Home Interior - Neutrals Beyond Beige

Home Interior - Neutrals Beyond Beige

I recently saw a twitter post from an interior decorator friend in which she shared "this year's interior colour trends." Beyond the idea that purples and mossy greens seem to be coming back in style is that I fundamentally disagree with using anything beyond classic colours for walls, furniture or anything that isn't remotely easy to change. 

Remember the powder blue suit?  I'm not old enough to actually be around when this was in style but I do know the era in which it was "popular." Now the powder blue suit is just a gag outfit for retro parties. The opposites to this are the dark pinstripe suit and little black dress - classic pieces that will never go out of style.

This works for home interiors too. As soon as any trendy colour is used for a wall, tile or cabinets, it dates the home. The key is to use classic colours especially neutrals that never go out of style. That isn't to say that everything should be beige or grey. Choose neutrals that contrast in tonal value - dark floors with light walls or medium floors with dark cabinets and light counter tops. Where the splash of trendy colour can come in is through accessories - pillows, throws, vases, placemats, etc. These trendy colours almost always will go with the varying neutrals and are easy to change. You don't have to worry about the time, effort or money it will require for you to change that tile floor or have your rooms painted again and your home won't show it's age.

So what kind of place do you have? The powder blue suit or the little black dress?

Dark floors, light wall walls and medium toned furniture create contrast at our Westmount Haus, in Edmonton. The spash of colour comes from the pillows, artwork and accessories. Staging and photo by Rhonda Wilson.


Submitted by rG on

Are you not worried that this environment becomes aseptic? Can't limiting yourself to the "classics" be boring, and betray a lack of individuality? While "this year's colours" are equally un-individual, shouldn't someone's home, someone's personal space, be a reflection of that individual and not the manifestation of an architect's comprehensive aesthetic, or a design magazine's colour de jour? I am reminded of rules governing the colours and/or styles of window shades on condo buildings, while this might conform to an architect's vision, or a planner's ideals, the facades I love are the ones with a hundred different colours and clothes lines and goats and golden buddahs and all the paraphernalia of life and the individuals living there written raucously across their "faces". (exaggeration for emphasis)

Submitted by Urbanhaus on

Thanks for your comment Reuben. My point is that "classic" never goes out of style. The extra "spice" and individuality can still be expressed through colour but should be carefully thought about so that it isn't purely based on this year's trend (read fad). If trendy colours or patterns are being used, use it in items that are more easily added or removed from the space (e.g. pillows, throws, vases, etc.) There is less work, money and hassle to update these items than to buy a new couch or replace floors. I too love bright coloured facades, interesting forms and details but it's crucial that these elements are not treated purely as veneer - be honest with the materials and they become classic too.

By keeping the architecture classic, it becomes the stage for life's animation and expression of individuality (what you speak of with the clothes lines and golden buddhas). These elements become the focal points to which the architecture becomes a backdrop.


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