An evolution from the brights of new modern to the soothing salves of tea rose, lavender and grey.

As we move into the New Year, we’re wholeheartedly embracing the incoming interiors mood: New Neutrals. For anyone with an obsession with all things house and home, the dominant palette for this year will already be lingering in your awareness in soothing swathes of tea rose, grey, peach, blush, lavender and mint.

But before you dismiss this colour scheme as mere pallid pastels, know that this new colourway is more muted; a bit smokier and sexier than its babyish beginnings. Think ‘milky, ice-cream tones… seafront hotels of 1950s Miami’, advises Elle Decoration. Who said neutrals had to be boring, after all?

Row of hotels along Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach.

(Not before 1969. Color slide. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory)

These are restorative colours: safe and comforting tones to help transform the home into a sanctuary. The New Neutrals are gently colourful shades, which can be layered and woven into your existing interiors through the introduction of rugs, blankets, cushions, glassware, and baskets.

Photo @MichelleOgundehin - Elle Decoration 

So how to upgrade your sitting room, bathroom or bedroom from dreary old Magnolia?

“Texture is key to prevent a neutral room from looking dull”, advises interiors expert Anne Hepfer. “Focus on layering many different types of textures, from suede, linen and wool to mohair and cashmere,” she says. 

We would add natural fibres like milulu and veta vera to the mix, too. Whilst the New Neutrals colour palette works beautifully with smoky glassware and velveteen upholstering, sisal fibres, for example, provide the perfect contrast in the form of pliable, textured basketry. 

The Natural Collection  

Our suggestions? Try an open weave, undyed Tanzanian basket stacked with kindling by the fireside. A colour block basket in creamy white and dusty rose tucked next to the sofa, filled with cosy cashmere blankets, your knitting, or pairs of slippers. An indoor jungle of jute macramé plant hangers – complete with woven planters in greys, pinks and natural stripes – to add character and life to a whitewashed bathroom.

 3-Tier Macrame Plant Hanger 

For those who prefer their living spaces bold and bright, neutrals like these provide the perfect backdrop to pops of canary yellow, bold blues and neon pinks. Likewise, neutral accessories will soften a room dominated by walls painted in popular 2017 shades, like Farrow and Ball’s Downpipe Grey and Stiffkey Blue. And as all interiors-lovers know, nothing offsets copper finishes like a splash of tea rose pink.

This is an interiors mood that everyone can get on board with, and it’s the perfect antidote to the brash and relentless pace of modern living. Need more inspo? Take a look at our New Neutrals edit.


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