When it comes to interiors, though, there have been times when pale has been distinctly less than riveting. But then along came 2014, and a new look for lighter shades that has given them a genuinely new lease of life, especially when teamed with the appropriate made to measure blind.
As a result, pastel shades are the subtle charmers of the elegant designer’s palette at the moment.
What gave sherbet shades a boost earlier this year was a thumbs-up from fashion gurus including Roberto Cavalli and Nina Ricci, who filled their catwalks with buttercups and baby blues, pistachios and pinks.
Many of these shades, while undeniably pastel, have plenty of pop, and teamed with spotless neutrals they look simply delicious.
In the living room, pastels can create a timeless, serene feel that works well both during the day and in the evening. Texture is important to create a sense of luxury, so add rough-pile rugs and driftwood lamps to take the smooth edge off these silky shades.
Highlight a cream linen sofa with pastel cushions – with delicate shades like this, you really have little problem with colours clashing, so you can choose from a pale rainbow of shades and pile them high.
You don’t have to restrain pastels to accessories, though – the lemon chair from Tesco would make a sweet little statement in the corner of any room, and it’s unusual enough to be eye-catching.
Pastels are a natural choice in the bedroom, of course, where they make a pretty room that speaks of comfort. They’re definitely on the delicate side, but create a fresh atmosphere that makes the room a tranquil place to be.
You can have a bit of fun with pastels, too – we love the Birdhouse wallpaper from Pierre et Coco with its quirky design.
This would work well as a feature wall in most rooms, with the colours picked out in accessories.
Another fun item is the suitcase storage from Oliver Bonas, piled up and pretty – who could resist?
Pastels even come up to scratch in the kitchen, where they bring to mind icing and cupcakes, sweeties and candyfloss.
We love the jolly wall hooks from dotcomgiftshop made out of cooking implements – really different!
Neutrals are always popular in our homes, and for good reason – they create a soothing ambience that allows us to relax without too much going on around us visually.
But if neutrals seem a little too monotone for you, take the plunge and reach for the pastels. Like neutrals, they have a serene appeal that’s timeless and easy on the eye, but with a dash of added interest. When we’re surrounded by ice-cream shades, it’s easy to chill out.