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What are the names of pastel reds?

What are the names of pastel reds?

Pastel reds are soft, light shades of red that have a muted, subtle appearance. Compared to bold, bright reds, pastel reds have a more delicate and understated look. While there are no definitive or “official” names for the range of pastel reds, some common names used to describe these colors include peach, salmon, coral, melon, rose, blush, and carnation.

Common Pastel Reds

Here are some of the most common and recognized names used to describe pastel shades of red:

  • Peach – A pale, soft pinkish-orange. Peach is lighter and more muted than the fruit of the same name.
  • Salmon – A light pinkish-orange reminiscent of the color of salmon flesh. Slightly more orange/pink than peach.
  • Coral – A warm pinkish-orange that takes its name from ocean coral. Brighter than salmon.
  • Melon – A pale orange-pink, similar to the inside of a cantaloupe or watermelon.
  • Rose – A soft, dusty pink tone named after the rose flower. Lighter than a true pink.
  • Blush – A delicate, pale pink with hints of peach. Evokes a natural flesh tone or blush color.
  • Carnation – A very light pinkish-red named after carnations. Sometimes described as “barely pink.”

These names describe a range of pastel reds from pinkish-orange peach shades to pale pinks like rose and blush. While the colors overlap, the names help distinguish subtle differences in hue and intensity.

Origins of Pastel Red Names

Most pastel red names are derived from familiar objects in nature that exhibit similar colors. For example:

  • Peach, melon, coral, and salmon are named after fruits and ocean animals.
  • Rose and carnation are named after pinkish-red flowers.
  • Blush evokes the natural color of skin when flushed.

These natural inspirations provided familiar color associations that helped name the range of pinkish-red hues. Other pastel reds are given creative color names like “whisper pink” and “bashful pink” to evoke their soft, subtle nature.

Defining Pastel Reds

While subjective, pastel reds can generally be defined as having the following color qualities:

  • High value – Very light, near white
  • Low saturation – Muted, not fully saturated color
  • Pinkish-red hue – Ranging from orange-pink to pink

For example, a bright, fully saturated red would be considered a pure red. Pastel reds are lighter, softer, and less intense versions of this. They often contain tints of white or pink mixed into the red to create a delicate effect.

Common Uses for Pastel Reds

The soft, subtle nature of pastel reds lends them to many uses, including:

  • Women’s fashion – Blush pinks, rose, peach and coral are popular for feminine clothing.
  • Makeup – Lipsticks, blushes, and eyeshadows come in pastel pinks and peaches.
  • Home decor – Used to create a soft, welcoming vibe. Popular for nurseries.
  • Weddings – Rose, blush, and carnation shades complement wedding themes.
  • Pastries – Used in icing for cakes, cupcakes, and other treats.

Pastel reds pair beautifully with metallics like gold and rose gold. Their muted quality provides an elegant counterpoint to dark greys and blacks. In fashion and interior design, pastel reds inject a subtle energy into otherwise neutral palettes.

Pastel Reds in Design Systems

Many color design systems like Pantone and Sherwin-Williams name and categorize colors, including pastel reds. Here are some examples:

Color System Pastel Red Names
Pantone Pale Dogwood, Peach Echo, Coral Cloud, Guava, Pink Cloud
Sherwin-Williams Mellow Coral, Chatroom Peach, Blush Pink
Benjamin Moore Blush, Sunset Peach, Early Dawn

These standardized colors allow for consistent use across products like paint, fabric, plastics, and digital design. Pastel reds are widely represented, showing their popularity across industries.

Using Pastel Reds in Interior Design

Pastel reds bring warmth and vibrancy to interior spaces in subtle, sophisticated ways. Here are some tips for effectively using them in home decor:

  • Consider undertones – Pinkish reds pair well with warm metals and wood tones. Orangish reds complement cool grays and blues.
  • Use as accents – Throw pillows, lampshades, and area rugs in pastel reds provide pops of color.
  • Combine tones – Layer different pastel reds together for depth. For example, walls in peach and furnishings in salmon.
  • Watch light sources – Pastels look best in natural light. Incorporate lamps and skylights to maximize their softness.
  • Add patterns – Floral prints and geometric shapes in pastel reds can make dynamic focal points.

When used thoughtfully, pastel reds create welcoming, polished environments. Their versatility allows them to fit seamlessly into designs ranging from modern to traditional.

Pastel Reds in Fashion

Within the fashion world, pastel reds are a perennial favorite for their romantic, feminine appeal. They pair beautifully with other soft neutrals like greys, creams, and metallics. Here are some effective ways to wear pastel reds:

  • Solid dresses – A simple rose sheath dress is an elegant option.
  • Prints and florals – Blush pinks and corals make lively printed skirts and blouses.
  • colorblocking – Pair a peach top with a navy skirt for a bold colorblocked look.
  • Accessories – Salmon shoes and handbags act as neutral accents.
  • Layering – Add a peach cardigan over a white sundress.
  • Lingerie and loungewear – Delicate peach and blush lingerie has a romantic vibe.

Pastel reds have mass appeal but also feel special for formal occasions and black tie events. They transitions seamlessly from day to night.

Choosing Paint Colors in Pastel Reds

When selecting pastel red paints, it helps to understand the differences between hues. Here are some considerations when choosing paint colors:

  • Peach – Warmer, works well in sunny rooms and with wood tones. Uplifting and friendly.
  • Coral – Also warm but brighter, pairs with blues. Stimulating and fun.
  • Salmon – Versatile soft orange-pink, especially soothing in bedrooms.
  • Blush – Romantic pink with subtle complexity, great for dining rooms.
  • Rose – Traditional pink tone, feminine and graceful in living spaces.

Test swatches at different times of day. Pastels can pull tones from nearby colors. Allow enough room in the budget for multiple gallons to get sufficient coverage with lighter paints.

Pastel Red Gemstones

Certain gemstones exhibit pastel shades of red and pink. These delicate stones are softer alternatives to rich rubies and garnets. Popular pastel red gems include:

  • Rhodolite – A purple/pink garnet with a raspberry tone.
  • Rubellite – The pink variety of tourmaline.
  • Pezzottaite – Nicknamed “raspberry beryl” for its pinkish-red color.
  • Morganite – A blush-colored beryl gem.
  • Kunzite – Pale pink stones from the spodumene mineral family.

These gems make unique statement pieces and engagement rings. Faceted cutting enhances their rosy luminosity. Pastel red stones complement both yellow and white metals.

Comparing Pastel and Bright Reds

While both eye-catching, pastel and bright reds have very different effects:

Pastel Reds Bright Reds
Soft, muted Saturated, intense
Subtle, elegant Bold, energetic
More pinkish Blue-based true red
Versatile neutral Pronounced statement

While bright reds grab attention, pastel reds blend in effortlessly while still adding a pop of color. Their versatility makes them suitable for those who prefer understated looks.


Pastel reds encompass a range of soft pinkish hues including peach, rose, coral, and carnation. Muted and delicate, they provide subtle pops of color to fashion, interiors, jewelry, and more. With their romantic versatile appeal, pastel reds offer elegant possibilities across many aesthetics and tastes.