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Does the word pastel conjure up a stereotype, like Easter eggs, little girls’ bedrooms, and 1980s interiors? Are they too feminine? NO. They have re-emerged as a bright, airy, calming option in retail, health-care and residential settings. New shades have depth and substance to them, which makes them more vibrant and usable. Many pale and blue-gray hues - which are pastels - are masculine and powerful. When using them in residential and retail interiors, pastels often need a strong accompanying color to provide contrast. Bright red seating and a red lacquer wall are a great accent against the pastel lavender walls and ceiling. Their soothing effects also make them popular in health care settings as well as bedrooms and bathrooms. When using pastels for painted walls I recommend that clients select a shade lighter than what they like on a color card. Once the color is spread on the surface, it becomes a little more intense. A top glaze can intensify the color in spaces like powder rooms, dining rooms and playrooms.
As part of its 2013 Color Forecast, Sherwin-Williams focused on pastels in a few of the trend palettes. The pastels that make up their Vintage Moxie not only exude a carefree attitude that reflects current fashion trends, but also echo retro color preferences of the 1950s and ’60s. With the economy being the way it’s been over the past few years, people want to get back to having fun and feeling uplifted. The pastels are a bit bolder, including semiprecious gem tones like citrine, peridot and amethyst, set off by crisp neutrals. Hues like Radiant Lilac (SW 0074), Rosedust (SW 0025) and Bathe Blue (SW 6771) are coupled with black and white for a modern edge. Aloe (SW 6464) — a minty green deemed the Sherwin-Williams color of 2013 — pairs wonderfully with chartreuse, bright coral, periwinkle and violet.