We’ve recently come to think of neutral colours as background – the setting against which more eye-catching contrasts can stand out, but maybe calm, relaxing shades are all we need in these turbulent times.
Lanzarote’s bright sunshine and harsh contrasts can be inspiring, but they can also tire us out, and the gentle refuge that neutral shades such as greys, browns and tinted whites offer may be all we need. It’s also worth remembering that the sand on our shores and the mystical volcanoes are calm, understated neutral shades.
The idea that our attention should be seized by centrepiece ornaments or pops of colour is widespread, but also treats us like children – desperate for stimulation. Neutrals are for grown-ups, confident in themselves and in their choices.
You can team neutrals – the options are endless and these colours are intended to work with others, meaning that the results can be subtly stunning; but the cool, unassertive nature of these shades means that you can also focus on other aspects, such as texture and form.
When you don’t have vivid colours crying for attention, you can make the most of visual texture, which offers an organic, natural and deeply welcoming aspect to a room. Shape and form also comes into its own, meaning that you can explore a different kind of dynamics than those offered by colour.
Lighting goes hand-in-hand with these soft shades, bringing out their innate qualities without shouting, and soft lighting or carefully managed daylight teamed with neutrals can be a mark of real class and style.