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A blast from the pastels; The soft and fresh colours have long been popular with homeowners and,used well, can make a big impact on how your rooms look.

POWERFUL pastels are now all the rage on the catwalk - and where fashion goes, interior design surely follows.

So if you want to make an impact this summer, it's time to introduce some subtle, stylish shades in to your home.

Soft and fresh, pastel colour schemes have But it's how you decide to use them that can make all the difference.

From invigorating yellows and rejuvenating greens to calming tones of blue and purple, delicate pastels can work wonders in any type of room - big or small.

For instance, if you want to make a room feel bigger, opt for cool pastel shades such as sky-blue and spearmint. Using just one shade for the entire area will help create a block of colour - tricking the eye into believing the room is larger than it really is.

Choosing a glossy pastel finish in living rooms, bedrooms and halls will reflect lots of light around your home. You could also go one step further and choose furniture that is the same shade as your walls. This blends everything in and is especially useful if your furniture is on the large side.

If you're looking to create a cosy atmosphere in bedrooms or dining rooms, warm pastel colours such as sunny yellows, lavenders and baby pinks will make a room feel a lot warmer.

Opting for a matt finish will help to draw in the walls - as the finish absorbs light and makes colours look deeper and darker.

It's also easy to complement a pastel colour scheme by using pure white paint on your skirting boards, doors and ceilings. This will help highlight your subtle shades and their crisp, light tones.

And because pastels are so easy on the eye, you can break a few of the biggest decorating rules without worrying about the consequences.

You can mix blues, pinks, greens, yellows or orange colours all within the same room without it looking out of place.

As long as you stick to two or three principle shades, using touches of other accent colours here and there to balance things out, you really can't go wrong.

If you want to create a calming and relaxing environment, blue and green tones are the best colours to opt for.

Go pastel green if you want your home to be a stress-free haven. Used constantly in hospitals and schools, its tranquil undertones can't help but create a sense of harmony.

Easy to use - either on its own or with other colors - green instantly makes us feel at ease because of its association with nature. Light shades of mint green are perfect in living rooms and bathrooms while slightly darker tones will help freshen up kitchens.

Stimulate your senses with subtle pinks and light lilacs, or add a cheerful note by choosing shades with a hint of orange. These uplifting warm colours will help raise your spirits. What's more, they can be used anywhere in the home - as long as your accessories are not too bold or overt he -accessories are not too bold or overt he -top.

If in doubt, a colour scheme which uses a combination of soft, buttery yellows will al ways lighten up your home. Invigorating and eye-catching but without being too over-powering, a subtle pastel yellow can warm up any room.

The only time yellow is not appropriate is in a room with a lot of sunlight.

In dark homes, delicate light colours will instantly give your dcor a muchneeded lift. Put any pastel shade on a wall and it will reflect the available light in a room much better than any dark and dramatic shade.

And although there's no rule against decorating small rooms using dark colours, lighter shades will always make rooms appear larger - no matter what colour you opt for. But if you do decide to try out pastels, make sure you think your new look through. The biggest mistake people make when decorating is missing out the important little details.

Painting your walls will make a big difference to how your home looks but if your furniture is outdated or the wrong complementary colour, you new colour scheme will never quite hit the mark.

So to top your pastel revamp off, invest in some new accessories to lighten up your home. Aim to strike a balance by using a combination of complimentary colours. Natural-looking furniture such as oak dining tables and cream-based sofas are always a safe bet when used within a pastel colour scheme. What's more, when it comes to changing your room around in the future, it's unlikely that you will have to splash out on more furniture.

Of course, there's nothing to stop you opting for a light blue couch or even a baby pink chair - but if you like to decorate your home regularly, show off your pastels by choosing pale or neutral-based accessories instead.


THE RIGHT LOOK: All you need to freshen up a room are some accessories such as cushions, bowels and rugs in various shades
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 26, 2010
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