating a more unstructured, country feel.
Soft pastel colours naturally feel soothing; by adding in the ombre effect on this Duette blind the affect is enhanced even further. Lending an almost Japanese feel with pleated fabric and a peaceful green the colour drift makes what could be a neutral window covering a stand out feature in this scheme. Almost a pastel painting. The addition of black in the natural bamboo is also key; without the black the scheme would feel too airy and cold with nothing to contrast against.
A conservatory can be a wonderful addition to a home, adding extra space and a connection with nature. But all that sunlight can create a very intense, uncomfortably hot room that isn’t used as much as we’d like. Adding in blinds can of course help manage the light, but the colour chosen is also key as it will become the dominant tone in the room. This pastel pink brings a gentle, pretty light without feeling overbearing. Here matching it tonally with the floor, makes the two connected, and adds a gentle rosy glow to all elements in the room.
When planning pastel designs it’s essential to consider how materials change the effect. Using a powder coated metal pastel finish can add a more masculine edge, or bringing in a soft velvet in a sofa or the folds of a Roman Blind in a loose linen will bring a louche, relaxed atmosphere. Mixing up the finishes of your pastels and adding in a marble tile or hardwood floor will help you keep the design feel more structured and elegant.
Pastel interiors can also be a bit more rock and roll; such as the vintage stylings of the 1950s that used pastels and curves at every turn. If you want a little of this retro style, add in a highlight detail like this yellow metal Venetian blind or orange clock to bring in the colour contrast for an authentic feel.
And that’s how you rock pastels.
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