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As springtime approaches, freshening up your home might be at the top of your list! While pastels are more popular than ever, many homeowners are unsure how to incorporate these shades in a way that lets their design style shine. Gone are the days of a pastel living room looking like a child’s nursery; pastels can be elegant, sophisticated, casual, charming, playful, and much more. Read on for five of the best tips incorporating a pastel palette into your home décor.

Decide on a Direction

Choosing to add a pastel palette to your décor scheme isn’t one-size-fits-all. If you’re looking for a more cottage-like feel, then mixing various shades of pastels in one room is a great option. However, for something more traditional, choose to stay within one color and vary the tone (think of staying on the same paint chip throughout the room). If you’d like a casual vibe, then paint larger items like furniture or an accent wall with a pastel color (here’s a great DIY furniture painting tutorial!); if you’re looking for sleek and elegant, use pastels as accents only. Making these design decisions will help inform your pastel purchases!

Branch Out From “Typical” Shades

When we think of pastels, our minds typically go to an Easter basket full of candy colors. These days, however, there are countless variations of pastel tones to choose from when decorating, so a visit to the paint store for inspiration is a good place to start. If you can’t make it to a paint store, browse the palettes here for some inspiration.

Consider whether you’d like to use pastels to accent your existing color scheme, help a room feel playful and airy, or give a focal point/pop of color in a dull space. Pastels that are closer to neutral (yellow, cream, peach) can help a room feel airy without being stark, those that have a natural focus (green, blue, tan) easily complement your existing décor, and the pastels that are more playful (pink, purple, orange) will really add a pop.

pastel palette on a serving tray with purple candle and spring time vase

Photo by UA-pro/Shutterstock

Mix with Bold Colors

With decorating, we sometimes get stuck in an “all or nothing” mindset, as in “I’m going to turn this whole room pastel!” Fortunately, that trend has long passed, and using various tones and shades to decorate a single room is a common decorating technique. If you’d like to incorporate pastels for the season but don’t want your room to feel too airy or saccharin, try mixing pastels with bold colors in the same family. For a great guide to mixing pastels with bolder tones, look through these marketing examples or at this rundown to see how incorporating everything from gold-framed mirrors to bright curtains can help your pastels shine.

Add Natural Materials

If you usually stay away from pastels because they feel too feminine, consider mixing your pastels with natural materials for some grounding. A cream or tan wool/jute rug is a simple way to match pastel accents with a solid foundation in your room. If you’d rather use the pastels in a fun pattern on the floor, then opt for natural wood furniture and linen couch covers/chairs/etc. as the natural element. For a bold look in any space, a statement light fixture in natural materials will complement your pastel décor nicely (and a table lamp is a great choice for a smaller room).

Incorporate Black

Adding black when your goal is to decorate with pastels may seem counterintuitive, but a few pops of this dark tone will help to ground the pastels and make your room feel more sophisticated. Black accents will also give your guests’ eyes somewhere neutral to rest so your pastel décor won’t feel too busy and juvenile. One easy and inexpensive way to add black is through a throw pillow or two. Choosing something with a bit of a pattern can make the black feel just light enough to easily mesh with the pastels around it. A black end table is a great way to ground your space while also accentuating the style you’ve chosen for the room.

By expertly styling a pastel palette into your décor, your home will show guests your unique spin on these classic springtime hues!

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