28 January 2021

10 ways to nail the new neutrals

28 January 2021

Sometimes, instead of clashing and chaos, what we really want is neutral and nice.

Cool, calming tones can bring a sense of wellbeing, which many of us have been craving more than ever. Especially if you’re coming to terms with some home truths after all this extra time indoors – like realising you’ve gone off those vibrant hues and over-the-top colour choices you made before lockdown.

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Indeed, rediscovering elegant simplicity seems like a trend we return to time and time again. And it’s chic… expressing yourself with a pale palette is an art form itself.

Working with neutrals is about blending and balancing tones and textures. Far from boring, this is about leaning into the less-is-more style book, with schemes that feel clean and fresh.

Here’s what’s on our creamy checklist…

1. John Lewis & Partners Trestle Round Dining Table £499; Scandi Dining Chair £299; Harmony Ribbon Semi Flush Ceiling Light, £85; Reeded Sideboard, £899; Bronte by Moon Herringbone Throw, £95 (other items from a selection/part of room set), John Lewis – available from February 1

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Part of their new Design Focus collection inspired by sculpture and architecture, John Lewis have used traditional craft techniques to create ribbed detailing – and this furniture is made for open-plan spaces. The stylish pairing of a dining table base with a spindle like design to expose light adds visual interest too.

2. Cotton Crossover Apron, Neutral, £10, Dunelm – available mid-February

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How much do we love the natural linen look? Enough to warrant a stylish crossover bib apron to put you in the right mood for some tablescaping, and a coffee break before rearranging your objects of desire.

3. Alcee Natural Linen Armchair, £695 (other items from a selection), Graham & Green

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This modish mid-century inspired armchair made from oak wood and natural linen provides the perfect setting for those quiet, reflective moments, or just catching up on emails. Team it with a minimalist side table to keep things clean and serene.

4. Allo Set of 2 Poly Resin Plant Stands – Large, Natural White, £99, MADE

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The power of plants is well storied and you can’t beat the natural beauty and calming effect of a Peace Lilly or tropical house plant. This pair of resin plant stands will show them off to perfection, and they can be moved around to accommodate shade and sunlight.

5. Antiqued Glass Mirrors, from £75 (other items from a selection), Graham & Green

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With their distressed gilt frames, these vintage look mirrors whisper shabby chic and will play up everything they reflect. For maximum impact, angle them when you hang them (or place them on a sideboard) so they capture cornicing or pendant lighting. Come to think of it, even an unadorned wall if you’re really maxing a minimalist scheme.

6. Turned Wood Hurricane, £42, Next

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A timeless hurricane lamp inspired by nature will gently bounce light around, and introduce a rustic touch.

7. (L-R) Undyed Wool Rug, £89; Marl Rug, from £129; Jute Ombre Rug, from £79 (other items from a selection), Dunelm – available from February

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New at Dunelm, The Edited Life range is said to be inspired by thoughtfulness in the home, with a collection of understated pieces chosen for their simple beauty. These hand-woven rugs made from jute, cotton and wool fibres are fully biodegradable, recyclable, part functional and part floor show.

8. Akena Large Sideboard, £399; Origami Diamond Paper Easy Fit Pendant, £10; Mantle Clock, £18 (other items from a selection), Dunelm – available from mid-February

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From bedding to dinnerware and chairs, The Edited Life collection also includes this sleek Scandi-style sideboard to echo the quality craftmanship in the range. What makes it stand out are the lined cabinet doors, which contrast neatly with three central drawers for storage.

9. MADE x Lick Paint – Beige 01, £38 for 2.5L, MADE

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A fresh lick of paint makes all the difference, and in the world of café au lait interiors, a matte light caramel will lend a lovely biscuity warmth to a standalone wall or an entire room. A fantastic project for DIY buffs too.

10. Amsterdam Light Storage Ladder Shelf, £625 (other items from a selection), Next

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Trending big time – is it the timber tones, strength and versatility, or simply the stacking solution that makes a storage ladder shelf such a winner? And when you’re ready to go wild with colour again, or just fancy a summer shelfie full of sorbet shades, this four-tier, solid white-washed mango wood bookcase, with champagne metal detailing, will cater to your every whim, be it ivory or indigo.

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