Pretty in Pastels

Proof that pale can be a subtle yet powerful tool.

Pastels are enjoying an exciting comeback. Forget the sugary pink of little girls’ bedrooms – today’s pastels pack plenty of personality. The best of the bunch have a rich intensity or subtle sophistication, keeping them the cool side of sweet.

They allow you to fill your home with colour, without splashing around statement brights, and they bring a warmth and softness that the muted tones, so popular in recent years, can never quite manage to achieve.


Pastel pink and peachy orange are not everybody’s ideal colour combination, but brought together on the bench and table in this living room, these confident shades create an exciting partnership.


A huge number of fabrics, from vintage off-cuts to ginghams, have been used in this vibrant living space – and it is the layering of so many patterns that creates the winningly quirky feel.


Cheerful pink looks at home in this relaxed kitchen, which combines built-in and freestanding furniture. Practical pieces such as the radio, and china and decorative items like the flowers, pick up the theme.


Books, magazines and stationery are stacked so neatly on this white shelving unit, it makes them look highly decorative. Their colours add personality to the space and draw the eye, but rather than leave the shelves as the room’s sole focal point, wallpaper, lighting and seating in pink have been used to round out the scheme.

Extracted with kind permission from Pretty Pastel. Style by Selina Lake, words by Joanna Simmons, photos by Catherine Gratwicke, $49.95, Ryland, Peters and Small, distributed by

Related stories

Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.