Into Color – 2013 Chalky Pastel Color Trends

Chalky pastel tones – these make me want an espresso and a macaroon! Image via Leifblog.

Yesterday I discovered the Leif e-store’s blog, which featured not only the image above, but color the like’s of which I have never seen – I have a link at the bottom and you should all see this – but first let’s mono-focus on the chalky color trend above! This is new for 2013, but old news to the trade, introduced in Pantone‘s Fashion Color Forecast in February – but the chalk idea is new and unique. Color forecasts are exciting and interesting, but the interpretations and concepts used to generate them simply enthrall me!

Pastels with Opulent finishes are 2012 – 2013 eye candy!image from Pantone Color Trends for Fall-Winter 2112 – 2013 – image via Pantone 2013 Pantone Fashion Forecast

I particularly love an idea that when you hear it, begs you to cock your head and self-proclaim – “wow, that’s really true….I never thought of it that way!” Chalk colors are just such an idea – in part because I was struck with a Pavlovian imprint at the introduction of the image above – not the ceramic aspect, but the glossy finish! I spend my professional life guarding myself against static imprints, but a good enough image, particularly one that plays to my preferences can still find the soft under-belly in my design armor – and cause me to overlook obvious and equally viable interpretations like the image below; even though origami is also one of my great loves!

Peripheral – my favorite! image from Pantone Color Trends for Fall-Winter 2112 – 2013

So if I ignore the finish all together and focus on the “chalky” shades themselves, my first impression is that of the French interpretation of pastels. This in turn drew me metally to the image that when I first encountered it, struck me as the doorway that of all I have seen, beckoned me most fervently to cross the threshold – a completely emotional response. I found the chalky lilac exterior with its celery-gray painted trim and its relationship to the pinky-blue-grey slate to be an overwhelming invitation to explore.

An antique store in Grasse France – image via

Sadly I can’t go today, but when I looked Ateliers des Augustins online, I was greeted by the image that is undoubtedly the ardent designer’s first glimpse beyond the pearly gates….

A reuphotstered antique treasure from Ateliers des Augustins Prestige Collection that resides behind their welcoming store front.

Neither entirely matte (like chalk) nor glossy, this re-purposed antique glad in pastel nector of the Gods in manna from heaven – yet even heaven has its drawbacks. You know what they say about one-man’s heaven….few men would consider this heaven, and the flames of the other side intrude on my fantasy when I consider the thought of any of my kids sitting on this angelic settee…

Let’s face it -macaroon wall color and precious furnishings are the domain of a the ultra-feminine abode.

pastel French style dining room – image, not surprisingly via roomenvyblog

This is perfect for some, but leaves others (including myself) pressed against the window of longing (conjuring images of “Its’ a Wonderful Life”) wishing it could work for me…

image via homestylingblogspot

vintage kitchen – House to Home UK

But there is hope! By mixing those chalky pastels in with the neutral grays and unfinished maple organics favored by he, she and family you can create vignettes of the colors you love. Not having it all is at the foundation of successful compromise – and compromise in the form of vignettes and accents can work for everyone!

image via homestylingblogspot

Accents create those chalky and feminine moments of renewal in a shared landscape of gender neutral living – just narrow your lens to make your vision more portable.

LadurĂ©e confectionery and inspirational eye candy – petiteparisbedbreakfast

Here are some chalky pastel finds in the Patone 2013 color trend range that will beckon you to pastel moments every time you walk past or create an entertainment focused table story.

Some mid-century collectables have a French edge.

Vintage Rosenthal Coffee Pot with Pastel Leaves – chixycocoa

Antiques blend in with a French look like creme and berries – if you act quick this cruet could be yours for $199 from OneKingsLane.

Antique Ridgway Drabware Cruet circa 1840 – image from

Vintage China Tea Set in Pastel Pink – Royal Crown, Trentham Bone China – peonyandthistle etsy store

or go chalky modern and whimsical…

Areaware Pig Bank –

or geometric and cheat with some contrastring colors,

or chalky pastel organic.

ginger root sculpture from Leif

And get some color inspiration at the Leif Blog, too!