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Fresh Pastel Palette

Remember the pastels of the 80’s? Mint green, Miami Peach, and who could forget Dusty Rose? Believe me, I’ve tried.

You may have noticed that in clothing, some of the 80’s styles are making a dubious comeback. I just saw stirrup pants the other day on a girl who was too young to know that she hadn’t invented that trend. And don’t even get me started on neon.

Well, some of the pastels are making a comeback too, especially in home design. This fact caught my interest the other day as I was reading a decorating magazine (I have the best job in the world where reading House Beautiful is defined as research for my job!) and I was captivated by a room done in pastels.

It looked so fresh and inviting and it got me wondering what the difference was between these “new” pastels and the horrible memories I have of my flamingo-spangled bedroom of the 80’s.

The answer is: this ain’t your momma’s pastel palette.Fresh pastel palette with grays and muted pinks

To use pastels successfully, I believe you need to muddy them up a little. So rather than straight greens and pinks in this one, they’ve been toned down with a significant amount of grays. If you’re selecting paint color for a room, this is easy – you just ask for one of these colors.

If you’re mixing your own paint, for an art or craft project, you achieve a muddier color by adding a little bit of the complimentary color to your mix. In other words, if you’re mixing a light pastel green, you add a tiny bit of red or pink to the mix. For peachy colors, add blue. And for dusty lavenders, add yellow.

I really love soft pastel colors, and I’m excited for a chance to use them a bit more in my home. Bring on the pink and gray!

How about you – are you scared or excited about pastels?

Kelly Meier

Saturday 30th of May 2015

hah, stirrup pants! Blast from the past. But I do love the pretty, fresh pastels that I'm seeing a lot of these days! Thanks for sharing at the Creative Inspiration party.


Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

We gotta be able to laugh at ourselves, right? Thanks for stopping by!


Friday 29th of May 2015

This is beautiful! Love it x


Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Thank you, I'm so glad you like it!


Thursday 28th of May 2015

From time to time I use custom pastel colors for setting blockquote background colors at my blogs: for example,

blockquote { background-color: #eeffee; }

gives a very nice pale green. Your muddied pastels would be too dark for this purpose.

The W3C's set of keyword-specifiable colors

contains a number of pastels: for example, the table's first color, aliceblue (named after Teddy Roosevelt's daughter Alice), is a blue pastel that would nicely complement the red and green pastels mentioned in your post.


Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

This is interesting Andy - I love to see how people use words to describe colors. I tend to customize my own colors for my website, which is why I like to do my own designing, but a list like that would be really helpful for communicating with a designer.


Thursday 28th of May 2015

You won't get me wearing a pair of pastel pants, that's for sure :)

maxwell ivey

Wednesday 27th of May 2015

hi meredith; first time here in a while. interesting post. well I can't comment on the new colors. Making opinions on visual issues isn't my thing. but your post reminded me of our carnival rides in the 80's and 90's. and wwell even now on other people's rides. pink purple and green are very common combinations. except it used to be turquoise and now its more likely to be teal. my dad had our ferris wheel seats painted so hot pink and purple alternated. he also had his references contracts and stationary printed on paper the same colors. hey my dad had more than a bit of showman in him. i think he was more circus performer or movie actor than carney. thanks for helping people out with this post my friend. take care max ps I'm going to disneyworld later this year as research want to go with me? :)


Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Sorry Max, I know some of my posts don't translate very well through a screen reader, but I really appreciate you stopping by to comment anyway. Your dad sounds like a very colorful guy, and I love that he lives that out, even through his stationary!


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook