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Opening Times (GMT): Mon to Thur - 8:30 - 5:00 Fri - 8:30 - 4:00
Kitchen and bathrooms are moving away from being simply functional and are becoming luxurious spaces where we spend more time doing non-essential activities. Once purely practical, the kitchen is now a more open plan space, featuring a blend of cooking, dining and general entertaining areas. Kitchen islands have become the hub of the home, a place to congregate and chat to guests. But a bigger kitchen and more entertaining can mean a whole lot more cabinetry. This can be very imposing in the universally popular and very on-trend darker colours, or too cold or bright when in white.
The use of soft or pastel tones is a great alternative to the polar opposites of light or dark. For some, pastels evoke images of little limpet-like homes clinging to the rocky hillside along Italy's Amalfi Coast. For others, it is the sun-bleached beach huts of England's south coast. Pastel colours can make you feel warm and fuzzy, and bring a gentle smile to anyone's face.
Credit: Light Locations
Once popular in 1950s kitchens, pastels add a subtle mood and ambiance to a room. So what’s the best way to integrate pastel colours into your kitchen? This would depend on how much you love colour. The on-trend approach is to choose new pastel cabinetry like these hand-painted kitchens by Naked, or alternatively, to repaint old cabinets in the latest pastel colours. Farrow & Ball produce a cabinet paint line called Middleton Pink, and Citrona is their contemporary take on a true chartreuse. This wonderful colour is part of a new California Collection – created in collaboration with the inimitable Kelly Wearstler. The beautiful yellow does exactly what it says on the tin and brings the feel-good glow of the Californian sunshine into your kitchen.
When it comes to the walls, try opting for the same pastel tone on the walls as the cabinets, rather than the orthodox approach of selecting colours that either compliment or contrast the cabinets. The monochromatic approach is very on-trend at the moment, but risks feeling oppressive in darker colours. Using pastels overcomes this problem by having the opposite effect; creating bright happy spaces that make you smile. The thing we love most about monochrome schemes is how they make a crisp-white Shaws sink really pop.
If you’d rather not change your cabinetry, you could always change what sits in and around it. Go for lots of little soft-pops with pastel-coloured accessories like crockery, or Arne Jacobsen’s iconic dining chairs by Fritz Hansen. They have enlisted Italian curator Carla Sozzani to reimagine them in a pastel palette.
Appliances are now available in soft colours, like the new bespoke refrigerator by Samsung. Another great way to introduce a pastel explosion into a dark grey kitchen is to go for one high-ticket statement item that will be a focal point. For example, there would be no stopping this Rose Quartz, Vezelay Classic range cooker by Lacanche from being the talking point over dinner.
For those of us of a certain age, pastel bathrooms evoke memories of the 1970s with its preference for avocado baths, lemon sinks and pink shag-pile carpets. Yes, we did say bathroom carpet! To reassure you, bathroom design has moved on significantly since the 70s and has learnt from its mistakes, and is now a much more sophisticated aesthetic!
The simple, circular design of our Aysgill sink is the perfect background for playful soft tones. Pastel colours work really well as large block colours because they are not too overpowering. A monochrome powder pink scheme, for example, could be made more interesting by adding textures in the same colour. Wooden shutters painted to match, complementing or contrasting the tiled areas, are a great way to inject more colour into your bathroom. The Barcelona 2 freestanding bath by Victoria + Albert comes in a wide choice of soft colours (from a total palette of 199 RAL colours) and a matt or gloss finish, depending on your taste.
There is currently a strong trend for being bold with colour and the great thing with pastels is you can be really bolder with the amount you use.
If you have a creative kitchen or bathroom featuring a Shaws product, we would love to see it.
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