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The dreary walls of the corridors and wards in the paediatric section of Tygerberg hospital did little to liven up the space or foster an environment conducive to healing. It’s little wonder then that the introduction of a new pastel palette has had a hugely beneficial affect on the state of mind of the children who spend time there.

Kerstin Eser, senior décor consultant at Plascon, and the brains behind the revamp, says that the hospital wanted to move away from the traditional cartoon character murals. “Staff felt that these characters can sometimes be scary for children,” she says. “With input from the hospital we decided that a soft pastel palette would create a fresh and calming space.”

The project will see the majority of the walls painted in Plascon Lagoon Mirror (EC3), an off-white shade with a blue-grey undertone, in keeping with the plan to move away from institutional yellow or cream. 

We have created a frame of colour around each door, not only to bring in new hues but also to identify each ward,” explains Kerstin. “Each ward has been painted in a different shade to subtly brighten up the space and make the rooms look less clinical, less hospital-like.”

The choice of pastels makes perfect sense because these cool hues – provided the shades selected are not too frosty – are calming and add a sense of tranquillity – just the thing to put little patients at ease.

“Pastels are a good choice,” says Anne Roselt, Global Colour Manager at Plascon. “Pink is perfect, and not just for little girls. It has a nurturing and pacifying effect and creates a feeling of security. Gentle shades of blue foster peace and relaxation, while soft greens are both nurturing and healing, making them the perfect soothing choice for gender-neutral spaces. The addition of shades of yellow to the mix will add warmth and happiness to the final look.”

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