A neutral colour palette doesn’t have to mean bland and boring. In fact it can be as cosy and comforting as a home filled with colour. Just a little easier on the eye. So if you are craving a calm and sophisticated interior, there are just a few design tricks you need to follow. The result will be a home that looks interesting, considered, warm and neutral.
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Use Contrasting Colours
Image: Crystal 3 Seater, Corner, and 3 Seater Sofa in a Pellier Charcoal and Denny Steel Mix from Sofology.
There are some successful interiors that rely on a monotone palette, but a sea of beige is not for me. My eye seems to crave contrast, and needs to see dark and light balanced out. Try to avoid a stark black and white colour palette if you can. This often looks hard, and the opposite of welcoming. The neutral shades that seem to work best are off-white, cream, beige, grey, and all shades of brown. Mix them up, layer them, and work out what suits you.
Start with a mood board. Add paint colours, texiles, furniture pictures, accessories, wallpaper samples and inspirational images. You will soon see the combinations that you like the best. Add things in the correct proportion relative to the space they will take up in a room. Then add and subtract until you find a combination that you love.
Add Natural Textures
Image: Set of 3 Brown Woodchip Baskets from Layered Lounge.
Nothing adds warmth more than natural textures. Dark wood went out of fashion for a very long time, but now it’s back! Wood adds gravity, longevity and history to a room, especially if it is an old piece. Baskets, jute rugs, rope, wicker and rattan add warmth and texture. Plus they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other materials. Linen, wool, and crisp cotton all add comfort and instant sophistications.
Mix in a Little Subtle Pattern
Image: Oka UK.
A room without colour (even with ample different textures) can sometimes look a litte flat without some subtle pattern. Like a wall without art. It doesn’t have to be much. Maybe a rug, a few cushions. If you keep the colours within the pattern the same as the rest of the colours in the room, it will not jump out at you. Rather it will complement, blend in, and add interest.
Layer, Layer, Layer
Image: Sandro 3 Seater, Corner, 1.5 Seater Terminal, Calamine from Sofology.
Comfort is key in any room, and even more so when the colour palette is limited. Add rugs, cushions, and throws to add colour contrast, texture and comfort.
Don’t Forget Accessories
Image: Pearl Tableware Range from Layered Lounge.
Accessories add personality to your home. They tell the story of your life to visitors, and provide memories and comfort to you and your family. Display them. In a neutral room you may still want to limit the colour palette (you can always save brighter colours for other rooms – or the childrens’s rooms) but play around with your shelf displays until you are happy with the composition. It may not happen straight away. Books will always make a room look inviting and lived-in, and flowers and plants will reflect the changing seasons.