A splash of summer: Spruce up your interiors with these seasonal shades
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These sugary shades are made for quick decor updates, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
Keen to give your home a summer refresh? Pretty pastels and sorbet shades are an easy route to bright and breezy decor updates.
There’s a universal charm to these ice cream colours, which can be super sophisticated when used stylishly – and sometimes it only calls for a lick of paint to make the right first impression.
1. Paint your way to an ice cream palette
Pastel and sorbet shades hold memories of summer, so using these colours will gift a room a happy, uplifting feel, says Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux.
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If you’re not sure where to start, Marianne suggests using pastel shades in rooms where there’s enough light to enjoy them during the day, as they’re harder to appreciate at night under artificial light, and to team them with pure white on the woodwork.
“Adding a delicate colour to the ceiling is one of the best-kept secrets in decorating, and pastels add just enough colour to make a huge difference, but not too much that it overwhelms the space,” she says.
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“Blues and greens will make a room appear bigger, whilst yellow and pinks will add a touch of warm sunshine and make a room appear more intimate. Try bringing the colour down onto the walls by about 20-30cm and see how amazing it looks.”
When it comes to mastering the mix, think fun and fresh, and just enough colour to add a hint without dominating everything you already have in the room.
The other great thing about ice cream shades is they’re versatile enough to be used in a sophisticated way.
“If you add a little grey to a pastel it becomes very swank indeed, so consider shades like Pink Parchment, Milled Flour, Borrowed Blue or Beach Grass,” suggests Marianne. “Once you’ve chosen your favourite, paint the walls, ceiling and woodwork in the same colour.”
2. Step into the look with pastel rugs
“Colour blocking with pastels never goes out of fashion,” says Daniel Prendergast, design director and founder at The Rug Seller. “The whole combination of pastel pink, mint green and baby blue works so well, especially teamed with grey and neutral tones. A more ‘graphic’ style works well with the sugary tones to give the design an edge.”
Soft textures work so well in pastel colours too, Daniel adds. “Shaggy rugs and faux fur rugs look great in pink, mauve, blue and mint – they make you just want to snuggle into them!”
3. Brighten your outlook with sorbet shutters
When it comes to creating a calm and idyllic work space at home – after all, we all need a bit of extra inspiration right now – window dressings can make all the difference to your wellbeing and outlook.
“Sorbet-coloured shutters make a great alternative to a feature wall in a home office,” says Chrissie Harper, customer experience manager at California Shutters. “Colours such as soft blue, orange and pink are ideal for boosting creativity and making an office a welcoming environment to work in.
“Use a matching paint colour on the surrounding walls or add a statement wallpaper to make a real impact.”
However, Chrissie says it’s important to carefully consider which colours to choose for your shutters as, unlike walls or decorative accessories, you’ll likely be keeping them in situ for a longer period of time. And if you have a clear vision of how you want your room to look, choosing a pastel shade could really lift your scheme.
4. Shine a light on the look with lampshades
Well-chosen lighting can really make a space – and a pop of pastel can be especially effective. Picking a sorbet lampshade will illuminate a scheme and add warmth even when it’s not switched on – think of it as the A-list lollipop of lighting.
5. Serve a subtle shade at the table
It doesn’t take much to refresh tired garden furniture, like breathing new life into a dining set with a splash of paint. M&L Paints’ Alitex Collection offers 15 colours inspired by greenhouses. Suitable for exterior use, they can transform practically anything from urns to gnomes. We love their subtle Wood Sage 137, which perfectly complements sprays of wild flowers and bulbs.