It took me a while to embrace neutral schemes. Originally from the UK - where colour is dictated by the cooler climate - I was initially surprised by the neutrality of Australian homes.
Head into the city, to The Rocks, Paddington or Surry Hills, and you'll find a lot more moodiness in terms of colour and texture, but here on the Northern Beaches, we like to let the landscape do the talking.
It looks easy to craft a neutral scheme, (and the end-result should look effortless), and yet there is a fine art to getting it right. Success, has a lot to do with texture and layering.
Personally, a great neutral scheme for me incorporates a subtle blend of neutral tones and textures, a touch of black (to add weight), an eclectic mix of raw materials and finishes, and an abundance of green foliage for energy.
I also like the harmony of mixing old with new, so while I might opt for crisp, new white linen sofas, I'll mix them up with antique and recycled pieces in my occasional tables or footstools. An eclectic range of finishes add a sense of a journey to the space. Texture can also be added through cushions, rugs and throws, and additional depth comes from the right artwork (and the right size of artwork!) - even if it is predominantly neutral in colour. Driftwood, recycled timbers, glass, and even fur make perfect materials to add depth and nostalgia to a room - even in a contemporary setting.
There's nothing more relaxing than luxuriating in a naturally light room on crisp white sofas or sheets, with only the playful reflection of the sun on glass, the rustle of leaves, or the sound of breaking waves for that perfect sense of wellbeing.
Favourite decorator items of mine at the moment are white clay beads, large white pots, raffia cushions, chenille rugs and glazed stoneware, all of which can be sourced from online shops such as Tabletonic and La Maison, or from local shops such as Orson and Blake, Papaya or Les Interieurs.
So to recap, here are my five reasons why you can't go wrong with a neutral scheme:
1. Neutrals maximise the light and space in your home.
2. They harmonise beautifully with nature, and work best when they are stabilised by finishes such as timber, glass and metal and an abundance of greenery.
3. No buyer will be put off by a neutral scheme. A greater likelihood is that they will feel lifted by the soul and airiness you have infused into the space.
4. Neutrals and natural light are a perfect partnership. They do require balance to work, but balanced correctly they created a relaxed vibe that draws the eye to the home as a whole and improves its flow.
5. Australian homes are about bringing the outside in, and we are fortunate to have the climate to do that. Let the landscape do the talking.
Images: 1. Found on Pinterest from bungalowblueinteriors.com 2. Found on Pinterest from Indiehomecollective.com 3. Found on Pinterest from southshoredecoratingblog.com