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Colours carry all kinds of associations, black for mourning, white for weddings, fluro for party time….and pastels? Pastels are no exception, hear the word pastel and you instantly envision saccharine shades of sugary pink, retro ice creameries and baby nurseries painted to perfect pastel perfection. But this is just part of the pastel story, because pastels are enjoying an exciting, modern and dynamic revival. Modern pastels pack an inspiring and edgy punch. The pallets soft ice-cream shades take on a fresh new feel when teamed with rich textures and contrasting accents of super bright colour, helping them to stay on the ever so cool side of sweet. We've got some top tips to share with you on how to keep the look sharp, rather than sugary!


When it comes to creating pockets of interest in a modern pastel room, a few notes of neon will invigorate the space and help to keep the mood up to date. Hot neon colours make excellent accents in a pastel scheme, they help to draw the eye to details in the room and to wake up a mellow palette. Add in neon pops with clever use of accessories or soft furnishings or perhaps by highlighting a door or window frame in these brighter tones. Electric blue and neon pink work particularly well with chalky pastel tones.


Modern pastel style also plays with intensity to achieve an up to date feel. Pastels vary in tone and depth just as brights or neutrals do, opening up huge design possibilities. For a softly modern scheme, keep your pastels subtle and pale, then punctuate them with a few hints of something darker in tone. For a richer look, choose the blues, pinks or yellows you love, and use some from the pastel end of the spectrum and others from the hot, saturated side; Thus creating a warm layered effect in your interior. Pastels make the perfect accompaniment to a white scheme. They help to punctuate its neutrality without making too bold a statement or dominating the overall aesthetic in the way that brighter, more saturated tones can.


When it comes to adding modern pastel shades into your home think out of the box in terms of the way you use them! Walls are by far the largest surface areas in any room so be sure to add in inspired pastel touches such a chic feature ombre painted wall or perhaps some pastel toned printed wallpaper…you could even use a textured wallpaper for added wonderment. Tiles are another great way to inject some pretty pastels into your home and look great as a feature in both the bathroom and kitchen, there are some dreamily hued subway tiles on the market currently! Extend your pastel colour scheme down onto the floor by painting floorboards in the softest of pastel tones or even in brighter candy tones and if this is all sounding a little too permanent then you could always include some large pastel coloured rugs, drapery or even large-scale feature artwork.


Another innovative approach in including the modern day pastel scheme in your interiors is to use them as feature accents. Many large scale appliances are now available in pastel shades so that everyone can have a little fun with this trend! Why not add in a powder blue fridge, a soft minty toaster or even a saccharine pink mixmaster? Many original pastel pieces can be salvaged and make fabulous additions to the modern interior. Think old metal ceiling lights, kitchenalia, clocks, retro fabrics and canisters these can all sit perfectly well in a modern home. Why not add in a set of pastel legged bar stools or dip the bottom half of your dining chairs in some pretty pastel hues. Clean lined modern, modular furniture painted in a heavy gloss or reupholstered in pastel shades can be an inspired way to add some softness and pastel accents into an otherwise muted modern room, creating clashes of form and feel. If this is too much of a commitment you could try adding in a textured sheepskin rug dyed baby pink or soft teal blue, some pale pastel bedlinen in contrasting tones or pastel hued knitted throws to drape over that modern lounge. The modern pastel look is all about creating unlikely pairings and experimenting with materials and finishes, to find new and surprising ways to bring these familiar colours both into the 21st century and your home.

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