How to blush your way to a brighter home using spring pastels

 
Laura Ivill
Blush is big, like this wallpaper from spoonflower.com

The evenings are lighter, and it suddenly feels wrong to be putting on sombre-coloured winter coats and boots. The magnolia trees are in bloom, their distinctive petals a delicate blush of soft pink. And it’s this pretty pastel that stores have heralded as the interiors story of the season.

The idea is to keep tones soft but lift the mood with pastel colours – mixing together duck-egg blue, blossom pink, apple green and candied lemon.

We saw it emerge in glassware a few seasons ago, such as LSA’s Polka Pastel Tumblers, a trend still going strong. Now the likes of coxandcox.co.uk has a whole springtime collection of blush pink accessories. Out go boring white walls, plain duvets and fluffy towels, as colour and patterns make a comeback.

Who's using it?

Pastels really help to show off antique furniture, artworks, luxe fabrics, brass and other metal finishes.

Nicky Haslam Design is a connoisseur of pastel rooms because he has the kind of international clients who own grown-up furniture in fancy houses. His pastel-hued rooms can be found everywhere from North London to New Orleans, and from Morocco to Monaco.

Many of the high street and online retailers have pastels within their spring collections – House of Fraser Linea’s Home Ceremony range has pretty bedding and crockery; anthropology.com has, among its curtains, cushions, glassware, bathmats and rugs, Tearoom Dinnerware in peach and guacamole, rocking the contrasting antique-gold rim.

Get the look

Think delicate, elegant, hand-painted chinoiserie pastels with birds and blossom rather than lumpy nursery pink and chintz. Be brave and consider pastel as a colour scheme for a whole room rather than sticking a few updates willy-nilly around the house.

Natural light makes all the difference; do you have a sunny guest bedroom, a garden room or a loft conversion to redecorate?

Go mad with froths of orchids, bunches of blowsy blooms, and pretty sweet peas clustered together in mismatching vintage jugs. If you like the look, start flipping through paint charts to pull together a palette.

For walls, if you have grey already, you can save yourself a job. Pinks, blues and lilacs are for the brave – in a well-styled room they are fresh and modern, but otherwise can look dated – so give yourself a neutral-colour base in matt oil-based eggshell (such as string, hay, mizzle or pale hound from Farrow & Ball), then accessorise with pastels.

To avoid

There is a fine line between pastels and florals – cross this line at your peril. Avoid cheesy polkadot bakeware; in fact, the whole retro-kitchen thing in pastels is something you, and your guests, are likely to tire of quickly.

The exception to pastel in the kitchen is Le Creuset Bloom Collection because you can’t go wrong with Le Creuset in any colour.

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