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Gimme some sugar

From the Resene decorating blog

Interior design trend seekers are sweetening up to candy coloured pastels. Learn how to bring these scrumptious hues into your own home.

We all want candy, but do we want its colour counterparts on our walls? Lately, it seems as if the answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’. Sugary pastel shades are trending again, and this time the look is more sophisticated than saccharine.

Resene Wallpaper Collection 90220 and Resene Wallpaper Collection 90860

Dress up your walls with Resene Wallpaper Collection 90220 (left) or Resene Wallpaper Collection 90860 (right).

Uplifting but not overpowering, these sorts of colours are a no-brainer for nurseries and children’s bedrooms, though it’s becoming more and more apparent that the grown-ups can have it their way too. Pastels are very soothing by nature and can be a visual shortcut to relaxation in any room. Although there’s an undeniable femininity to them, they’re actually extremely flexible and some can be viewed as neutrals. You might choose to play up their retro appeal or offset it by keeping your selection simple and your interior lines clean for a more modern look.

“Using pastels in your interior is not just confined to the realm of retro,” agrees Christchurch interior designer Becky Lee of Becky Lee Interiors. “These beautiful tones can add colour and interest without the eye-watering side effect of brights. Channelling the vibe of mid-century Palm Springs, they can act as fabulous accent colours in achromatic contemporary interiors and are equally at home in character houses. They combine effortlessly with most neutrals, and can add a real sense of softness, romanticism, freshness and optimism to an interior.”

A neutral bedroom with hints of apricot and dusty pinks

A dining room with pops of colour

Bedroom: Gentle hints of apricot and dusty pinks add interest to this otherwise neutral bedroom. Back wall in Resene Eighth Stonehenge, left wall in Resene Half Gin Fizz, timber floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, headboard in Resene Double Stonehenge, shelf in Resene Ebony Clay, pendant lamp, mirror and tote bag bottom in Resene Corvette, vases on chair in (from tallest to shortest) Resene Double Stonehenge, Resene Rakaia and Resene Cinnamon and DIY artworks in Resene Corvette and Resene Rakaia. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.  Dining room: Fresh and minty green Resene Kandinsky shines on these kitchen cabinets – especially when layered with an array of other candy-coloured brights. Wall in Resene Rice Cake, floor finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, shelf in Resene Atlas, large plant pot in Resene Alabaster with hand painted maze design in Resene Away We Go, stool tops and legs in Resene XOXO, Resene Party Zone and Resene Away We Go, small plant pot in Resene Party Zone and cutting board in Resene XOXO. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Pastel fantastic

When we hear ‘pastel’, baby blue and pink often come to mind. Actually, the scope of this aesthetic goes well beyond this twosome to include a gender-neutral, mood-lightening rainbow of mint greens such as Resene Peppermint, gentle lavenders like Resene Lola, buttery yellows such as Resene Splash and pretty peaches like Resene Sandy Beach.

A living room with candy coloured accents

Grouping together a collection of candy colours from the same area of the colour wheel can bring cheerful energy to a neutral living space. Pick up a few Resene testpots in delicious-looking hues that appeal to your senses and paint them on vases and other small accessories. Then, try your hand at some DIY artwork to coordinate. Background in Resene Rice Cake with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Tablelands, Resene Just Dance, Resene Ethereal, Resene Hive, Resene Smitten and Resene Twisted Sister. The woven tray is painted Resene Just Dance and the DIY artwork was created with Resene Ethereal, Resene Hive, Resene Twisted Sister, Resene Just Dance and Resene Tablelands. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

So what’s now? “Dusty pinks continue to be as popular as ever in interiors; however, the new kids on the pastel block are neo mint and cantaloupe,” says Becky. “Neo mint is a soft turquoise and green that has a fresh, oxygenating tone – a personal favourite of mine is Resene Summer Green. Popular in the 1950s, it’s now appearing in contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. A soft undertone of orange, cantaloupe is a cross between pastel and earthy that’s currently on trend for living spaces; think Resene Wax Flower. It’s a favourite of boho-chic lovers and combines well with neutrals and warm honey-toned timber, cane and jute, plus the greens of houseplants.”

To help you determine which sweet-as shades are for you, home in on the look you love by considering whether you prefer:

For some, sticking to a palette of all bright (like violet Resene Biloba Flower and pink Resene Ballerina), all cool (like fresh green Resene Peppermint and baby blue Resene Pattens Blue) or all warm pastels (like cherry pink Resene Gelato and hazy blue Resene Half Kumutoto) may be the most pleasing.

Becky says, “A good trick to keep a consistent feel when adding colour to your home is to choose paints of similar depth and tone. Use the LRV (Light Reflectance Value) on the back of each colour on Resene charts to check how close in depth colours are. You can add bold colours to a pastel scheme; however they will work best as accents in soft furnishings and artworks.”

Ways to play

“As always, it’s important to have a clear design direction when you start adding colour into a space,” says Becky. “Think about how your rooms relate to each other and make sure there are connecting threads throughout your home. For example, a wall colour in one room might be an accent colour in the next.”

Choose contemporary combos to bring this look into the now:

A cheerful yellow entryway

Every other hue pales in comparison to the cheerfulness of yellow. Use a softer pastel version for the walls and then bring in hints of brighter and darker yellows to finish the look. Wall in Resene Moonlight, floor in Resene Grey Olive, bench in Resene Chorus Line and Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, hook rack in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta with kete bags in Resene Influential and Resene Grey Olive, door in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta with edges in Resene Influential, basket on bench and broom handle in Resene Influential. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Top tips:

Resene Moonlight

Resene Chorus Line

Resene Ethereal

Resene Just Dance

Resene Away We Go

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Tablelands

Resene XOXO

Resene Party Zone

Resene Twisted Sister

Resene Influential

July 30, 2020

For more ideas and inspiration use the room and colour filter to search for the colour inspiration for your home and view the huge colour and wallpaper library at your local Resene ColorShop.

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