Decorating With Pastels in the Bedroom

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    Mix Your Pastels

    Photo courtesy of Country Living

    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 11 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.

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  • 02 of 11

    Pastel Coastal Style

    Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

    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 the space. This is a great use of pastels without a trace of fussiness or syrupy-sweetness.

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    Use Gray as a Pastel

    Charlie Dean/Getty Images

    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.

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  • 04 of 11

    Go Green

    Spaces Images/Getty Images

    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 the space look bigger. It’s always nice to add a little bit of shine to a room – the silver bedside lamps provide interesting contrast.

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  • 05 of 11

    Feminine Appeal

    Photo courtesy of House to Home UK

    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.

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  • 06 of 11

    Blue Pastel Bedroom

    Photo courtesy of Decoist

    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.

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  • 07 of 11

    Think Pink

    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 pattern 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 makes it appear lower.

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  • 08 of 11

    Pastel Goes Contemporary

    Photo courtesy of Broyhill Furniture

    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.

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  • 09 of 11

    Add Darker Accents

    Eric Hernandez/Getty Images

    If your pastel room needs some pizzazz, just add a few accents in darker shades and watch the space light up. This bedroom is mostly decorated in the softest green and white, which might be a bit too wishy-washy on its own. But add the darker green blanket to the foot of the bed and the entire room takes on interest. Take it further with the dark metal knobs on the dresser, the silver sunburst mirror and the patterned throw pillows and now the room is just right.

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  • 10 of 11

    Just Peachy

    Photo courtesy of Hooked on Houses

    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.

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  • 11 of 11

    Purple Isn't Just for Kids

    Photo courtesy of Au Lit Fine Linens

    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.