Karl Lohnes: Hop into style with spring-inspired pastel decor

Pastel colours pair well with cool or warm neutrals and add a soft and spring-like look to a room. Pale blue walls, and grey and beige furnishings get a shot of pretty with pink and gold accents. Pillows $17 and pink velvet pouf, $199, HomeSense.


Often considered for baby nurseries only, pastel colours are hopping up as a trend for spring and summer decor. And it’s not just for the little ones.

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With the rise in popularity of Instagram-worthy pale palettes, it’s easy to lighten and pretty-up a grownup space without making it seem juvenile. I love how the quiet, soft atmosphere that pastels create also enables other elements, such as dark antiques or strong artwork, to take centre stage in a room. It’s a look even Peter Rabbit could love.

Easter always reminds me of beautiful pastel colours (think eggs, Easter baskets and marshmallow Peeps), so I’ve gathered a few egg-cellent options that let you inject pretty pastels into any style of home (and without breaking the Bunny’s budget).

1. Pastel furnishings

We haven’t seen pastel furnishings in vogue since the dusty-pink and mint-green colour combos of the 1980s. For the past couple of decades, pale colours have tended to be neutrals like grey and beige. If pastel furniture is for you, I advise adding cool-toned pieces, like pale greens and blues. They blend nicely with the currently popular grey wall colours while juxtaposing attractively with on-trend warm-toned golden metal colours for lighting, hardware and other decorative accessories.

Afraid to commit to pastel upholstered furniture? Try the quick-and-easy option of painting a wooden chair or old dresser to add a touch of pretty to a room. The Holmsund sofa bed upholstered in Orrista light blue fabric makes a useful double-duty piece of furniture where I’m sure the Easter Bunny would love to have a quick nap during his deliveries tonight!

Holmsund sofa bed, $950, IKEA.


2. Pastel wall-colour advice

Hazy Lilac


I always say that dropping a dollop of grey or beige into any pastel colour is a perfect way to add colour to a room. The dullness of greige helps make the colour more neutral at night while appearing as a crisper pastel colour in daytime light. It’s a wonderful way to add a favourite colour to a room and ensure a more sophisticated look. If I were to redecorate Peter Rabbit’s den, I’d splash Hazy Lilac (2166-40) from Benjamin Moore on the wall — it would look amazing with the on-trend greys, beiges, and gold metallics!



3. Colour tips for flooring

Some sage design advice: When it comes to flooring, keep pastel colours to area rugs only. I’ve tried painting old wood floors with soft colours and even installed a whitewashed oak (looks peachy-pink in daytime) back in the early 1990s. That trend was short-lived and needed to be changed within just a few years. Permanent flooring like wood and tiles are best left to the neutral family to provide longevity. Add colour with area rugs that can be moved around and repurposed when you tire of the colours. It’s always smart to include a colour from the floor in the area rug: This creates unity between these elements.

MELT Multicolor Hand-Knotted Shag Runner, 2’3″ x 8′, $380, CB2.


4. Cooking with pastels

Add pastel appliances to any kitchen and you’ll instantly create a vintage vibe. Just keep in mind that they tend to marry best in lighter and brighter kitchen environments (think Scandinavian). I suggest highlighting one appliance with a pastel colour so not to get too cutesy in the kitchen: Your other appliances would ideally be in a stainless finish (for darker kitchens) or white (for lighter kitchens).

Thinkkitchen Promix Plus Stand Mixer, Mint, $350, Stokes.


Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can contact Karl on Facebook or Instagram at Karl Lohnes Designer.

Karl has worked as a home decor expert and product designer for 25 years. He appears Thursdays during the 8 a.m. hour on Global News Morning Montreal.



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