Pale and interesting
Credit the rise of the Nordic influence or Pantone's colour(s) of the year, but either way, the prominence of pastels is palpable. Always popular in baby pinks and blues for newborns, the beauty of pastels lies in their diversity. From lemon yellow to lilac and pale greens, there is plenty more range to be discovered.
Karen Hughes of Emerald Interiors Designs notes the Northern Europe influence. "Pastels, in particular pale pinks and blues, are becoming very popular ,particularly when mixed with Scandinavian white furnishings. They can add a subtle pop of colour to a space while still giving a calming feel. As Rose Quartz and Serenity are this year's Pantone colours of the year, pastels are very on-trend at the moment."
Karen says there's no need to pick a side. "Mixing and matching pastel shades can make for great combinations," she advises. "For example, a colour mix of chairs around a dining table is a great way to add some personality to your home and brings a subtle pop of colour and playfulness to a space."
Pastel hues can work very well in office or study spaces in particular. "Soft blues, yellows and greens work well in office areas as they enhance creativity, or try dusty pink set against dark grey furniture for great impact." Combining pastel shades with muted greys, wood grain and taupes tones down the nursery look of lighter tones and gives a more sophisticated feel to a space. One recent client of Karen's embraced pastels in their kitchen and also their bedroom.
"The apartment was originally quite dark to begin with, so they love the light and airy feel to the space now," she explains. "The kitchen units are white high gloss with a wood worktop and they have introduced quirky accessories in pastel tones."
From their Wicklow workshop, furniture makers Snug use pastels throughout their work. Conor explains the appeal: "We find the colours we use work really well with the solid ash wood that we create our pieces from. It gives a nice contrast to the blonde look of the wood."
Although the duo draw a little from the Scandi style, inspiration mostly comes from elsewhere. "We draw more from our own experiences, we use a practical, functional approach to our designs."
It gives, he believes, "a more minimal look - working through clean crafted lines of ash with a pop of pastels, culminating in a piece that is both warm and joyful."
Now who wouldn't want that for their home?
Amanda Kavanagh is editor of Image Interiors & Living