Colors | Working with Pastels

So there are two colors of the year this year...and both are pastel.  Yep, I said it.  Both are pastel.  There's been a lot of questions about the color of the year selections for 2016 but they are what they are...and I'm guessing that we'll be obsessed soon enough.  Maybe you love pastels and you're excited about this trend or maybe you have a client who loves them and you're trying to figure out how to make them happy.  We'll all probably face our pastel dilemma at some point this year, in some way.  So, today we're going to try to give you good advice for incorporating them in a design.  There are a number of different approaches you can take so we're hoping this post will help you narrow down the one you want to use!

I know I've had difficulty with pastels in the past because they can easily make something feel washed-out if the item in a pastel color is right next to a hue that's a little more bold.  If you're sort of in the same boat and feel that the pastel item by itself doesn't hold it's own, try adding one other item to the mix that's in a pastel color.  There's power in pairs and somehow, this duo may help balance itself with the rest of the space.

Pastels can be tricky in that you don't necessarily want to over-do them, however, if you don't do them right, they can look like an after-thought.  One way that we've found can make the use of pastel look intentional is by doing it all!  Do you think we're crazy for saying that?  Maybe.  The thing is, we feel that it's more about picking the right pastel to do everything in. Pastel blue still feels like a baby's room but a good mint is in the pastel family and is also on-trend.  Going monochromatic is going to be that impact you were looking for!

If pastels scare you a little but you have this piece that you just can't get rid of, make that the statement piece...and the ONLY piece that's in a pastel color.  This will make it more of a conversation piece that you can work your neutrals and contrasting colors around.

Of course, pink is one pastel that never gets old!  Doing a pink room wouldn't feel dated or babyish.  That's one of the reasons we love pink--it's one color that can be mature, juvenile, warm, cool, whimsical, or serious...AND!  It pairs really well with a lot of things!  Pink is a pastel that's always on-trend so if you're wanting to incorporate a little pastel, use pink!  It's the safest bet.

We love the idea of doing shades of pastels as well.  This mix of the similar hues helps you bring in a pastel you like (like a sherbert) while also having an easy way to incorporate brighter pops of color that you might love like orange or red.  Doing shades also forces a balance in a room.  It's actually a pretty great idea for anyone trying to reign in their color--using this guideline automatically forces you to harness it.

Honestly, pastels are a lot more versatile than you think!  It's just a matter of figuring out the best way to use that versatility in your own home with the items that you already have.  Don't be too scared of it, though!  It's going to be major in 2016!