Pastel Color Guide: 4 Tips for Decorating a Pastel Room

If the Millennial Pink trend taught us anything, it’s that pastel colors are far from dainty. Even so, many people still think of pastel hues as feminine, too soft, or even juvenile given their popularity in nursery color schemes. But we’re here to say, “Think again!”

Beyond pink, we’ve been seeing a rise in stylish and cool pastel shades, ranging from minty green to icy blue to sorbet orange. They’re popping up in furniture, decor, and paint, and we’ve come across more than a few designers who have gone all out with head-to-toe pastel rooms.

To inspire you, we’ve rounded up easy tips for decorating with pastel colors in cool ways. Keep reading for our pastel room design ideas, and see how you can work pastels into your home, no matter your personal style or space.

Need help picking out colors? Read our guide on how to choose a color palette along with ways to get started with neutral paint colors. Or take it to the max with our bold ideas for jewel tones!

1. Think In Repeating Layers

Because pastel colors are soft by nature, you want more than a single pop in your space. Otherwise, the one lonely pastel element can come off like it was an afterthought.

Instead, incorporate pastels into your space with a more curated and designed approach. Focus on repeating pastel colors in multiple places and decor, such as a few pastel pink pillows mixed with a soft yellow artwork and a mint-green printed rug. Remember, the more pastel colors, the more cohesive your space will look and feel.

2. Go For Monochrome

A tried-and-true pastel color approach is to go all out with soft shades in one color for a monochrome look. Whether it’s lilac furnishings in a wide range of light shades or a room outfitted entirely in a soft orange paint color with decor to match, a room in full pastel is always a statement.

Going monochrome also means you can get playful with unexpected hues for a fresh take on a pastel palette. So instead of pastels such as baby pinks, blues, yellows, and greens, take a leap with more sophisticated shades. Think dusty mauve, a quiet pasture green, or subdued amethyst and other jewel tones, all of which are sure to add a cool element of surprise.

3. Play Up Contrast & Texture

Pastels are easy on the eyes and they often feel ‘soft’ in a room. A good way to strengthen their appeal is to balance them with touches of texture and darker, bolder colors. There are many ways to do this, but one of our favorite ways is to mix pastels with natural materials and textures, such as cane, rattan, jute, pampas grass, and even sisal.

You can also pair pastels with black accents, shiny metallic decor, and graphic patterns for colorful and visual contrast. And depending on your furnishings, pastels can sometimes take on a light, luster, as the soft brown velvet upholstery on the bench in this dining space.

4. Keep Finishes & Tones In Mind

When decorating with pastel colors, be sure to also think about your material finishes. Consider what wood finishes and the types of metallics in your space. You’ll want to choose a pastel palette that compliments those tones and finishes.

For instance, if you have lots of light woods in your space, opt for cooler pastel tones that are a little high contrast alongside the wood. On the other hand, if you have several shiny brass pieces, warmer pastel tones will help balance out the bold metal tones.

When working with different finishes, also consider earthy pastels. They have recently really taken off within the design world. These include light browns, rusts, and sage greens. They’re slightly more saturated and pair extremely well with natural woods and materials.


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