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  • Writer's pictureDrew

What Is Danish Pastel And Why You Should Use It In Your Home?

You may have noticed a change afoot in Scandinavian design of late. The austere color schemes and thoughtfully planned clean lines are beginning to take a back seat to soft frilly rugs, playful shapes, and more bold uses of color. Sure the neutral walls may still be present, but not always. Now you are just as likely to see peach or lilac walls in a room featuring a seafoam green couch and plush mint rug. Danish pastel is shifting Scandinavian design in new and colorful ways. It brightens moods with a combination of cozy hygge and a playful pastel palette. We think that this shift towards softer and brighter colors is a great way to spruce up your interior design as we move into spring and beyond. Try blending Danish pastel with hygge and the Swedish concept of lagom, meaning “just enough”, in your interior design can create a calm and cheerful environment that fosters a positive mood.

A peach colored room with a yellow desk and Danish Pastel wall art. There is a large plant on the desk.

What is Danish Pastel And How Is It Different From Scandinavian?

Danish pastel embraces many of the typical qualities of Scandinavian design. You will still see an emphasis on quality craftsmanship in home decor items. Also still present are uncluttered open room designs. The overall ideology of having a calm and inviting space remains the goal, as is the usage of natural light. Where Danish pastel separates itself is in how much color is present. It is Scandinavian design with a serious pastel boost. Fresh splashes of bright tinted hues in a neutral room leap to the eye and allow every last bit of natural light to reflect and illuminate the space. The usage of pastels is a wonderful way to soothe your senses and trigger a sense of happiness at the same time. It is springlike and rejuvenating. Pastels foster a feeling of relaxation and calm when used in interior design. The tinted hues also tend to promote a cheery attitude. These qualities make it easy to understand why this design style is taking hold when there is so much uncertainty in our world. Honestly, who could not use a little more calm and cheer in their life right now? And what better time to start adding more bright colors to your home than now as the season begins to change from dark winter to lively spring.

A minimalist neutral room that has a pastel pink and white desk, dusty lilac chair and a handmade wooden table with purple flowers in a glass vase.
If you ever asked yourself "Can I be a colorful minimalist?" The answer is yes you can!

How Do I Get The Danish Pastel Look?

One of the great things about Danish pastel is that it is easy to start practicing it in your home. Pastels make great accent colors when paired with neutrals or dark hues in interior design. When used in this manner, they provide balance and a complex sophistication to your color scheme. They also look terrific paired together with other colors in the same family. There is no wrong way to work with a pastel color scheme!

Another great feature of Danish Pastel is that it works equally well in a minimalist or maximalist interior design style. If you have ever Googled “Can you be a colorful minimalist?”, the answer is yes you can! Pair down your space to only what is essential, but paint those walls lilac, and add a peach couch. It will look wonderful! Try to aim for functionality over harsh minimalism to maintain a sense of comfort and calm in your home. True Scandinavian style focused on creating a useful, inviting, and calm space rather than a stark white austere home void of all objects. Every home needs a personality and a purpose. Try combining two more Scandinavian concepts to Danish pastel to create the perfect space that inspires and reinvigorates you.

A white room that has a sea foam green couch with peach colored pillows.
Pastel colors work well as accents with darker or neutral colors, but also look great together with other pastels.

Hygge And Lagom For a Cozy Just Right Space

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian term. It is also a concept at the center of Danish culture. Over the last few years, it has become a trend word on social media and interior design blogs, but the practice has been around all along in Scandinavia. Hygge is a wellness ideology used to describe a state of contentment and coziness. A time to share the simple pleasures of life with friends and family. A time to focus on enjoying the moment. For interior design, hygge can be adding things to your home to promote a sense of comfort and coziness. Adding these items in a Danish pastel style is easy. Purchase minty green candles, a soft tangerine orange rug, or powder blue throw blankets. Objects that are soft and warm to the senses are considered part of this ideology. One thing to mention here is that hygge, like other Scandinavian ideologies, also emphasizes an uncluttered environment as part of comfort in your home. Adding too many unnecessary things can create a feeling of stress in your home, so be conscious of your efforts and additions.

Hop across the border to Sweden and you will encounter lagom. Lagom is an ideology focusing on balance in all aspects of one's life. The word itself translates closely to “not too little, not too much”, or “just enough” and pertains to everything from how much time to spend with friends or at work, dietary habits, and even interior design. Balancing colors, materials, and textures in your home is a way to achieve this “just right” attitude. Much like hygge, lagom emphasizes an uncluttered and functional living space to have balance and happiness at home. The difference is that lagom focuses on complete balance in all parts of life whereas hygge focuses on finding the joy, comfort, and contentment in even the simplest part of your day. Incorporating lagom in your Danish pastel interior design is easy. The best part about lagom is that the right amount of everything is subjective. Add as much color as feels right to you. The number of objects in your home is also subjective, although clutter is the enemy of calm, as we have written about before here and here. Try focusing on objects that hold value to you on a personal level, and avoiding unnecessary trinkets. A handmade lilac tray purchased at an art fair would look great on your pale yellow coffee table but not surrounded by cheaply made mass-produced objects that clutter your tabletop.

Now that you know how hygge and lagom can elevate your usage of Danish pastel style in your home, I think it is important to explain why pastels are so terrific to use in your living space.

Pastels To Boost Your Mood

Every color has a psychological effect on us when we see and process it in our brains. Pastels are primary and secondary colors that are diluted with white. The color white is a pure color often thought to foster a cleansing aura. By diluting other colors with white, the characteristics of the original color are maintained but are amplified towards the positive side of the dial. For instance, blue is the most popular color in the world. Blues naturally evoke feelings like calmness, stability, and imagination. Tinting blue with white lightens the color and creates powder or sky blue. Both tinted shades still promote calm and openness to the viewer. The lighter hues also provide a boost of optimism and creativity. Pastels are naturally positive colors due to their being tinted by white. Often viewing pastels create a thought relationship to springtime, Easter, childhood, and playfulness. There is a freshness in the soft color palette of a pastel interior that promotes a rosy outlook, which is why Danish pastel is so popular at the moment. After two years of living through a global pandemic, we all need a little freshness to help us attain that rosy outlook where we enjoy even the simplest daily tasks. Here are some of our favorite pastel hues and why.

Pistachio Green To Foster Calm and Serenity

A pastel green fused glass spoon rest with handmade wooden spoon on a white counter next to a green leafy plant and striped yellow and white towel.
Add some extra joy to your home with pistachio green.

Our number one favorite pastel color to use in interior design is pistachio green. The psychology of green in its fully saturated state evokes relationships with nature and ideas of luck and renewal. Adding white creates a fresher, crisper hue that holds the same traits, but also fosters a sense of serenity. Pistachio green is especially helpful when used in an environment intended to promote calm and optimism. One great way to incorporate this color is in your kitchen. Try adding a pistachio green spoon rest to your kitchen accessories

to inspire joy while cooking to nourish yourself and your loved ones.

Pastel Pink And Peach For a Sense of Optimism and Hope

A danish pastel room with felted wool wall decor and several leafy green plants.
Pastel pink pairs well with many other pastel hues including pistachio green

Pink is another terrific pastel color to use in interior design. Although its parent color red is extremely aggressive, the tinted hue is non-threatening and fosters feelings of optimism, hope, and innocence. Close your eyes and remember the feeling you get when you first see pink flowers blooming in the spring after a dark and cold winter. There is a positivity to pastel pink that cannot be denied. Try adding it to your living room or bedroom. We love our sheer pink curtains. They filter the light so beautifully that the entire room is bathed in a rose tint. Pastel pink also looks fantastic when paired with pistachio green as in this wet felted colorfield we designed.

Dusty Lilac For Mindfulness At Home

A dusty lilac fused glass tray is on a gray table next to a pastel pink coffee cup. There is a handmade wooden measuring spoon on the tray.
Add dusty lilac to your home for tranquility and mindfulness.

The third pastel we love to use in our production shop and our home is dusty lilac. The color is similar to pastel pink in that it fosters feelings of innocence, but there is a spirituality to it that makes it especially calming. Dusty lilac is born from purple, which is created by blending red and blue. Because of this, the color contains qualities of both parent colors in harmony. The energy of red is balanced by the calmness of blue and creates a rich and noble color. Historically purple is associated with royalty, as well as spirituality and religion. Adding white to tint purple and creating dusty lilac lightens these attributes to create an airier and more tranquil hue. Use Dusty lilac in your office or mediation space to help promote mindfulness throughout the day.

Powder Blue To Inspire Your Imagination And Creativity

A handmade glass tray with colored pencils and an eraser rests on a table next to a drawing of flowers and a unlit candle.

The final color that I would like to mention is powder blue. As I wrote earlier, blues have a natural tendency to evoke feelings like calmness, stability, and imagination. Pastel varieties such as powder also foster associations with open spaces, inspiration, and sensitivity. Gazing up at the sky on a cloudless day, you can let your imagination go. Powder blue makes a great addition to your craft or living room. It can also invigorate you when you wake up in the morning if used in your bedroom.

Your Interior Design Should Be A Reflection Of You

The most important part of interior design is creating something that represents who you are as a person. Your home should be a space that inspires, invigorates, refreshes, and revitalizes you. Over the last few years, your home has become a space where you spend more time. It is especially true if you are still one of many who work remotely. Now more than ever is a great time to create a space that enriches and enlivens you. The optimistic hues in Danish pastel style are a great way to begin. Start playing with color in one room by adding small accents to see what you think. Add a mint green spoon rest or a lilac soap dish in your kitchen. Paint your cabinets peach. To start in the living room, add a frilly seafoam rug. Exploring color in interior design is a fun and rewarding way to learn more about yourself and what you like. After all, your home should be a reflection of who you are.

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