Over the years people have become more adventurous in the way that they decorate their homes. I am not talking about rag rolling walls or inviting the Changing Rooms team over, those things are best left forgotten. No I am talking about colour. I love bold colours and fully believe that they can, and do work in smaller homes and dark homes just as well as they do in large airy mansions. During this colour revolution something has happened neutrals have become a dirty word that you only use if you are old and out of date, if your homes are boring and dare I say it awash with magnolia and beige. The fact of the matter is neutrals don’t have to be dull. We are all on board that crisp bright white walls are a dramatic backdrop to colour and interest but that does not mean that off white tones have make your home into nothing more than a page in the Argos catalogue, no you can still have a tip top well designed space, and I will show you how.
Firstly, what do we mean by neutral colours? In actual fact neutral colours include black and white but when we are talking in decorating terms we tend to mean earthy tones and greys. It is possible to create interest with these shades as they all carry undertones of stronger colours, they are just more subtle. Why use a neutral colour palette? Using a neutral backdrop can allow your accessories and statement pieces to pop as they are not competing with anything. Texture can become lost in a bold room but earthy tones give centre stage to knotted woods, woolen throws and velvet cushions.
I teamed up with Pride & Joy paints to show you just how much you can achieve with a neutral colour pallet. Pride & Joy is a Scandinavian brand that is available in Europe and the UK. This family run Finish company with a strong environmental policy which is very important to me when I look at companies I want to talk about on my blog and that choosing products I will use in my home. They offer an astounding 769 shades so narrowing my choice down was a hard task indeed.
Each sample pot arrives in the most wonderful of boxes a testament to the quality of the product held inside. The sample cards are arranged into colour families; Greens, Blues, Golds, Vibrant, Corals, Greys & Neutrals. Doing this allows you to quickly see what is available in any colour way. On the back of each colour chart is information about the paint finishes available.
ALWAYS buy sample pots before jumping in. I wrote always in capitals to show just how important I think it is. I have had people say to me that sample pots are a waste of money but I would argue that investing in paint for a whole room only to find that now it is dry it is not right is a bigger waste of money. Looking at colour charts, in person or online is just a guide to help you narrow down your choice the paint is always different and will look different depending on the light in your room. I begin by painting my sample pots onto sturdy white card. I then pain 3-4 sizable squares of lining paper with the colour. On the back I write the colour name or code, (this is an important step). I pin or tape the squares of painted lining paper to the 3-4 of the walls in the room to see how the colour looks in different light throughout the day. Then I get to play with the small paint chips I have created.
All colours play off the colours around them but this is especially true when it comes to neutrals. Move your paint chips around and place them next to key piece such as dark sideboards or the sofa. See how they change when you place them on a piece of painted furniture. How do they look on pale wood? Place them next to one another to see how they change.
Placing them next to one another in different combinations helps you to see the subtle differences in the tone. Is it warm? Cool? Does the colour have a yellow base?
So now you have used my advice to see how the colours look against your furniture and play with the light in your room it is time to make your neutral room anything but dull.
The room above uses a tone similar to Pride & Joy on the walls this off white shade works as a backdrop to various shades of wood and other natural materials such as sheepskin throws, leather chairs and a rattan side table and hammock. Large house plants add to this earthy look. The muted jeweled shades in the kilim rug warms up the room.
Above is a further example of off white being paired with rich earthy tones and textures to leave you with a statement room and a far cry from a boring magnolia room.
Both of the images above are stunning examples of how the spoils from your travels can work against a neutral colour scheme. You can gather items from around the world and they will work in perfect harmony in a neutral room.
Whilst I often use brightly coloured accessories in a vibrant room when placed in a neutral room they really pop.
If you are worried about a neutral colour scheme will lack a warm feel or be reminiscent of those soulless rented houses you want to leave far behind then fear not. Fill your home with memories, family photos, mementos and trinkets.
Thank you for looking at neutral in a new light with and thank you to Pride & Joy Paints for teaming with Archie and The Rug for this post. I cannot wait to show you how I finish my neutral room.