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Grown-up pastel decor

Alicia is a freelance writer who covers everything from pets to cocktails, with cocktails being her favorite. Her loves in life include cheap wine, overpriced lattes, and avoiding exercise at all costs, all while trying to stay slim. She...

Get the look of spring without feeling like a baby

When we think of pastel colors we often think of Easter baskets or baby’s nurseries — we don’t necessarily think of grown-up modern spaces. Before you write off pastels all together for your home décor, we have some tips on how to infuse the creamy colors into your space and still get the modern, sophisticated look you are going for.
Pastel living room

Pastels are the perfect option for people who don’t want to commit to bright, overpowering colors but are tired of sticking with neutrals. In fact, well-planned pastels can almost serve as neutrals without being the typical shades of brown or grey. The trick is to blend them with more grown-up décor, rich neutrals and more masculine elements and textures like dark woods or burlap.

Paint it on

If you are looking to add a subtle, creamy shade of color to your wall pastels are a great option. Keep in mind that one shade of paint can look dramatically different depending on the amount of light in the room you use it in as well as the other elements you mix in. Colorful walls aren't as scary as they seem and they can help refresh and revitalize a drab room.

Pastel paint colors

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Mount Airy by Olympic is similar to a robin’s egg blue and will add a fresh, coastal feeling to any space. Mix in neutral brown tones and rustic textures like jute, rope or bamboo. To give the space a more sophisticated look, you could also mix in metallics like gold or silver and then add in black to ground the space and give it that modern chic appeal.

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Valspar’s Apricot Ice may scare you off a bit due to the pink tone but pink doesn’t have to be just for babies or your Grandma’s bathroom. This soft tone would work well in a bedroom or office space. Mix in luxurious-looking fabrics in rich patterns like baroque or damask. Deep jewel tones will also help make this sweet pink color look rich instead of juvenile.

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Glidden’s Pistachio paint could almost be considered a neutral if you pair it with the right accessories. Pair it with richer versions of other bright colors like yellow for a fresh look. This paint color is versatile enough that you could use it in your larger spaces like the living room or kitchen. If you aren’t prepared to commit to a green room, consider adding wainscoting or paneling in a creamy white tone to break it up.

4

YOLO's Grain paint is the perfect golden shade of yellow. It too could function as a neutral backdrop to other more prominent colors and would help brighten up a dark space. We've love to see this color in a bathroom or even a kitchen with crisp white cabinetry. To balance the space mix in cool tones like green or blue.

See other popular spring colors >>

Accessorize

If wall color is too bold, pastel accessories can be mixed in to your existing décor for a fresh pop of color that isn’t too much. To keep things modern, avoid prints that may give off that baby-like feel such as florals. Keep your walls and the rest of your other large décor, like furniture or rugs, neutral.

Pastel home decor products

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A colorful couch like this aqua version from Wayfair is a great way to set the tone for your space. To avoid overwhelming the room with color, stick with more neutral accessories and then mix in other small pops of aqua to blend it all together. Set the sofa over a natural jute rug and then add in few solid throw pillows. Consider patterned curtains that contain subtle hints of aqua. ($394) 

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Pink gets a bad rap for being overly feminine but it doesn’t have to be. If you want a subtle hint of pink, keep it chic with these bauble-like pink knobs from Anthropologie. They’d add a little sparkle to an otherwise plain dresser and they can help tie in any other pink accents you have in the room. Rosy pink pillows can look chic on a sandy brown sofa or consider patterned fabrics with pink included. ($8)

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The type of fabric you use can make all the difference from child-like to adult-approved. This lavender pillow from World Market is made with a herringbone fabric which gives it the look and feel of sophistication. Pair it with other rich colors like deep blue or gray for a look that is perfect for a living room or bedroom. ($25)

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Your male counterpart may turn up his nose at the idea of pink bedding but if you select the right pattern and fabric, pink need not be girly. This pink bedding set from West Elm is the perfect example of a sophisticated pink look. Mix in deep browns and masculine textures to keep the room balanced. Wood grains and leather accents can help create the perfect blend of him and her. (Price varies)

More on spring decor

The Spring Spectacular Issue
10 Finds that scream spring
Spring decor for less than $20

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