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!

Colors of the Year | Rosy and Serene

We find ourselves saying this constantly but it's just so true--things always come back around.  And pastels are no exception. Pantone recently announced the colors of 2016 and, you guessed it!  They're pastels!  Rose quartz (pantone color 13-1520) and Serenity (15-3919) are as soothing and feminine as their names make them out to be.  Rose quartz, a pale blush color is the perfect pink for anything from clothes to your baby girl's bedroom.  While serenity is more of a periwinkle and reminds us of a powdery sky.

When we were at market a couple of months ago, we could've told you that blush was going to be big this year---it was everywhere! Serenity wasn't so obvious but come spring time, you better believe you'll see these colors in all of the clothing!  In fact, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said herself that the lines are becoming more and more blurred when it relates to fashion so these colors should blend in on all parts of the runway.

When it comes design, these colors could be a little more difficult to largely incorporate into an adult space.  They do sort of look like the epitome of a baby girl's bedroom and a baby boy's bedroom, so breaking away from that mindset could be difficult.  However, a few accents here and there would be nice.  Refreshing, actually.  

The key to using these colors appropriately is in how you mix them.  Mixing pale pastels with something more vibrant and bold can create harmony in a space and leave you with a nice blend of feminine and masculine.  Black is a great compliment to either and of course a palette of neutrals with one of these as the accent color would work well also.

What do you think?  Are these pastels too much?  We think we're digging the rose quartz but aren't quite sure about the serenity blue.   We're also wondering what these color say about 2016?!