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Ambiente: Pastel Power

Soft tones have a great strength – they don’t need to be loud to make a design statement. This is just what we need right now: a colour palette that gives a cool, refreshing and restrained touch to fashion and interiors, making everything look new, untouched and light. In short, pastel colours have all the attributes that make for a really great summer feel.

Dream team: clear lines and soft colours

Simple designs, graphic objects and reduced forms coated in pastel colours reminiscent of sugar icing provide a playful array of contrasts and are extremely popular in contemporary design. Stone, mirror glass and metal in a range of soft tones display an almost poetic tenderness. Take, for instance, the mint-coloured rim that brings a sense of freshness and lightness to the marble-look tray from Studio Lim/100 Percent. Another example can be seen in the rose detail of the solid porcelain tray from design label Caussa. The tray comprises two parts lying loosely next to each other that can also be arranged separately as two objects, and is an affectionate hommage to the architectural principle of the arch.


Pastel colours everywhere – playing with gentle tones

Delicate pastel shades are currently extremely popular in the world of fashion and interior design – not simply as single accent colours, but also as patterns and in colour gradients. Soft colour blocking works really well as a summery eye-catcher, as in the purses created by German bag label Zwei and the Italian statement sandals with block heels from Ebarrito.

Another strength of pastel colours is the limitless array of possibilities for combining with other colours – they always tend to adapt rather than dominate. Berlin-based designer Anna Badur has designed wall tiles with soft colour gradients that are as light and refreshing as the summer sky itself. By contrast, designer Karim Rashid is somewhat more adventurous. The bold use of colour is part of his DNA and with his futuristic product design he has been a regular guest at Ambiente over the years, working for various brands.

One of his current projects is the Eye Hotel in Bahrain, where he is using pastel colours to bring freshness to his typically fluid organic forms.

Anna Badur

The sweetness of stone: candy terrazzo

We’ve been observing and celebrating the comeback of the terrazzo look for several seasons now. Traditional stone chip patterns that have been used in floor tiles since antiquity are inspiring home accessories, textiles and furniture. This design classic is now getting numerous playful makeovers with pastel colour accents and is beginning to look more like a light shower of confetti than a heavy stone-based floor covering.

Israeli costume jewellery designer Shlomit Ofir experimented for a long time with her plastics producer until she had perfected a modern pastel interpretation of the terrazzo print and created an entire collection.

In the case of Danish design manufacturer Normann Copenhagen’s small terrazzo side table, the stone top is made of cement and marble chips using the original Italian method and placed on steel legs – a very classic design, available in sky blue. This pastel reinterpretation of terrazzo can be found all over the world, from the candlesticks created by Belgian Atelier Pierre, to the Finnish cutting boards from Muurla, to the interior design of the trendy Burleigh Pavilion beachfront bar on Australia’s Gold Coast.


1 Ambiente karim-rashid-soft-color-blocking-interior-pastel

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