Danish Pastel Takes a Colorful Twist on Scandinavian Style

Here's how to decorate with the bright pastel trend that's everywhere right now.

When it comes to decorating trends, there's certainly no shortage of creative ideas, whether you prefer the whimsigoth, old money, or Barbiecore aesthetic (to name a few). But one style is filling social media feeds with everything soft, colorful, and cute. Enter: Danish pastel.

This aesthetic first popped up around 2020, appearing both in home design and fashion. The style was first common in home offices or bedroom desk setups, but it has since expanded to the entire home. Danish pastel decor combines Scandinavian furniture and sweet pastels for a quirky yet cozy aesthetic. 

danish pastel closet

Maitri Mody

Even better, the items that pop up again and again in this style tend to be pretty affordable. TikTok and Pinterest users boast Danish pastel finds from Amazon and many items are $15 or less. Other home accessories, like wall art and storage bins, can be purchased in bulk for low prices. This affordability makes it easy to experiment with the Danish pastel trend and incorporate it into your current design with little risk. Here’s how to achieve the Danish pastel aesthetic in your home.

Pastel Colors

Color is the most important aspect of the Danish pastel trend. All subtly sweet shades work, but pink and green are especially popular. Whether showcased on throw pillows, storage crates, or wall art, pastels should be the main focus. These colors can help boost your mood and create a feeling of optimism.

Try to avoid patterns that are too big or busy, but don’t shy away from softer prints like gingham. Emma Preston, owner of Florescence Store, recommends experimenting with many different colors and textures to find what you like best. "Once you figure out what you like, it gets a whole lot easier," Preston says. Pair bright pastels with white walls and furniture, or sprinkle in touches of light wood for warmth while maintaining a minimalist backdrop.

danish pastel candles and lamp

Courtesy of Emma Preston

Funky Shapes

Wavy accessories and spiral candles are common in Danish pastel style. These fun swirled shapes add a sense of whimsy and playfulness that pairs well with the saccharine color scheme. Seashell motifs in the form of pillows, coasters, jewelry dishes, or even furniture like couches and headboards are another favorite feature. These abstract and nature-themed shapes can be incorporated into almost any aspect of your decor. The more unconventional, the better!

danish pastel desk with storage crates

Courtesy of Emma Preston

Minimalist Spaces

Trying to practice minimalism but don’t want to sacrifice a space that reflects your personality? Danish pastel might be the answer you're looking for. While the design style can lean toward maximalism, it also lends itself to bright, open spaces. "I think with pastels and lighter colors, it's easier to use more colors and still make the place look fresh, easy on the eye, and decluttered," says content creator Maitri Mody (@honeyidressedthepug on Instagram).

Danish pastel spaces also tend to be very organized. Create the cozy pastel look with just a few pillows, a throw blanket, or coffee table accents. Items like small crates and desktop organizers (in pastel colors, of course) can be used in your home office, kitchen, or bathroom to help tidy things up.

danish pastel kitchen with pug art

Courtesy of Maitri Mody

Wall Art

When it comes to walls, opt for prints rather than paint. Incorporate artwork with matte colors and clean, abstract lines. Look to the works of Henri Mattise or Pablo Picasso for inspiration. Floral and fruit prints are also common, especially tulips, daisies, strawberries, and oranges. Arrange artwork in a gallery wall or let individual pieces stand alone. You can also incorporate small mirrors, floating shelves for vases or your favorite books, and houseplants to create an exciting display. And don’t worry if you don’t have frames; most Danish pastel rooms feature unframed posters or prints.

danish pastel desk

Courtesy of Maitri Mody

Scandinavian Furniture

Because the Danish pastel aesthetic includes so many bright colors and fun shapes, simpler Scandinavian-style furniture helps create balance. "The Danish pastel design is unique as it takes a bold and colorful approach to traditional Scandinavian-inspired interiors, which typically focus on bright white tones and wooden textures," Preston says.

Scandinavian design promotes a less-is-more mentality, with functional furnishings and accessories that feature clean lines. A foundation of neutral furniture gives you the opportunity to play with pastels without the fear of clashing colors. Of course, there's always room for a pink chair or green sofa—just make sure the rest of your interior design stays simple.

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