Decorating a Nursery with Pastels

5 Refreshing Ways to Use Pastels in the Nursery

Photo via Petite Vintage Interiors.

Think a pastel nursery is too old-fashioned? Think again!

Pastels may have a reputation for being precious, but this soft and soothing color family is more versatile than you might imagine. Before you give pastels a pass, check out these fresh ideas for updating the traditional pastel palette. Whether you’re imagining something sweet and whimsical or something chic, sleek and thoroughly modern, these unconventional color ideas are sure to get your imagination rolling.

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    Add Pastel Touches to Sleek White Décor

     Give your little one’s nursery contemporary appeal by adding subtle touches of cool and soothing pastel to an otherwise stark white design. Choose a single soft color like lilac, mint or powder blue, and use it to draw focus to key areas. Try painting a prominent piece of furniture, displaying a collection of monochromatic accessories, or color-dipping white furniture in fresh, icing-inspired hues for a fun, lightly frosted effect.

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    Use in Place of White

    Very pale pastel shades make excellent neutrals. Instead of going with white walls, introduce some color with a modest shade of pink or a soft and sunny yellow.

    The trick to choosing a pastel-colored neutral is to decide on your favorite and then opt for a far lighter shade. Pastels can be deceiving. What seems like a light color can actually be quiet powerful once it’s on the wall, and while your little girl may appreciate a candy-colored bedroom now, she’ll likely grow tired of it as she matures.

    For a look that lasts, ignore your first impulse and look for a frostier version of your chosen hue - a shade that is almost white with just a tint of color. Craving something with a little more drama? Punctuate with an accent wall in a darker shade. You’ll find that the accent wall will draw the color out of the neutral, resulting in an understated color-washed effect that even a grown-up can appreciate.

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    Pair with Grey

     Grey lends sophistication to a pastel palette, giving your design a modern edge. Somewhat masculine in effect, grey counters the often overly feminine appearance of the traditional pastel and white combination, making it the perfect choice for gender-neutral nurseries

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    Go Ombre

    Ombre-effect walls, or walls that blend related shades from dark to light, look fabulous in pastel colors. Give your nursery a dreamy, water-colored impression by choosing a single color, such as pastel pink, and gradually fading the saturation from pink to white. Going for a more modern look? Add more definition by clearly separating each shade with broad horizontal stripes that get lighter as they near the ceiling.

    Ombre effect also works well on furniture. For example, you could paint the bottom drawer of your child’s dresser a medium pastel, reducing the saturation with each drawer until you reach the top.

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    Punch Up Pastels with Bright Accessories

    For a fresh take on the traditional pastel palette, try punctuating pastel hues with burst of bright color. Pair mint green with hot pink, or robin’s egg blue with a bright, pink-infused orange. Bold accents and accessories anchor ethereal pastels, adding depth to the design and offering a fun and unexpected twist.