Page 6

colour, pattern and texture

Enhancing neutrals I have a confession to make; in the past, I’ve been a little tough with neutral colour schemes and given them a bit of a bad wrap. I guess it’s because, over the years, I’ve seen endless spaces with walls and floors all decorated and coordinated in the same drab palette. Super boring! Neutrals fall into two categories: warm (think taupe, putty, brown and cream) and cool (think grey, blue, stone and white). So when decorating with this palette, the key is to mix the whole thing up – contrast electric blue with, say, taupe; neon lime green with grey; fluro pink with white. You also need to ramp up the interest through shape and texture. Start with the furniture. Partner a retro coffee table with a traditional chesterfield sofa, for example. Or marry a chunky wing back chair with a delicate curvaceous side table. Mix masculine and feminine: graceful and decorative with minimal and sleek. An interplay of different fabrics and surfaces can breathe life into neutral rooms, so cover sofas with throws and cushions; partner silk with velvet, tweed with cotton, faux fur with wool. I bang on about this a lot, but as much visual contrast as possible is key. Smooth, rough, matte, glossy, hard, soft – there is no limit to your choices!


When you enhance neutrals with some oddball shots of colour, the results are truly electrifying. The more layers you add, the more interesting and spontaneous a space becomes. Details bring a space alive; they add luxury, warmth and are a room’s ultimate indulgence!


If you’re nervous about making too bold a statement, introduce colour in small ways. Start with an odd wall, an alcove or a transitional area that you are not going to spend a lot of time in. Once you know what you like, push it further, be brave; experiment!

Decorating with Style  

Decorating Abigail Ahern style is about creating spaces that make you happy – not just buying the latest ‘it’ chair. According to the intern...