Get a new look with washed pastels

Perfect for spring, pretty nearly neutral shades are the ideal palette to give your home a quick style upgrade. Here are some great ideas how to use them

Faded pastels have all the benefits of neutrals – versatility, mixability, suitability for small space – but with a little added extra. Neutral can sometimes look flat, but these, especially when creatively combined, will create a three-dimensional look that can be anything from fresh and pretty to ‘practical beautality’.

Paint a circle frame in your dining area

Instantly ‘zone’ a dining area in a multifunctional room with this simple trick. Use a paint that has a chalky finish for your circle, so it subtly stands out. This is also a great way to highlight a statement light fitting. Finally, upcycle dining chairs using two shades of pastel paint to give them a charming new look.

dining area with white wall and dining table

(Image credit: TBC)

Wall painted in Ash White matt emulsion, £24.49 for 2.5ltr, Paint Mixing range, Dulux. Circle painted in Manna Ash matt emulsion, £35.50 for 2.5ltr, Fired Earth

Layer three different colours in an office

This is a great idea if you don’t want a blank wall, but also don’t want it busy with pattern, which will distract you while working or studying. Pick three tones of the same weight and keep the bands of paint in line with simple white shelving for a smart, streamlined, easy-on-the-eye effect. Graduate the colour, with the darkest strip at the bottom to the lightest at the top, to make the ceiling in the room seem higher.

study room with study table and chair

(Image credit: TBC)

Wall painted in (top) Swanley vinyl matt emulsion; (middle) Bordon vinyl matt emlsion; both £25.84 for 2.5ltr, Traditions range, Albany; (bottom) Duck Egg matt emulsion, £30 for 2.5ltr, Laura Ashley

Highlight a feature in the living room

Make a fireplace the focal point of a room by painting the chimney breast in a pale neutral, then give the alcoves either side of it a coat in a darker pastel shade. To make the fireplace stand out even more, paint the surround a darker shade to create a visual ‘layer’.


living room with sofa and fire place

(Image credit: TBC)

Chimney breast painted in Skimming Stone Estate Emulsion; alcove walls painted in Light Blue Estate Emulsion; both £38 for 2.5ltr, Farrow & Ball

Roll pattern onto a bedroom wall

Transform a plain, pastel-painted wall into a standout feature with a special pattern roller. Keep the patteren to a small area, such as above a dado rail or wooden paneling. When you are rolling on a pattern, make sure you practise first on some scrap lining paper, then use the paint roller freehand – it’s a relaxed look, so imperfections don’t matter.

bedroom with bed and lamp on table

(Image credit: TBC)

Wall painted in Kits Coty vinyl matt emulsion, £25.84 for 2.5ltr, Traditions range, Albany. Tussock paint roller, £20; wall applicator (used with roller), £12; both The Painted House



Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.