I have been excited to introduce some new features to the Beatengreen blog and this Neutral Living post marks the second in the Home Style Collection that I have nicknamed the ‘Homing Instinct’.
The ‘Homing Instinct’ will be an evolving series of posts dedicated to unravelling our favourite interior design styles, ‘homing’ in on ways to identify our uniqueness and exploring avenues to personalise the popular trends.
These days a lot of us spend our time referring to apps that measure our steps, sleep & diet and are having to re-learn to trust our gut. By reducing our fixation on visual perfection and concentrating on how a room feels we can shape our interiors more organically.
(I like to think of this new feature as the home equivalent to mindfulness)
By using the 5 basic principles of each design and by maintaining focus on our instincts, we can start feeling the way to our most authentic home interiors yet.
If you love off-whites, soft greys, a mushy colour palette and natural materials this is your style.
Neutral living blends natural materials such as wicker, wood, wool and cotton with a drab palette of colours such as cool and warm greys, browns and beiges, creams and whites and soft subdued earthy tones with accents of mushy, muted pastels.
This style is epitomised by lazy, cozy living with squishy sofas, layered textures and a soft cushiony vibe. It’s an easy style with only a few important principles to follow for the most successful finish.
How to style your home ‘Neutral Living’
5 Basic Principles
This style adds a really soulful softness, offering sustainability in the natural materials, the chance to re-upholster or repaint existing furnishings and a great opportunity to concentrate on home comforts. However, this style also needs a gentle, considered balance between colour, texture and materials.
1) Use a narrow colour palette
The most successful colour palette blends a selection of neutrals and muted colour-ways with just enough diversity to add an interestingly layered scheme. Try to include the widest range of colours within this restricted palette for the most sumptuous affect. Too much contrast and the Neutral Living style spills into Bold & Beautiful, but not enough files it in the Pale & Interesting category.
2) Build gently contrasting layers for added interest
A gentle contrast is where each layer echos the one underneath rather than starkly contrasting it. For instance, layer a giant cable knit woollen throw over a fine knit blanket, on top of slubby linen sheets. Or alternatively, add a textured bobble rug on top of a neutrally painted or natural wooden floor, loop pile carpet or flat weave area rug. With such a narrow colour palette these layers are essential for adding the feel of cozy abundance.
3) Use a pale backdrop, subdued feature walls and mini print wallpapers
By sticking to a pale and fresh backdrop, this gently contrasting colour palette is brought to life. Avoid brilliants whites and instead opt for off-whites to provide a mellow canvass. If you decide to use colour blocking make sure to choose pale-to-mid tone neutrals just one shade darker than your overall colour palette. This will ensure that you ‘ground’ the room without deviating from the soft, alluring vibes. Wallpapers should be simple mini prints or basic geometrics.
4) Add natural features and elements
This scheme works really well with injections of natural materials such as glass, wood, wicker, wool, linen and cotton. Use glass vases, lamp shade bases and candle holders. Look for bleached, blonde or pale wooden furnishings and picture frames. Add pale wicker or grass in the form of planters, storage baskets or bags. Macrame and simple plants such as succulents work really well in a Neutral Living design.
5) Keep it Simple
Keep patterns simple and opt for subtle features such as ticking and stripes, simple geometric patterns or mini prints in a monochrome palette. Use tassels, fringes and pom poms to add texture but keep the quantity measured. Keep metal fittings such as desks lamps or pendant lamps plain, in brushed rather than polished finishes. Use artwork with wide mounts or minimalist content.
(NB: Use your instincts and feelings to shape this interior as well as fashion and trend.)
GET THE LOOK with this Free Mood Board!
including my hand picked selection of high street products.
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You might be interested to read about the Old and New style, and here are some other upcoming styles in the Homing Instinct feature, including links to their Pinterest board counterparts…
The Home Style Collection
Bright bazaar, Kinfolk Home, Modern Eclectic, Globally inspired, Scandi classic, Coastal Decor, Easy contemporary, Thrifty Decor, Naturally inspired, Soulful minimalism, Modern Boho, Bold & beautiful, Pale and interesting, Soft industrial, Simple Vintage, Muted mode