Print Friendly and PDF

Decorate in neutral shades

A neutral backdrop of colour allows you to decorate a home in so many ways. Neutrals create an atmosphere that is calm and soothing, with a timeless sophistication that only these shades can achieve.


Lift up the mood with bold splashes of rich neutrals in chocolate brown and deep gold, or go for a more subtle look with tone-on-tone taupe, and then add pattern and texture via fabrics and accessories.

A graceful seating area is arranged in front of a window framed by linen panels with beaded trim. A chenille-covered chaise longue topped with a Greek key-patterned pillow is served by two tables: an airy acrylic tiered piece and a weightier mahogany side table illuminated by a Murano lamp from the 1950s in the room’s signature yellow accent hue.

The architecture of the master suite includes large windows on two walls, allowing streams of sunlight. Linen drapery panels patterned with grey embroidery hang from rods high above the tops of the windows, exaggerating their height. An array of crisp white and yellow bed linens make little noise, leaving an upholstered bench in citron-coloured velvet at the end of the bed as a call for attention. Tucked in one corner are an antique chest and a mirror made to look old.

Adding the right accessories to a room setting will give dimension to the neutral hues in your spaces.

Whatever neutral shade you choose, be it taupe or cream or grey, using colours from the same family adds a level of depth to the room. Incorporate the 60-30-10 principle to select paint colours for walls, trim, furnishings and accessories.

With no architectural feature in this room, a 19th-century Syrian wedding chest displays dazzling mother- of-pearl inlays. A landscape oil painting above the chest melts into the background.

The long stretches of windows in this sunroom made it an appealing place to be. Walls tinted in a warm, gentle dove grey and a taupe sisal rug with a contrasting Moroccan motif stitched into its ground enhance the calm mood of this space. Lacy stripes of flowers dance from end to end on the ceiling, leaving no surface ignored.

The casual seating arrangement includes a sofa with simple lines in luxurious grey velvet and a pair of graceful armchairs with white linen on their fronts and embroidered cotton on their backs. Tufting and contrasting grey piping add exquisite details. A tufted ottoman, also in white linen, marries the seating pieces.





Against the wall is an iron-and-brass Empire daybed with a regal corona. The panels flowing from the corona are fashioned from two fabrics - a linen also used on the Roman shades and upholstered walls and a grey linen used for the lining. The pleated corona is embellished with nailheads and a silk trim.

There used to be a time when grey was considered dull and boring, but today's greys are anything but. Shades of grey allow endless possibilities for decorating a home.

Sometimes less is more when choosing colour for home decorating. A soothing backdrop of warm greys and white provide a sense of sophisticated calm, while touches of red provide impact. Selecting a colourful accent allows you to change the look in a moment to match your mood.