Design trends: romantic pastels

Pastel is the shade of choice for the home this spring, and whether you choose it for furniture or accessories there's an abundance of choice from John Lewis to Habitat.
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Think sugared almonds and luxurious Ladurée macarons - these are the sweet, mouthwatering, romantic pastel shades for the home this spring.

Not practical for upholstery? You'd be surprised. "So many fabrics are washable now," says Stephen Nelson, from the home design service at Peter Jones.. "So many fabrics are washable now," says Stephen Nelson, from the home design service at Peter Jones.

If you don't want to commit to upholstery, invest in soft pink and lime pastel throws, and fill glass bowls with spring flowers.

Shauna Dennison, creative director at wallpaper house Cole & Son, says: "Think of pastels as brave neutrals... plaster pinks, honeyed camel neutrals, warm dove greys and blushing peaches/corals — all enhanced with soft mood lighting."

London interior designer Nina Campbell, whose clients include royals and celebrities, lined her Chelsea bedroom walls with a pale toned chintz of her own design (from Osborne & Little), adding a stronger pink lacquer to the en suite bathroom. "Mix in grey, and plenty of texture. And boost romance with fresh flowers and room scent."

Get free advice at West Elm, the new US home store on Tottenham Court Road. Rosie Holman, who runs their on-site design lab, favours soft lemon yellow and grey for a sunny look. "Add heavier textures to a pastel mix," she says, hugging large Mongolian lambswool cushions. For a touch of romance, try velvet and silk.

In Colour Deconstructed, her latest book, decor brand boss Tricia Guild advises: "Add edge with graphic touches. I'm thinking black, white and charcoal to offset sugary shades... a stack of cushions, a soft wool blanket and a deep-pile rug will add depth and warmth."


Pretty in pink: Spring pastels from the Aegean collection at Sanderson (left) include Ios wallpaper (£45 a roll). Daybed is in Sparkle Coral, curtains are in Keros, both £49 a metre. Cushion fabrics are £41 to £69 a metre.  Right: Tesco's budget pretty pastels include cushions in metallic-print knits and sequined florals for £12, with velvet and roseprint at £8. Go to or call 0800 323 4050 for more details and store addresses 


In the clouds: Astier de Villatte "Cloud" plate, £85, and bowl, £95, at Liberty


Habitat packs a punch with its pastels: From left, oak side table with powder-coated metal top in bubble gum pink (£25); Lauto Jacquard bed linen includes pillowcases at £18 each, and Priya small pastel-coloured bowls are £4 each. Stores in W1, SW3, and NW3, or shop online at


Bringing the outdoors in: Left: John Lewis's grey basket-weave throw £70; Citrine Layers cushion, £28; Lime PomPom fabric, £30 a metre ( Right: chair in Phoebe (£68 a metre), piped in Rosebery (£95 a metre); woodwork in Warm White (£39 for 2.5 litres). All from Zoffany.

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