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PAS­TELS get a bad rap for be­ing su­per-gir­lie, even baby­ish.

Dec­o­rat­ing with these po­ten­tially too-sweet shades can be tricky but not if you ap­ply them in fresh ways. CON­SIDER LIGHT­ING: The nat­u­ral light in a room af­fects how a pas­tel colour will ap­pear so look at the item you want to dec­o­rate with in dif­fer­ent light. SHOP CAU­TIOUSLY: The names of paint swatches can tell you a lot. Ex­perts say if some­thing has “baby” in front of it – baby blue, baby pink – be care­ful. You’re safer if you see “pale blue”. A LIT­TLE GOES A LONG WAY: One pas­tel is re­ally great. It stands out. But the ef­fect is lost when you bring in ad­di­tional pas­tels; you don’t want the room to feel like a bas­ket of Easter eggs. Once you’ve cho­sen your pas­tel, it’s safest to bring the colour in gen­tly through an ac­cent piece such as a lamp­shade, art or cush­ions. Or paint walls white or grey with just a dash of your favourite pas­tel mixed in. THINK AP­PLI­ANCES: For those not bold enough to make sea­sonal changes, think about in­vest­ing in kitchen ap­pli­ances. Whether you love pretty pas­tel pink kitchen tools or you pre­fer an up­scale stove/oven, many are avail­able in gor­geous pas­tels from aqua and laven­der to pink and but­tery yel­low. Smeg ( has a range of small ap­pli­ances in pas­tel pinks, greens and blues.

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