The Insider: How to go neutral without going bland
Sunday 13 March 2011
Neutrals? Ach. Cream and beige are dull! But Pale & Interesting (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99, out now) could turn me. Its authors, Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote, are to neutral what Gok is to high street – so try their tips for exciting yet muted rooms...
Go off palette
Neutrals go beyond the obvious hues: think warm greys; soft, chalky whites; duck-egg blues.
Even whites can be "relaxed, warm and welcoming"; tongue-and-groove panelling softens things – and remember that "any room devoid of texture will feel hard and cold".
Just a splash
Gentle pastel hints and muted vintage brights prevent a washed-out look. A pretty 1930s dress on the back of a bedroom door is a simple way to introduce colour to a neutral palette – or prop a paint-peeling, reclaimed door against pale walls.
Bathroom from scratch? Consider a cast concrete bath and/or sink: the chalky-grey finish, rather than being cold and hard, adds a tactile quality – it's a bit Turkish hammam.
Improve proportions by painting walls co-ordinating colours; battleship grey on a pale pebble background, say, or different shades of off-white.
Fabric dye is a great way to refresh tired bed linen. Try Dylon's "antique grey" (dylon.co.uk).
Crisp and even
If you go for white sheets, liven up with a bolder wallpaper, such as the pale-blue Manuel Canovas design at Colefax and Fowler (manuelcanovas.com). Alternatively, soften with an antique eiderdown on top.
More, more, more
Find more inspiration – and do some shopping, at paleandinteresting.com.
Find Kate's blog on affordable interiorsat yourhomeislovely.blogspot.com
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
- 1 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...