Danish Pastel Decor: Appealing or Repellent? A Generational Debate

By Dale Hrabi and Nina Molina

AT A RECENT morning meeting, an editor at The Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section brought up an interior design trend divisive enough to spur sleepy staffers into either visceral hostility or love at first sight. The style, known as Danish Pastel and currently populating TikTok and Instagram, riffs irreverently on Scandinavian and midcentury-design. The look maintains its antecedent’s simple shapes but replaces the restrained palette of neutrals and natural wood with pastels. Midcentury mushroom lamps pop up in lavender and sage. Accessories have googly eyes.

Off Duty section editor Dale Hrabi narrowed his gaze, resisting this “cute-ification” of a classic style. Meanwhile, assistant editor Nina Molina, a Gen-Zer, cooed over the cheerful colors and cartoonish kitchenware.

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