Soft tones have a great strength – they don’t need to be loud to make a design statement. This is just what we need right now: a colour palette that gives a cool, refreshing und restrained touch to fashion and interiors, making everything look new, untouched and light. In short, pastel colours have all the attributes that make for a really great summer feel.
Dream team: clear lines and soft colours
Simple designs, graphic objects and reduced forms coated in pastel colours reminiscent of sugar icing provide a playful array of contrasts and are extremely popular in contemporary design. Stone, mirror glass and metal in a range of soft tones display an almost poetic tenderness. Take, for instance, the mint-coloured rim that brings a sense of freshness and lightness to the marble-look tray from Studio Lim/100 Percent. Another example can be seen in the rose detail of the solid porcelain tray from design label Caussa. The tray comprises two parts lying loosely next to each other that can also be arranged separately as two objects, and is an affectionate hommage to the architectural principle of the arch.
Pastel colours everywhere – playing with gentle tones
Delicate pastel shades are currently extremely popular in the world of fashion and interior design – not simply as single accent colours, but also as patterns and in colour gradients. Soft colour blocking works really well as a summery eye-catcher, as in the purses created by German bag label Zwei and the Italian statement sandals with block heels from Ebarrito. Another strength of pastel colours is the limitless array of possibilities for combining with other colours – they always tend to adapt rather than dominate. Berlin-based designer Anna Badur has designed wall tiles with soft colour gradients that are as light and refreshing as the summer sky itself. By contrast, designer Karim Rashid is somewhat more adventurous. The bold use of colour is part of his DNA and with his futuristic product design he has been a regular guest at Ambiente over the years, working for various brands. One of his current projects is the Eye Hotel in Bahrain, where he is using pastel colours to bring freshness to his typically fluid organic forms.
The sweetness of stone: candy terrazzo
We’ve been observing and celebrating the comeback of the terrazzo look here on the blog for several seasons now. Traditional stone chip patterns that have been used in floor tiles since antiquity are inspiring home accessories, textiles and furniture. This design classic is now getting numerous playful makeovers with pastel colour accents and is beginning to look more like a light shower of confetti than a heavy stone-based floor covering. Israeli costume jewellery designer Shlomit Ofir experimented for a long time with her plastics producer until she had perfected a modern pastel interpretation of the terrazzo print and created an entire collection. In the case of Danish design manufacturer Normann Copenhagen’s small terrazzo side table, the stone top is made of cement and marble chips using the original Italian method and placed on steel legs – a very classic design, available in sky blue. This pastel reinterpretation of terrazzo can be found all over the world, from the candlesticks created by Belgian Atelier Pierre, to the Finnish cutting boards from Muurla, to the interior design of the trendy Burleigh Pavilion beachfront bar on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Self-assured design doesn’t have to be loud
Statement jewellery and XL bags in restrained pastel colours are wonderfully summery trend pieces that go well with many different outfits. Sky-blue, mint and rose interior accessories and tableware also bring refreshing highlights into the home. Pastel-coloured products are true style all-rounders that quietly fit in almost any situation thanks to their delicate tones. Wood and natural materials are equally attractive interior partners whether positioned against dark walls or in a light and airy Scandi space.
For those seeking further inspiration, we suggest you check out the designs (and the Instagram account) of Spanish interior designer Miriam Alía – genuine explosions of pastel that prove they don’t have to be loud.