This Is the Most Tagged Home Decor Mini-Trend on Instagram Right Now

published Feb 26, 2021
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If your Instagram feed has been looking particularly sweet lately, there’s a reason. Pastel decor is the latest hashtag to rule this social media platform. Candy-colored interiors are hardly new though; like most buzzy design trends, pastel palettes and dainty details are experiencing a resurgence, likely courtesy of the grandmillennial style boom over the past year, according to interior stylist and HomeGoods style expert Jenny Reimold. “The trend includes vintage-inspired prints like florals and toiles with bright pastel colors like pink, blue, and green,” says Reimold. “By mixing patterns and colors with a few modern elements, grandmillenial design offers a fresh new take on a traditional design style that uses elements like skirted tables, floral wallpaper, ruffles, pleats, and more.”

In other words, pastel interiors are about more than a frothy coat of paint on the walls or a faintly-tinted sofa. Vintage elements á la your grandparents’ abode are a big part of the trend, but this time around, storied items mingle with modern pieces to keep the overall design scheme fresh. Think minimalist pottery, simple furniture with a few eye-pleasing curves, and even kitchen cabinets and area rugs all in pretty pale hues. 

Credit: Sylvie Li

According to Reimold, a fundamental rule when trying out the pastel trend at home is using some form of complementary colors in a space, such as pairing soft shades of pink with light green hues like pistachio or sage. You could also try a dusty sky blue with a sherbet orange, or pair a light, mellow yellow with something in a soothing periwinkle or lavender. After that, it’s all about adding in grounding neutrals to strike a balance and make those pastel accents pop.

“Most recently, I incorporated pink and aqua pastel tones to refresh my daughters’ shared bedroom,” Reimold says of her project, which is pictured just below. As complements, the blush bedding and teal bed frames play well together here, but it’s the liberal use of white and cream — on the ceiling, in the moldings and carpeting, as well as in the nightstand and overhead light fixture — that gives the pastel tones the space to breathe. More isn’t always more, at least when it comes to working with pastel decor.

If your pastel interest is piqued but you like to ease into home trends, textiles provide a perfect starting point. Opt for a single color accent in a room with pastel pillows, or experiment with a few hues throughout your home and swap your cushion covers and decorative throws seasonally. If you start small, you can work your way up to pastel furniture, wall paint, and even rugs; the key is not to choose pastel products for all of those items within one room, that is, if you are trying to create balance.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can boldly infuse pastel colors into your home by going with a larger pastel accent, like a pink sofa or pastel wallpaper behind your bed. “If you’re styling upholstered or pastel furniture, consider using a solid color throw with patterned pillows as accents,” Reimold suggests. “For large rooms with a patterned accent wall, keep the furniture simple and tie in coordinating pastel or patterned accents.”

Whatever way you choose to work pastels into your space, one good thing about this palette is that it will always lighten and brighten up a space. Just look at this living room above. Sure, there’s tons of light coming in from those sliding doors, but the pastel wall hanging, patterned rug, and buttery yellow throw pillows certainly keep the look more ethereal and airier than if these design elements were fully saturated hues.

If you want your room to retain a little bit of edge though, don’t forget to add a touch of black or even darker wood accents into your design scheme. Here, it’s those leopard pillows that bring just a hint of rock and roll to an otherwise saccharine space. Contrast — be it color, texture, or silhouette — is what will keep your room from feeling a little too sweet.