Whether you call them soft, washed-out or pale, take any color and add white, and you come up with a tint or pastel. Pastels cover a wide range of intensities – everything from whispery tints just a shade above white to light-yet-still-bright hues that are cheery and soft. What all pastel colors share in common is a peaceful, relaxed vibe and the ability to make a small space look larger. If you’ve dismissed pastels from your bedroom decorating possibilities because you think they are too sweet, boring or only suitable for a nursery or child’s bedroom, just take a look at the 9 master bedrooms shown here, and you’ll see pastels in a whole new way.
Decorating with pastels doesn’t have to mean a limited palette. You can mix and match several pastels throughout your bedroom and still have a harmonious, tranquil look – no worries about creating an overly-stimulating or harsh feel, as could happen with brighter or darker tones. Just look at the bedroom shown here: pink, blue, green and yellow work together to create a charming cottage room that is welcoming and peaceful.
It’s true that purple is more often found in the kid’s room, but take pastel purple, add grownup touches and you have a master bedroom that is just a tiny bit quirky, yet not at all childish. What makes this bedroom work is that the pastel purple is limited to the walls – go much further and it would look like a child’s room. Instead, this master bedroom uses pastel yellow and green as accents, along with plenty of white. The clean lines of the furniture and the long, formal-patterned drapes add additional adult style.
This elegant peach bedroom is a guest room in the home of Jennifer Lopez. It’s as inviting and luxurious as a room in the finest hotel, thanks to the thick comforter, the tufted footboard – notice the clear acrylic legs – the refined artwork and the soft palette. The crowning touch is the beaded chandelier – pure glamour.
Mix pastel yellow with strong, nearly black furniture and you get a bedroom that is contemporary, a little bit formal and just as appealing to men as to women. The pastel yellow walls, bedding, and touches in the artwork are the only color in this bedroom – but it’s certainly not boring. The high contrast of the pastel yellow against the black furniture and white accents give the room a bit of excitement without in any way being overly stimulating or harsh – further proof of how versatile pastels can be.
Pink isn’t just for little girls and it doesn’t have to be saccharine sweet either – just look at this bedroom for proof. Mixing pink with chocolate brown creates grownup sensibility that still has charm. There’s a lot of patterns here — textured carpet, bedding, animal-print chair, and valence – yet not a bit of chaos, thanks to the tightly-adhered-to palette. The dark pink ceiling is a fun touch, but remember that painting your ceiling darker than the walls make it appear lower.
Here’s a bedroom with a palette limited to pastel blue, white and brown, yet look at how elegantly glamorous it is — and without losing the tranquil feel pastels are so good at providing. Long drapes are formal, yet the sheer fabric adds airy lightness to the room. The sunburst mirror over the bed and the unusual hanging light fixture take the room from ordinary to wow, showing the power of well-chosen accessories. Notice the shaggy area rug — another way to add texture and interest to a room.
Pastels aren’t inherently feminine, but they certainly can be used to create a very feminine bedroom. Just look at the room shown here – the pink and soft blue palette is sweetened with plenty of white, while the piles of ruffled pillows, the thick comforter, and the subtly floral throw blanket make for a supremely inviting, feminine bed – one that is perfectly suited to a grown woman or teen girl, not a little girl. The braided rug adds country charm to the roughhewn wooden floor and continues the soft palette.
Green is an excellent bedroom color – it feels fresh and alive, yet soothing and peaceful at the same time. The fern-patterned bedspread and cut flowers in this bedroom add botanical appeal while matching the bedspread to the pastel green walls makes space look bigger. It’s always nice to add a little bit of shine to a room – the silver bedside lamps provide an interesting contrast.
While black and white are not technically colors, in the same way, the primary and secondary colors are, you can still tint black with white and come up with gray. Soft shades of gray have the same peaceful effect as other pastels, but with a sophisticated, contemporary style. Look at how simple and elegant the bedroom shown here is – the palette is limited to pastel gray and white, yet the room is serene, not boring or lifeless. The brushed chrome bedside lamps, fuzzy throw blanket, and striped pillows add just enough spice to keep the room interesting.
A coastal decorating theme usually relies on a palette of white, blue, tan and red, but look at how successfully pastels are used in this coastal bedroom. The soft green walls bring to mind ocean waves topped with foam, while the coral pillows and beach motifs (look at the wonderful branched-coral bedside lamp) add interest and contrast to space. This is a great use of pastels without a trace of fussiness or syrupy-sweetness.