The new pastels: The colour palette you’re about to see everywhere

Those who find it tricky deciding on a colour scheme for their home, rejoice – there’s a new decor trend in town, and we’re dubbing it ‘the new pastels’.

Pastels in the home aren’t a new concept, so what’s different this time around? Well, think less sugary-shades and more washed-out pastel tones, such as pearly-grey, duck egg and nude pink, which make for an overall fresher feel.

Beth Evans

These shades of muted pinks, blues and greys are the perfect complement to each other, the coolness of the latter being balanced out by the warmer pink tone.

When you gain confidence in your palette, start adding bolder accents that fit well with pastels. Mustards and corals are perfect for shots of contrast, and mint works well as an energising shade. You don’t need to choose one overall colour right away; instead, opt for a colour theme that blends well together and simply add to it over time.

Beth Evans

Pastel hues are also great tools at reflecting light back into a room, (an ideal solution for smaller quarters as it gives the illusion of space) and also lend themselves to being mixed and matched with harder materials, such as wood and stone for a more industrial vibe. Mirrored surfaces can also help give more of an edge to a muted background.

Beth Evans

Plus, the new pastels may even be able to benefit to our mood. In 1979, Alexander G. Schauss, an American psychiatrist, proved that he had found a way to manage aggression and depression in patients – a paint shade called ‘Baker-Miller Pink.’

Schauss found that when patients were faced with a pink card during therapy sessions that looking at the colour lowered their heart rate and blood pressure, ultimately discouraging their willingness to fight.

Beth Evans

He also discovered that the psychological effect of looking at this colour lasted up to 30 minutes after leaving the room, making the choice of colour for a space of upmost importance. These findings are even practiced today, with many prisons in the US and Europe painting the walls of their cells pink for this very reason!

Our candy crushes on the high street

Desk light, £39,
Rug, £1,869, Heals
Blanket, £199, Amara
Pendant, £85, Habitat
Table, £89,
Cushion, £25, Habitat

Ready to decorate? Get to know your eggshell from your emulsion before you start:

Primer: Always start with this. This is an undercoat which is used to prepare surfaces such as wood, plaster or even metal for painting. It increases the durability of the finished paintwork and also prevents the paint from being absorbed into the wall over time.
Gloss: Gloss is a thicker paint with a shiny finish that reflects the light. Gloss works best on surfaces that get brushed up against or walked upon frequently, such as skirting, doorways or floorboards.
Silk: One step down from a high-gloss paint. The paint has a smooth texture that gives a delicate shine finish. Ideal for use on walls and ceilings.
Matt: Matt paint is a non-reflective surface that helps create a natural look in walls that are more flawed.
Eggshell: This type of paint has more of a subtle sheen and is better at resisting moisture than matt paint. It is therefore perfect for surfaces such as radiators and primed metals.

Feature by Nicole Gray

Images from New Nordic Colour by Antonia Af Petersens, published by Ryland Peters & Small