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Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

Pastels are everywhere but do they feel fresh or a bit sluggish to you? I must admit, all of that sugary softness can feel totally boring (Easter needs revamped!) so why don’t we turn up the heat and make pastels ZING. What I’m about to show you (brace  yourself) is a very hot ‘n spicy palette for Spring on the runway so why not try it at home by mixing pastels with spicy red, 80s neons, warm cooper or gold tones, maybe a shot of black, deep violet, emerald or navy. I’m tellin’ ya people, we can take pastels from Oy vey to Oh yay in mere seconds – take a look…

Giving Pastels Energy

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

This is a very lively mix – a real party girl combo using sugar sweet pastels and punctuating them with clever color accents that are bold and risky. While pastels can feel really granny and dated (or seasonal), you can easily perk them up with my favorite metal of the moment – copper!

rhfhMaking Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

If you’re a bit bored with neon pink, opt for neon orange because that looks quite gorgeous when placed in a pastel playground.

Try neon ORANGE over Pink

Giving Pastels Energy

I even love spicy reds – they can energize a pastel palette taking them from Easter egg hunts and tea parties to grown up girl Glamorama cha-cha! Want to get a little edgy with pastels? Grab a little black or navy and dot it around the space.

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!


Cushions by Martinich&Carran

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

Giving Pastels Energy

Giving Pastels Energy

How are you using pastels at the moment? Here are some visuals to give you some ideas that I love…

I have to add that Lucy over at the Design Files is such an inspiration to me. This Australian blogger has such a gorgeous design blog about Aussie design and recently had a beautiful open house event where she turned an empty rented home into a living blog OPEN HOUSE showroom for a weekend. I really love Lucy’s photography, blog and now her open house events – I’m tempted to fly down to Australia to attend the next one later this year – it’s my big dream ! Anyway, Lucy loves color and knows how to mix pastels with more vibrant hues so I selected several photos above from her open house party to inspire you to be a bit more daring when you decorate. To see more about the Design Files Open House, please visit Vimeo and watch this stunning video. Lucy, you rock with color and design!

(images: ferm living, revolver, design files)

Posted by decor8 in Color Inspiration on February 06, 2013

Your comments...

  1. Beccy commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 4:05pm

    Loving the zingy pastels. I feel I need a bit of extra zing today!!!

  2. Shay commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 4:49pm

    I really want that pillow collection! So many colors all complementing each other.
    Shay´s last blog post ..How Soft Water Affects Laundry

  3. Juliette commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 5:16pm

    Love that you said, “from Oy vey to Oh yay”, lol! And yes, pastels are in dire need of a zing or two! =)
    Juliette´s last blog post ..The Irony and the Ecstasy

  4. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 5:19pm

    Just CRAZY gorgeous. That first image has my heart beating faster. I love when people take color risks this way and it works so beautifully!
    Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog post ..Art Love

  5. Tanya commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 5:36pm

    I’m not using any at the moment but I loves your examples! They sure do make the room pop with color.
    Tanya´s last blog post ..The Best WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins for 2012-2013

  6. Amberly commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 6:14pm

    I am such a fan of Lucy and The Design Files, her posts are such treasures! I’ve gotten so much inspiration from Aussie style because of it (and I’ve never wanted to visit so badly!). These photos you’ve selected are so pretty and fun, I love zingy pastels!
    Amberly´s last blog post ..Getting Stuff Done!

  7. Anette@lebenslustiger commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 7:26pm

    I’m absolutely with you on this! Adding a little ZING to pastel is like adding salt and spices to a dish – makes it so much better…
    Anette@lebenslustiger´s last blog post ..Mini-DIY Wall Vases

  8. Cottage Katie commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 8:06pm

    I love your description of the color palette ” This is a very lively mix – a real party girl combo using sugar sweet pastels and punctuating them with clever color accents that are bold and risky.”

    So clever and soooo true!!
    Cottage Katie´s last blog post ..Rooms to Love: Mix & Match Living

  9. Jiah commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 8:21pm

    I just can’t get enough of these colours at the moment. Pastels and fluoros were so big in the 80s and I think everyone was pretty over them by the end of that decade because on their own they can be quite sickly. But combine them and throw in a bit of metallic = YUM!

    Lucy from the Design files is amazing and I can’t wait to go down to Melbourne for the next open house (it’s a much shorter flight for me) Maybe I’ll see you there!

  10. Bobbi commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 8:50pm

    I am currently on an aqua, mustard, and chartreuse kick, and wondering how to use them effectively in my home. These brights mixed with pastels are gorgeous!
    Bobbi´s last blog post ..Sweetness

  11. Inge commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 8:50pm

    Zesty and zingy pastels: looking good! I have tried to do some little DIY-projects with pastels and they do scream for a lively colour combo. Anyway, these pictures you shared here totally remind me of my 80’s childhood! :-) When I was a little girl I only wore these colours, the colourful the better. :-D And I still love it, I sure would love to use some more of them in my own home…
    Inge´s last blog post ..Lovely finds on Etsy ~ my top 10 Valentine’s Day cards

  12. R. Joyce commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 9:07pm

    Okay I have never thought about decorating with pastels. But now I am trying to figure out a way to incorporate a small amount. I really like the pastels against the white.
    R. Joyce´s last blog post ..DIY Project: Closet Home Office (behind the scenes)

  13. Anastasia Benko commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 9:57pm

    I got tired of the grey skies in Germany and also got my pastel color inspiration on! The winter was so long and colorless that I took my mild detergent plastic bottles and used them as vases. Have a look and get your ZING on!
    Anastasia Benko´s last blog post ..Obsessed with -Pinterest

  14. Regina Snyders commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 10:12pm


  15. Jen commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 10:18pm

    I’ve never been a pastels person but I’m craving them this winter. Thanks for the colour boost!!
    Jen´s last blog post ..February colour boost

  16. Patti Borrelli @BeSoStyle commented
    February 6th, 2013 at 11:32pm

    LOVE the mix of neons + coppers with pastels. So very fun. Thanks for the visual vacation + inspiration. You are amazing!

  17. Maria @ Inspiration Affirmation commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 12:13am

    These are amazing, punchy spaces! I especially love the pastels mixed with the warm copper metallic color — so gorgeous!
    Maria @ Inspiration Affirmation´s last blog post ..Lighten Up!

  18. Singapore Curtains Lovers commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 2:28am

    Love these pictures and the post. Great ideas on Pastels…
    Singapore Curtains Lovers´s last blog post ..Curtains Design @Hillview

  19. suzy commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 4:54am

    I read Lucy’s blog every day! I live in Melbourne and have been to her last 2 open houses…they are amazing! She is a real pioneer for Melbourne artists ect and has opened my eyes to sooooo many gems in this great city we call home. What Lucy says pretty much goes ;)

  20. Katia commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 9:56am

    WoW! Fantastic!! This is the kind of experiment I’m making :D
    I love neon but renewed by pastels, black and white and COPPER!!
    thank you so much for sharing ;)
    Katia´s last blog post ..Winter end – casette con fiocchi di neve

  21. Amita Heer commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 10:39am

    Love your blog.You keep me inspired.Cheers!

  22. Rebecca Portsmouth commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 11:42am

    At the Surface Design Show in London yesterday, Global Colour Research had a modern take on pastels as one of its four SS 2014 colour stories. It had concrete greys and flat blacks alongside the pastels to make them more grown-up. You’re bang on about the way you’re using pastels!
    Rebecca Portsmouth´s last blog post ..Bloghug – Londonist

  23. Ana commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 11:55am

    LOVE this color combinations!!! Love bold colors! And yes, pastels need a zing ;) indeed :)

  24. Sue Aitken commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 1:14pm

    I like your thinking! Sugary pastels are definitely not for me. Much prefer zingy, bright and bold colours. Good stuff.

  25. Molly {Dreams in HD} commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 3:21pm

    absolutely love this post. i always am drawn towards pastels, but love the addition of bright pops of color and the ever beautiful COPPER!
    Molly {Dreams in HD}´s last blog post ..Valentine’s Day Sweets

  26. Julia Agnes commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 4:48pm

    Julia Agnes´s last blog post ..Template #43114 from Newest Templates

  27. Jessica @shimmerkai commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 4:54pm

    This post makes me excited about spring! Love pastels in blues and greens.
    Jessica @shimmerkai´s last blog post ..Shore Decor | Linen

  28. welovelinen commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 6:30pm

    Bright colours, full of life! You made me feel that sping is on the way! This posts images go straight for printing and to my visual board, such an inspiration now that im redecorating my house! Lots of love!

  29. Gumshoe commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 6:31pm

    Fun post! I must admit that i love pastels! they make me happy.

  30. DENYdesigns commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 7:27pm

    LOVING the zingy pastels! We just did a neon + pastel post earlier this week too! Your take on the spring trend definitely puts a spring in our step. ;)

  31. Lisbeth commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 7:47pm

    I prefer to add a lot of black to my pastels, to tone them down, make them “dusty” and soft, to create a really harmonious and relaxed feel (good) atmosphere. No neon in my home or garden, if I can help it!! ;-)
    Lisbeth´s last blog post ..New book: Northern Delights

  32. Valentina commented
    February 7th, 2013 at 9:48pm

    I love so much your visual of neon and pastel. So bright, so inspiring. Thank you for sharing!
    Valentina´s last blog post ..Artic Design (new sponsor!)

  33. Casa e Cose commented
    February 8th, 2013 at 12:26pm

    Oh what sizzling colors you put together there! Love the lime with pink! I could to with some more of the in my home!

  34. KOOSHKA London commented
    February 8th, 2013 at 4:47pm

    Love these colours – certainly a good way to beat the Winter blues and get you ready for Spring!!

  35. Emily commented
    February 10th, 2013 at 9:33pm

    I don’t think I would have ever thought of these color combinations, but they work so well! I especially love the bright red/mint combination.
    Emily´s last blog post ..Style: Two Romantic Valentine’s Day Looks

  36. Cushion Spot commented
    February 11th, 2013 at 7:34am

    I was never a fan of the fluoro colors back in the ’80s and was amazed to see them having a comeback – but wow what a comeback. They give off the feeling of fun and inspire happiness so I must admit I’m hooked.
    Cushion Spot´s last blog post ..SECOND CHANCES

  37. Leonie commented
    February 13th, 2013 at 11:22am

    Pastels are becoming a little…bland, but this totally freshens them up and brings them into 2013. I’ve never really been one for pastels but this has me convinced, it’s so modern and edgy!

  38. Izrada sajtova commented
    November 3rd, 2014 at 8:25pm

    Great colors combinations, will use something like that for my next website i design , hope u dont mind ; ) .
    Thanks for idea…

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