We may be battling our way through the midst of winter, but the trend of decorating our homes in soothing pastels heralds a fresh start for spring.
The new collections are positively bursting with the gorgeous, sugary palette of pinks, blues, yellow and green.
Until recently, pastels were associated with nurseries and a vintage 1950s look but, when used in a contemporary way, they can be incredibly fashionable.
An array of pastel hues in a sitting room. When used in a contemporary way, tones such as lilac, pale blue and pink can be incredibly fashionable
‘Pastel colours are wonderful because they tend to work so well with each other. A pastel pink sits comfortably next to a pastel blue or green in a way that primary colours don’t,’ says interior designer Brandon Schubert.
Looking for inspiration? Head to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which has a new exhibition entitled Fabergé In London.
Here the gorgeous works of master Russian goldsmith Carl Fabergé are shown off in all their glory.
His elegant eggs created for the Russian imperial family between 1885 and 1916 are excellent inspiration for the colour palette of the moment.
‘Bright and clear shades of colour, including pastels, induce a feeling of happiness and playfulness,’ says Schubert.
Pretty in pink: There are lots of ways to introduce pastels into a home – whether through pieces of furniture, wallpaper or artfully-placed accessories
‘That’s what the Fabergé creations were all about; they were colourful works of art designed to delight and surprise.
‘That feeling starts with the colours of the creations themselves and then goes on to the wonderful craftsmanship.’
There are many ways to introduce pastels into your home, whether it’s through artfully placed accessories or in a more dramatic way with large pieces of furniture, wallpaper or paint.
Wallpapers inspired by Marie Antoinette
Manuel Canovas’s new Anastasia wallpaper at Colefax & Fowler couldn’t be more timely, with its patterned Fabergé eggs depicted in wonderful citron, powder blues, pistachio green and raspberry colours.
The designs refer ‘to the splendour of Marie Antoinette’s décor’, according to Manuel Canovas’s design director Olivia Deruelle, adding that the wallpaper would be ‘perfectly complemented by satins and sartorial stripes’ (£158 per roll).
Sophisticated: The London Basin Company’s minty green Sophia basin costs £849
Others look to the ceiling when introducing pastels. Jena Quinn, co-founder of Studio QD, says: ‘Painted or papered ceilings provide a stronger subtle dash [of pastels], our preferred shade being blue and papers of playful geometrics.’
She adds: ‘Equally, walls of certain pale hues of blue and rose, such as Farrow & Ball Light Blue or Dead Salmon, can lift a space adding warmth and interest.’
Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball’s international brand ambassador, recommends Potted Shrimp, which he described as ‘a pale pink with a lot of yellow in the base, that makes it feel really familiar and comforting’ (from £52).
If you’re looking to add pastels to a bedroom, try de Gournay’s Butterflies wallpaper in Icarus design colours. It looks gorgeous layered with pink and white (from £318 per metre).
Pastel furniture freshens up a room
Be bold with furniture — ‘with neutral walls you might choose a pink sofa to sit next to a pale blue pastel armchair in front of bright-green curtains,’ says Brandon Schubert.
The Florence Sofa in Pale Rose from Designers Guild is an interesting mauve/pink with sleek lines (£940).
Atkin and Thyme’s Calvin armchair in pink velvet and linen, meanwhile, has satisfying curves that add a soothing touch to a bedroom or living room (£499).
Using pastels in the bathroom and kitchen freshens things up — Eames shell chairs in pale blue give some design edge and are the antitheses of granny chic (£410, John Lewis).
The London Basin Company’s minty green Sophia basin shows how pastels can be introduced into your home in the most sophisticated way.
The porcelain circular basin decorated in a bamboo pattern is perfection (£849).
Easy extras add a pop of colour
Pastel pendant lights are a whimsical addition. The Soho Lighting Company has a wide selection of hand-painted lights in a variety of shapes in duck egg blue (from £79).
Coloured pots and vases placed together in clusters or on their own are a clever way to use pastels.
Bernadette’s light pink and cream handcrafted floral stoneware vase by ceramist Mervyn Gers adds a pop of ice-cream shades (£315, Matches Fashion).
The sky may be grey outside but why not get some inspiration from the charming colours so loved by Marie Antoinette and Carl Fabergé?
Fabergé In London: Romance to Revolution is on at The V&A until May 8. Tickets £20.
Savings of the week! Floor lamps
A floor lamp can banish winter gloom and make a room look larger, while adding instant chic.
If you want to carry out a makeover with the minimum of effort, this piece will do the trick.
The Tripod lamp, pictured left, from B&M has been reduced from £20 to £16; its styling would suit a contemporary décor that needs more colour: the shade is a zingy yellow.
Heal’s curved gold-coloured Mini Floor Lamp, pictured, is down by 20 per cent from £369 to £295
If your tastes are more formal, B&M’s Duchess crystal lamp in silver could be for you. Its price is £20, down from £34.99, a 43 per cent cut.
There is a range of mid-priced lamps at made.com. They include the Chicago in copper and gold, down by 25 per cent from £199 to £149. It resembles the lighting on a film set in the Hollywood golden age.
The Antler lamp from Argos reduced by 25 per cent from £80 to £60 is more quirky choice with a stand sprouting antlers.
Heal’s sale is a rich source of luxury for less. The curved gold-coloured Mini Floor Lamp, pictured, is down by 20 per cent from £369 to £295.
Despite the name, the lamp is 197cm or 6ft 4in high.