21 pastel colored home decorating ideas

From top left: Mustard Made, House Beautiful Marketplace, Carpetright

While the pastel aesthetic is nothing new—sugar-sweet hues were popular as early as the 18th century and used liberally in decorative Rococo interiors—there is something of a contemporary resurgence, fueled by the 22 million #pastel posts on Instagram and the 3.8 billion Views of #pastel content on TikTok.

And while pastels are used more sparingly in interior design than in the fashion world, they’re a surprisingly versatile and effective addition to most interior styles.

Pastel colors are the ultimate pre-made color combos, all sharing pale or white undertones making them perfectly compatible with each other so you can easily stack pastel pink, blue, yellow, green or purple on top of each other. And an easy way to keep your pastel design scheme from becoming too saccharine is to adopt monochromes – black or gray accents work particularly well in this case – and we’ve included tips on how to combine the two.

Read on for 21 pastel room ideas ranging from sophisticated and traditional to playful and modern…

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Pastel aesthetic: shades of lilac

This elegant living room is a master class in using pastel colors throughout the home without getting too sugary. A chalky lilac on walls and floors becomes less saccharine overall when mixed with light stone and prominent black accents. It’s decoration at its boldest, and we love it.

Pictured: Magnificent Saxony carpet at Carpetright


Pastel Aesthetic: Mixed Palette

A mix of pale mint green, butter yellow and sky blue make this kitchen light and airy, grounded with darker colors in the tiled floor. Pastel colors work beautifully in rooms with lots of natural light, and we particularly like this mixed palette. Pale pink would work as the fourth shade here.

Pictured: Victorian floor tiles in Harrogate at Original Style


Pastel Aesthetics: Fearless pastels

For those who like to wholeheartedly embrace a theme in their home, this is a fearless approach to using pastels. Made visually interesting with a variety of textures, shapes and layers on a calm pink background.

Styling by Hannah Deacon, photography by Tim Young


Pastel Aesthetic: Triple Toned

This colorful bedroom is further proof that pastels mix beautifully in design schemes. The novel use of a pale yellow hue on the ceiling is one of our favorite painting techniques – we would almost always choose light or pastel tones when painting a ceiling to add a nod to light and height.

Pictured: Quiet Moments Paint at Benjamin Moore


Pastel Aesthetic: Contemporary

Pastels contemporary made in our own home beautiful Camberwell kitchen in Homebase. Unexpected black accents contrast beautifully with this modern pastel blue, while marble countertops and light wood floors soften an abundance of clean lines.

Pictured: House Beautiful Camberwell Kitchen in Homebase


Pastel aesthetics: sunny reading corner

The most peaceful corners of your home don’t always have to be soothing neutrals or soft whites. This sunny reading nook sends a warm welcome with buttery soft pastel yellows and lilacs – a brilliant backdrop for those sunflowers too to stand out.

Pictured: Pond chair in beige and Ingrid vase in camel, both from House Beautiful Marketplace


Pastel Aesthetics: Feature Walls

This pastel lilac makes a wonderful accent wall—especially with the exposed planks offsetting some of the chalkiness. The addition of a deep purple enhances the effect and creates something more mature overall.

Pictured: Lavender Mist Paint at Benjamin Moore


Pastel Aesthetic: Soothing and seaside

tranquility in a picture. This combination of pale pastel pink and ocean-inspired blue creates a wonderfully calming haven in the bedroom. We love the abundance of textures in soft throws, cushions and pads that add to the relaxing scheme.

Pictured: House Beautiful Ripple Pleated Blinds at Hillarys


Pastel aesthetic: Refined blues

This elegant corner debunks the common design myth that pastel colors can’t be sophisticated. The pastel blue and pink here elevate and brighten the otherwise traditional features – some interesting panelling, a densely patterned rug and a classic sideboard – to create a lighter and more modern scheme.

Pictured: Bluebird Blue Paint at the Paint & Paper Library


Pastel aesthetic: accessories

This is a great idea for smaller spaces that benefit from white walls to appear larger and more open. Incorporate pastels in your accessories, linens, blinds, and lighting, and have fun mixing shades – you don’t need to be careful when mixing pastels as the shared pale and white undertones happily blend together.

Pictured: House Beautiful Maisy Bed at Dreams


Pastel aesthetics: accents in the kitchen

Annie Sloan uses tones of pastel pink and purple without being too sweet in this modern kitchen. The addition of wood and speckled ceramic is important in this scheme as they balance the delicate pastel tones and offer something more sophisticated. And if you look closely, the cute shelves are finished in graduated shades of pink – we love thoughtful details.

Pictured: Annie Sloan Antoinette Chalk Paint


Pastel aesthetic: gallery wall

Gallery walls can be connected in a variety of ways – for example, by showing similar art styles, mounting your art prints in frames of the same color, or using murals with similar undertones. Pastels all have light and white tones in common, so a collection of pastel wall art will always create a harmonious gallery wall.

Pictured: Pastel Paradise Wall Art at Desenio


Pastel aesthetic: hallway decor

If you’re hesitant to use pastel colors in your main living areas, try decorating a hallway, landing, or downstairs loo instead. Take inspiration from this bright hallway scheme and opt for a pastel wallpaper (we love the fresh, swirling green used here, try similar to Lust Home) or some cheerful accessories, like this pastel purple ottoman.

Styling by Hannah Deacon, photography by Tim Young


Pastel Aesthetics: Instagrammable Bathrooms


Pastel aesthetic: On the board

What a way to make a bed the focal point of your room. This DIY patchwork headboard is made from painted pastel colored canvases arranged into an eye-catching tonal element. For a double pastel hit, pair with patterned pastel bedding too.

Styling by Hannah Deacon, photography by Tim Young


Pastel aesthetic: layering

Gray and white are always useful base colors to build upon, and if you can’t commit to a third color for your design, consider a range of pastels instead. This light and airy living room layers uplifting pastels to create a cheerful space.

Pictured: House Beautiful Claudette Sofa at DFS


Pastel Aesthetic: Sleep Sanctuary

Blue is one of the most effective colors in the bedroom to promote a good night’s sleep, and a pale pastel blue even more so. This loaf bedroom carefully layers pastel blue throws, pillows and cushions in ever-so-slightly different tones for a big impact.

Pictured: Hugger Bed at Loaf


Pastel aesthetics: color combinations

Perhaps a lesser used color combination, but pastels always work with a monochrome mix of black, white and gray. We love the pastel yellow wall here that soaks up the natural light so beautifully, modernized with gray accessories and a contemporary black and white shade.

Shown: Ritta pendant lamp in the House Beautiful Marketplace


Pastel aesthetics: go green

While pastel colors can be a very playful color scheme, they work equally well in more country-inspired and traditional settings – a case in point is Original Style’s pastel-green painted kitchen cabinets and wall tiles.

Pictured: Fleur pumice tiles at Original Style


Pastel aesthetics: soft tones

If you like using brass or gold accents in your home (we love them), go for soft and chalky pastels rather than sunny and bright ones – the latter can be a bit overwhelming and make your metallic accents appear more yellowish. This combination in the Good Housekeeping GH 100 footstool by DFS goes perfectly with it.

In the picture: GH 100 footstool at DFS


Pastel Aesthetic: Pretty in pink

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