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Pleasing Pastels

Soothing and welcoming, pastels add ambiance and a gentle glow to any room. Given the range of hues, from light lemonade to delicate pink to soft minty green, you can enhance any style of room with these pale palettes.

Pastels are the ideal color choices if you want something subtle and want to venture beyond cream and beige. You can keep a room simple, with walls in one color, yet spice up the furnishings and accent pieces with patterns. Or take it a step further by painting pale shades on some walls and bolder versions of the same color family on others. The subtle adaptability of pastels makes them beautiful color choices for any room, in any style.

There’s no need for bedroom walls to be monochromatic, especially when featuring different room elements, such as a fireplace or sitting area. Here, the main abode is done in a calm, neutral wheat color, echoed by the smooth, white sand rug. While the fireplace adds a cozy touch, the sky blue walls and cool white trim keeps the room feeling crisp and fresh. Wrapping the sky blue color into the seating area and around the picture window helps define this space from the sleeping area. Details, such as architectural molding, not only add visual interest but tie the entire room together when painted in fresh white linen hues. Use the bed to bring together the color scheme, by incorporating the soft sky shades on the sheets and throw, with gentle, creamy off-whites in the plump pillows and coverings. The glow of beige candles and table lamps, along with natural sunlight, bring a restful aura.

Whether you live in a palm tree paradise or just wish you did, bring the spirit of Miami Beach into your home with pastels. Selectively balance subtle off-whites, such as the pale, creamy gray on the wall behind this modern couch, with cheery pastels. The combination of sunny yellow and aquatic green applied to the window walls draws the eye to the stunning view outside. Built-in bookshelves and curio cabinets get a second glance, when the background is awash with sea-green tones. Accent colors like these really stand out when you frame them with a pure white. Add texture to this sleek space with patterned upholstery and shaggy looped carpeting. Glass-top tables with reflective chrome legs and sleek lighting fixtures bring a modern sensibility. With a Miami Beach look, you’ll want an airy and spacious feel, so let in plenty of natural sunlight through uncovered windows. Polished hardwood floors reflect the outdoor brightness.

Mix the old and the new in this Vintage Chic room. Here, pastel colors mesh the French classic style with whimsical touches. On the walls you see a celadon hue - a pale jade green with hints of gray. It’s a perfect backdrop to the smattering of other colors brought out in the fabrics and details, from fresh fuschia flowers to golden table legs to floral-patterned pillows. Much of the décor is traditional, including the quilted-back couch with stylized legs and the decorative oval mirror with a highly ornate metal frame. The velvet side chair stands out, not only for its striking powder-blue color, but as a modern, fanciful statement in an otherwise vintage style room. Along with the muted wall, the pastels echo in all the furnishings, with a subtly decorated cotton candy pink lampshade, variations in the throw pillows, and sheer curtains in dusky rose. Like the pillows, with their floral patterns that neither match nor clash, the curtain panels present another flowery design. Their height extends the gaze upward, adding visual appeal to the simplicity of the high walls. The sculpted molding painted in a soft white brings a repetitive yet simple square design element.

Bath time should be relaxing. This bathroom, with its claw foot tub and classic styling, is enhanced by its calming colors. The grayish blue walls trimmed exquisitely with decorative white molding, brings an elegance not typically seen in bathrooms. The subtle use of accent pastel colors introduces the hint of spring, with plush towels in pale blue, wispy pink and plump purple. Silver accents shine in the wall sconces, also reflected in the opulent mirror, faucets and hammered silver pail alongside the tub. Papery window shades in a creamy off-white allow the sunlight in even when drawn, while still providing much-needed privacy. The antique side table - a family heirloom or prized flea market find - stands out with its weathered, muted yellow finish. In addition to its charm, the side table provides functionality for storage and display of accessories, like hand-milled soaps in an antique silver tray and a glass jar filled with bathing essentials. The simple vase adds blooms of color. There’s no need to hide the radiator. This steam heater not only warms the room; it’s a period-perfect décor piece. The large area rug with its diamond design in the same serene color scheme, warms and buffers the feet from the cold hardwood floor.

Hallways lead you from one room to another, but they can also be a bridge, connecting styles and making the transition between color palettes. Pastels do this well, providing an airy entrance and striking contrast to bolder colors. Depending on the light, a hallway in pink might take on hues of a pale purple rose or the inside of a conch found on the beach during a sunset stroll. You can incorporate art, wall hangings or rugs in a hallway to bring rooms together, combining colors from each. Here, eye-catching yet simple geometrical paintings integrate the rich, deep plum of the adjacent walls, while the white matting of the trio of charcoal drawings on the far wall complement the crisp white ceilings and baseboard trim. Furnishings in neutral, sand hues, such as the patterned chair and textured ceiling lamp, stand out against the plum wall but do not clash with the pastel pink. The nesting Lucite side tables provide storage space while seemingly taking up no room at all.

Pastels are a versatile option to make your rooms more beautiful. These pale hues easily pair with other pastels, and also provide a graceful distinction against bold or vivid colors. When you want to venture beyond white and beige, but are reluctant to take on a strong color, then pastels are a great choice. They can work in any space in your home and can translate beautifully into any décor style. Regardless of your furnishings or décor accessories, you’ll find that pastels provide the perfect background for your interior spaces. Try a pale pink, luminous blue or delicate green on your walls and you’ll see what a difference these lovely colors can make in your home.