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Pastel vs Muted Colors – Difference Between Pastel and Muted Colors

ByZubair Ahmed

Jan 30, 2023
Pastel vs Muted Colors - Difference Between Pastel and Muted Colors

Speaking of colors, Pastel and Muted colors are a great way to add subtle color to your home. Pastels are soft, light shades that can bring a sense of serenity and peace to any room. Muted colors have a softer, more subdued hue than bright colors and they help create an atmosphere of calmness. These tones can be used in any color palette and they are perfect for creating a soothing aesthetic. Pastel colors are also great for layering with other colors, as they provide an interesting contrast which can add depth to your design. 

With its ability to create a relaxing feel, pastel and muted colors have become increasingly popular in both residential and commercial spaces. Whether you’re looking to add a hint of color to your living room or are creating an inviting restaurant atmosphere, these colors can be a great choice. Pastel and muted tones provide the perfect balance between subtlety and vibrancy that can bring any space to life. Let’s dig deeper to have a better picture of what the Pastel and Muted colors are and differentiate pastel vs muted colors.

Muted Colors:

Muted colors are typically a combination of two or more colors that have been blended together to create a softer, calmer color combination. They often contain both warm and cool tones, as well as muted shades of browns, grays and beiges. Muted colors are ideal for creating an atmosphere that is calming and relaxing, making them perfect for use in bedrooms and other spaces where one wants to feel relaxed. They can also be used to create a sophisticated yet subtle look.

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When using muted colors in interior design it’s important to remember balance and harmony; too much muted color can make a space seem dull so it’s best to combine these with vibrant accent pieces or pops of color. The same goes for other elements such as furniture, rugs and artwork; muted colors can provide a great backdrop for more bold pieces. Whether you’re looking to create an atmosphere or something more sleek and modern, using muted colors is the perfect way to bring your vision to life.

Pros & Cons of Muted Colors:

Pros of Muted Colors:

  • Subtle, yet stylish: muted colors can provide a subtle yet stylish look to any room or space. These colors have an understated quality that can make the area appear more sophisticated and upscale.
  • Versatile: muted colors are highly versatile and can be used in nearly any interior design style. From modern to traditional, these colors will fit in seamlessly with any design scheme.
  • Promotes Relaxation: muted colors are known to promote relaxation, which is why they’re often used in spas and yoga studios. The soft, calming hues can help people feel more at ease and less stressed out.
  • Low-Maintenance: when compared to bright and vibrant colors, muted tones require much less maintenance. They won’t need to be touched up as often since their hue doesn’t change significantly over time.

Cons of Muted Colors:

  • Too Boring: having too many muted colors in one space could make it seem plain or drab. If you want your room to stand out, you may want to incorporate some brighter hues in the mix. 
  • Difficult to Incorporate Accent Colors: if you use mostly muted tones throughout your space, then it might be difficult to find accent pieces that match well with the rest of the decor. This lack of contrast could create an uninteresting look altogether. 
  • May Appear Dated: depending on the style of muted color, they can sometimes give off a dated vibe when incorporated into certain interior design styles – such as bohemian or shabby chic – which don’t really work with contemporary trends anymore.
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Pastel Colors:

While on the other hand, Pastel colors are pale, subdued shades of various hues. They are typically created by mixing white or light gray with a primary color. Soft and subtle, pastels create a calming and gentle atmosphere that is visually pleasing to the eye. The use of these soft shades has become popular in recent years due to their versatility in both interior design and fashion. Pastels can be used to create a range of looks from modern chic to classic vintage. 

Pastel colors are an ideal choice for nurseries or other child-friendly spaces due to their calming nature. They can also be used to add some visual interest in a neutral palette, as they tend to stand out against lighter backgrounds. Because of the wide range of shades available, pastels work well with any color and can help create balance in a room. No matter how you choose to incorporate them into your home or closet, pastel colors will always be sure to add a touch of elegance and charm.

Pros & Cons of Pastel Colors:

Pros of Pastel Colors:

  • Soft and gentle colors that are calming.
  • Can work with any type of home decor.
  • Pastels can make a room feel larger without sacrificing many colors.
  • Works well with white, ivory, cream or beige walls or furniture.
  • Easily blended in different shades to create interesting wall art or patterns on furniture pieces.

Cons of Pastel Colors:

  • Can look too feminine if used in excessive amounts.
  • Limited to certain types of rooms and themes due to their softness and subtlety.
  • Some colors may appear washed out when paired together in large quantities.
  • Difficult to match with other colors as pastel colors tend not to be
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Key Differences Between Pastel and Muted Colors

Key differences between Pastel and Muted colors are;

  1. Pastel colors are generally softer and lighter than Muted colors. 
  2. Pastel also has a more airy, dreamy feel due to its lightness. Muted colors are usually darker, with less saturation than Pastel colors. 
  3. Pastels often contains muted versions of traditional hues or tints, such as grayed-down blues or greens. The combination of these attributes gives Muted colors an aged, subtle look compared to the playfulness of Pastel colors. 


While both color palettes can be used in a variety of settings, the key differences lie in the amount of saturation and brightness each palette offers. A well-timed use of either can create beautiful designs for any project.

By Zubair Ahmed

Welcome to my website, and thank you for taking the time to learn more about me. My name is Zubair Ahmed, and I am a professional website writer with over five years of experience in creating high-quality content for websites.

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