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The New Neutrals

Well it had to happen....when there has been lots of colour and pattern there is always a return to calmer tones that are easier to live with. Not for everyone of course, some of us can't live without colour (she says from a house with a cream sitting room and a monochrome kitchen.....I do have colour elsewhere though). Anyway I digress, neutrals...back in the room. I'm not talking about boring old beige, but pale natural tones with a hint of colour that range from grey to blush to palest sage and look elegant blended together. It's all about building it up with different tones, our old friend layering, and texture. Anyway have a look at these gorgeous shots and you will see what I mean....

Those Japanese style lights just make this shot don't they? The texture on the sofa is similar to boucle, (talk about retro), in a pale greige colour, with pattern and a hit of colour added in the sand coloured cushions and throw. A pale wood coffee table is neat and I love that scrunched up paper thing....don't know what it is, but I like it anyway. All H&M Home

This sofa has a neater, more contemporary shape. Those thin, black, metal legs on the sofa and coffee table are everywhere at the moment - great aren't they? And the marble effect wallpaper is cool too. Here blush has been added in the accessories which is still going strong and sits well in a neutral scheme. Doshi Levien Pondok 3 seater sofa in grey, £2499, all John Lewis

I'm a bit obsessed with natural stone, and Gerald Culliford seems to have the best choice, or maybe its just the way they use them...anyhoo, this combination of knotty wood units and Arctic Cream Granite from £490 sq.m and Light Travertine from £480 sq.m. stone is a winner as far as I am concerned. White wall units keep it fresh and a wooden slatted blind echoes the units.

This bedroom is so serene, I feel calm just looking at it. A mid-tone wooden bed frame and matching furniture creates the base of the look with grey bedlinen and a biscuit coloured throw. It looks like the bedlinen is reversible with pale pink design on the reverse. The pin striped pillows are an inspired choice. A smoked glass pendant layers up the scheme and adds a touch of shine. Add stone textured vases with grasses in it for the perfect finishing touch. All M&S

This calming colour scheme works really well in an office too - forget about your deadlines, just relax and enjoy the view! A slender, 50's style desk and matching shelf unit with just a hint of ice blue on the office chair and vase. Simplicity itself. Clever Bubba desk from £695 and little Bubba shelving unit, £545 Loaf

This is a deeper blush/plaster shade which is really warm, so a good colour for a bathroom, and those tiles! they are so retro! But fabulous - a block of pattern to complement the white sanitary ware. Lux 60 ceramic top from £749, Catalano

The hallway is the first room people see when they come through the door, so make it simple with pale shades and let the furniture and accessories do the talking. Smoked Oyster and Palladian matt emulsion from the Period Collection, £21.50 for 2.5l, Crown Paint

Everybody's favourite - storage - and this is some of the nicest. The String system has been going for years and its easy to see why, its so stylish, never dates and you can add to if you need to, and have it in any combination too. This is in ash with white floor panels, from £72. There is another one of those lights.....

Another simple and neat sofa teamed with wood accents and grey/brown cushions. And LOTS of is a natural accent colour and good for your wellbeing. Win win. Isla 2 seat sofa in Oat smart linen, £1790. Fez medium rug, £299.

This bedroom is a lot more layered and with more colours being introduced. There is a base of grey and beige with pale blue, pink and darker grey added in with a background of plaster pink and grey walls. Layer up the bed with different textures and add a rattan footstool at the bottom of the bed. all John Lewis and Partners


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