The Danish Pastel, also known as the Pastel Scandi aesthetic has gained popularity on social media in recent years. A combination of minimalist Scandinavian design, muted pastel pops of color, and retro graphic patterns, the Danish Pastel design style is a fresh and bright way to decorate your home. We’re breaking down the essentials in achieving the Danish Pastel look in your home without the need for a full renovation, keep reading to find out!
First, what is Danish Pastel?
Scandinavia Standard describes Scandinavian design as being “characterized by a minimal, clean approach that seeks to combine functionality with beauty. Its focus is on simple lines and light spaces, devoid of clutter”. Whereas Scandinavian design typically achieves this minimal simplicity with muted earth tones, and clean decor, the Danish Pastel aesthetic incorporates, namely, pastel colors, graphic patterns, and funky retro decor. The Danish Pastel style seeks to breathe new colorful life into the at times lifeless rigidity of former Scandinavian design trends.
Get the Danish look
You can easily transform your space by adding a few touches of pastel here and there. You won’t have to replace any furniture or paint any walls, with just a few accessory swaps you can use Danish Pastel hints to enhance your living space. Keep reading for our top picks to achieve the Danish Pastel aesthetic through linens, decor, artwork, and other impactful accent pieces.
Pastel hue flowers
The easiest and most affordable way to dabble in the Danish Pastel aesthetic is to simply incorporate fresh flowers in muted pastels in the home. Tulips in particular capture the essence of Danish Pastel because of the abundance of tulips in Denmark. The Danes love for tulips is expressed in the home, and with tulips being one of the most affordable flowers, it’s a trend you can easily implement in your home. Try pairing tulips with a simple glass vase, or a funky white or pastel textured or oblong vase.
Fun Fact: There is an annual Tulip Festival in Denmark every spring at the historic Gavnø castle celebrating the beautiful native flower. Also, Dutch immigrants are responsible for bringing tulips to the Americas!
Bold graphic patterns
While the original Scandinavian aesthetic featured solid and muted earth tones, the Danish Pastel style sees the incorporation of bright and graphic patterns throughout. Particularly in the form of a checkerboard. Checkerboard patterns can be found in decor, throw blankets, and pillowcases, but most impactfully in large area rugs. While a large rug in a dominating color pallet and pattern may be intimidating for some, the combination of neutral-toned furniture and clean lines makes this bold choice not overwhelming to the space. If you would rather ease into it, try a checkerboard patterned throw pillow or art print.
Dream of Demark’s tulips in new pastel bed linens. Swapping your duvet cover for a pastel-colored option is sure to give you the Danish Pastel feel. Try a pastel yellow bedspread that you can mix and match with white or other pastel tone pillowcases. Add some funky accent pillows and your room will be transformed. Alternatively, try a pastel throw blanket or some throw pillows if you’re not ready to part with your original bedspread.
Pops of pastel
If a new area rug or bedspread isn’t your style, you can implement pops of pastel colors in the home with bright and funky decor. Try a colorful vase, candle, flatware, or coaster to sprinkle a little color in your home. Not only are these accessories found in bright new colors, but in the Pastel Danish aesthetic they also often take on new and interesting shapes. Textured ceramics and decor can break up the monotony of minimalist home furnishing.
Candles, lots of candles
Candles are essential in the Pastel Danish aesthetic. Featured in bold colors and funky new shapes, these candles are less practical and more sculptural. Designer Lex Pott’s twisted candles for example have taken the internet by storm and have sparked the inspiration for a lot of DIYs. So if you don’t feel like breaking the bank with designer candles, you can still get the look through a DIY tutorial. Candles are a great way to fill your home with some color and unique character. We warn you however that you may not want to burn them because of how cute they look.
Bold art prints
Another simple way to incorporate the Danish Pastel aesthetic into your home is through the use of graphic art prints. A popular artist choice is 20th-century French painter, Matisse, for his bright color palette that matches the style perfectly. You can find a range of affordable prints online, or you could even create your own! Minimalist by nature, you can create your own simple designs using pastel-colored acrylic paint, or collage with craft paper. If your walls are already covered head to toe, you can also include coffee table books that match the palette.
Typically rigid decor takes on new and interesting shapes in the Danish Pastel style, including abandoning rectangular mirrors for irregularly shaped ones. Adding an accent mirror not only creates a unique look but also creates the illusion of more space. These groovy Danish-inspired mirrors can come in all shapes and sizes, and colors, to fit the needs of any room.
The most popular of all is designer Gustaf Westman’s ‘curvy mirror'. This now-famous mirror broke the internet last summer and has been popping up in homes across the world trying to achieve the Danish Pastel look. The unique mirror is framed in pistachio green wavy curves and stands at full length. This trendy item can cost a pretty penny so unless you’re ready to commit to the look, try a smaller version or a dupe.
Show off your new Danish Pastel space by illuminating every room with some quirky lamps. These mushroom-shaped glass lamps shown above are a popular option, featured in pastel greens, pinks, blues, and yellows they give off calming hues with a groovy and cute shape. Other popular motifs are round lamps with 80’s inspired folded paper shades and even seashell lamps with a glowing pearl at their center.
Breathing new life into the home
The Scandinavian design style has dominated much of popular design trends for the last several years. IKEA is just one example of how prevalent this style has become across the world, touting minimal and simplistic, but beautiful design for easy living. The Scandinavian emphasis on designing everything, utilitarian or decorative, with beauty in mind, is surely something we can appreciate.
However, minimalistic style trends of the last decade have been void of color, and some quirks as well. Many minimalists choose whites, beiges, blacks, and greys for their homes to create a simple environment. But, who says color can’t be minimal too? The Danish Pastel, or Pastel Scandi design aesthetic, while maintaining the minimal clean lines and clutter-free elements of Scandinavian design, invites a new place for color to take hold and decor to take on new adventurous shapes. The rigidity of grey-scale minimalism has been put aside and designers are having fun with their spaces again. If your home already has a muted color pallet you will have no issue throwing some Danish Pastel elements into the mix. But, if your home is already full of color and you still want to try the trend, go for it! Add some more color, or try a muted palette while still embracing the unique shapes of Danish Pastel decor.
If you want to breathe some new life into your minimal space, the Danish Pastel aesthetic is a great option. Not only is it extremely ‘instagrammable’, but it’s also accessible. There’s no need to swap out your furniture or paint your walls bright pink to achieve this look. By just adding a few colorful and funky decor accents, or new linens you can completely transform your space. Try one (or all) of our design essentials to attain this look and feel instantly transported.
- Scandinavia Standard. “What is Scandinavian Design?“
- Gavnø. “Denmarks largest Tulip Festival“
- Lex Pott. “TWIST“
- Domino. “The Mirror We’re Spotting in Every Stylish Swede’s Apartment“