The Expert - The Verdict Is In: This Paint Brand Makes the Best Pastel Colors
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The Verdict Is In: This Paint Brand Makes the Best Pastel Colors

Words by Morgan Goldberg
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Design by Studio Laloc; Photo by Lauren L. Caron

Sure, the term pastel brings to mind babies, bridal showers, and Easter eggs.

But the best pastel paint colors are not just for kids’ rooms. According to our Experts, pale, soft blues work wonderfully on ceilings, while light greens can illuminate small spaces like mud rooms and breakfast nooks. Believe it or not, chalky pinks are a sophisticated choice for old homes with traditional architecture.

While our Experts each have their own favorite pastel paint colors, they can agree on one thing: Farrow & Ball offers the best options on the market. The British paint manufacturer, whose paints are based on historic palettes and archives, is behind half the choices on this list. (Their tones also skew more muted and chalky than your typical pastels, which feels more grown-up and elevated.) Continue reading to find out just which pastel paint colors made the cut.

Best Pastel Pink Paint Colors

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Design by Salvesen Graham; Photo by Simon Brown; Client: Aurelia Skincare Founder, Claire Vero

For a Warm Evening Glow

“I love Middleton Pink by Farrow & Ball, a chalky—not bubblegum—sophisticated pink. I used it to paint my daughter's bedroom and my other daughter's vanity. It's lovely in a child's room, but could also be beautifully lacquered on the ceiling of a dining room to cast a warm evening glow over candlelight—pink always reflects beautifully—or painted on the cabinets of a chic dressing room.” —Ariel Okin

The image of an Farrow and Ball's Middleton Pink product
Farrow and Ball's Middleton PinkSHOP NOW

For a Relaxing Vibe

Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball is the perfect pink for a bedroom because it creates a comforting and soothing atmosphere. It is sophisticated enough to work in adult bedrooms, and fun enough for kids' rooms.” —Lauren Lothrop Caron, Studio Laloc

The image of an Farrow and Ball's Setting Plaster product
Farrow and Ball's Setting PlasterSHOP NOW

For Cozy Contrast

“The pink lime wash in my living room is actually a match to Cool Cantaloupe from PPG. What I love about pink is that it instantly brings warmth and coziness into a room. I like to pair pink with cooler complementary tones, like blues and greens, or honey-colored woods and gold. I don’t like to have pastel pink only with soft colors—I prefer grounding it with a darker color, rich wood, or black. Otherwise, it can feel too cute.” —Meta Coleman

The image of an PPG's Cool Cantaloupe product
PPG's Cool CantaloupeSHOP NOW

For Historic Homes

Jonquil by Edward Bulmer Natural Paint is the perfect pink. It has just a touch of yellow that gives it a natural, earthy feel, adding to the timeless nature of this pretty paint. It’s great for traditional rooms, providing a gentle element against strong architectural details.” —Nicole Salvesen, Salvesen Graham

The image of an Edward Bulmer's Jonquil product
Edward Bulmer's JonquilSHOP NOW

Best Pastel Blue Paint Colors

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Design by Ariel Okin; Photo by Donna Dotan

Design by Meta Coleman; Photo by Rett Peek

For a Creative Spark

“Blue goes with everything and is supposed to spark creativity. What better place than a kitchen to feel creative? In a 1920s farmhouse, we wanted retro, classic colors that feel inviting but still down to earth. So we went with Blue Pearl from PPG on the cabinets and a stronger green on the island for contrast. The wooden knobs add warmth to the blue.” —Meta Coleman

The image of an PPG's Blue Pearl product
PPG's Blue PearlSHOP NOW

For a Feminine Touch

“We often use blues in more feminine rooms and Celestial Blue by Little Greene is one of our go-to colors for just that. Containing a little gray and green within its tone, it sits gently against bolder blues, as well as greens and pinks, without appearing too sickly.” —Nicole Salvesen, Salvesen Graham

The image of an Little Greene's Celestial Blue product
Little Greene's Celestial BlueSHOP NOW

For a Soft Ceiling Moment

“We love painting ceilings soft blues and Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore is a true favorite. It has a touch of green in it, so it doesn't turn too cool in north-facing rooms.” —Lauren Lothrop Caron, Studio Laloc

The image of an Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue product
Benjamin Moore's Palladian BlueSHOP NOW

For Some Cool Trim

“Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light is our favorite pale blue. We use it all the time as a dining room ceiling color, as well as a trim color for millwork.” —Ariel Okin

The image of an Farrow and Ball's Borrowed Light product
Farrow and Ball's Borrowed LightSHOP NOW

For an Unexpected Neutral

Calluna by Farrow & Ball has been a long-time favorite light lilac. An obvious choice for a bedroom with its soothing and relaxing hue, it also makes a wonderfully subtle, unexpected neutral for living rooms when paired with warm draperies, textiles, and wood tones.” —Lauren Lothrop Caron, Studio Laloc

The image of an Farrow and Ball's Calluna product
Farrow and Ball's CallunaSHOP NOW

Best Pastel Green Paint Colors

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Photo courtesy of Ariel Okin

Photo courtesy of Salvesen Graham

For a Connection to Nature

Lichen by Farrow & Ball is a gentle sage green that works really well on exterior woodwork, as well as on spaces coming off the garden, like boot rooms and flower rooms. We find ourselves very drawn to green, as it is such an easy color to live with due to the fact that it is found in nature and feels incredibly familiar.” —Nicole Salvesen, Salvesen Graham

The image of an Farrow and Ball's Lichen product
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For Happy Vibes

Green Ground by Farrow & Ball is a happy, uplifting green with a creamy undertone that looks equally great in children's spaces as it does in sophisticated, grown-up spaces, like a breakfast nook.” —Ariel Okin

The image of an Farrow and Ball's Green Ground product
Farrow and Ball's Green GroundSHOP NOW

For a Neutral Backdrop

Antique Jade by Benjamin Moore is a nice soft sage—almost mint—green. A more muted green can really be used as a neutral backdrop for a more vibrant color, like red curtains and accessories. I do tend to use greens and blues as predominant colors because they blend so nicely in the background. I let the yellows, reds, and other colors appear in smaller quantities and pop.” —Meta Coleman

The image of an Benjamin Moore's Antique Jade product
Benjamin Moore's Antique JadeSHOP NOW

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