A slightly provocative title that comes in many shades. No, taupe is not a colour either! The same applies to white and off-white... But what's the story behind these timid choices, which are still deeply rooted in consumer habits? The cold, minimalist interiors of the 2000s are over. It’s time to say goodbye to the Scandinavian style and excessive uniformity and hello to the emerging trend of personalisation!
Many people opt for white or beige walls. It is a choice of refuge without any debate as the question does not arise. Kandinsky said that "white acts on our sole like absolute silence". It is in our white interiors where many of us find a feeling of weightlessness. If it is true that this non-colour has the advantage of capturing the light, of decreasing the apparent width of the walls and of harmonizing them with each other, then it also has the disadvantage of embodying emptiness. Take this as an example… if you paint a room white which is small, dark and facing north it will turn out grey and sad instead of white and bright. The solution? Embrace the opposite and opt for colour! It doesn’t matter whether you choose to paint the walls khaki green, ink blue or in a sensual burgundy colour. With the paint, you apply character and a feeling of cosiness. A coloured wall can also let a painting stand out more!
Photo credit : Hanna Balan > the palette of nudes
If, however, your heart is irresistibly drawn to beige or white, opt for the nude palette. Try it, for example, on a ceiling in its simplest form, i.e. a pinkish beige. It is an option with very little risk but a big impact, as it creates a soft and cheerful atmosphere! Long confined to the latter shade, nudes are now available in a wide range of shades suiting all skin tones. This year’s trending tones, sand, terracotta and brown, do not only reveal a new sense of intimacy but also a strong connection to nature. White and metal dominated the minimalistic 2000s. Now, white is paired with raw materials such as wood, leather or terracotta. Craftsmanship is trending: everything that is synonymous with irregularity and flaws is now an indicator for beauty and uniqueness. Ultra-pigmented colours with ultra-matt or lime-like finishes can add a special touch to the beautiful monochrome palette. Antique objects and pieces of furniture with an authentic patina, also go well with these tones. This palette represents "the new neutrals", so do not hesitate to combine them with contrasting colours.
Craftsmanship is trending: everything that is synonymous with irregularity and flaws is now an indicator for beauty and uniqueness.
Coloured or papered walls combined with a monochrome composition of white or nude objects can create an elegant interplay. These nude shades can serve as a guiding thread throughout the entire space thereby maintaining harmony and avoiding bad choices. Needless to say, the quality of the products also plays an important role in creating the desired effect. Opt for quality, noble and vintage materials. White combined with brass can also create a precious look. In decoration, as in life, it's all about contrast and balance...
It has been proven that, in the professional world, white leads to an increased risk of burn-out, poor productivity and creativity, as well as a weak sense of belonging. These are distressing results, especially when you consider that 70% of all employees in Europe work in such an environment… So, what should you do after informing your management and waiting for something to change? Start with creating a slide show of plain coloured backgrounds that play on your desktop and add a little colour to your professional life. Red will awaken your managerial spirit, yellow will unleash creativity and appetite (beware of the consequences of this dreaded duo), green will bring you a feeling of safety, peace, and well-being, and blue will help you concentrate. If you're lucky enough to have your own office or to work from home, why not think about painting your office in one of these colours?
Photo credit : Jean-Philippe Delberghe > the cozy atmosphere of dark rooms
Photo credit : Leslie Santarina > good use of white
If you are not feeling bold yet, you could start off by applying one colour to a single wall. A colour chart can help you find the right tone. If in doubt, select two to three colours that speak to you, paint A3 sheets in these different tones and hang them on the wall for a weekend. You will see that the colours change with the incidence of light, so take your time to decide on what’s right for you. Remember you have the final say, it doesn’t matter what your neighbours think - just follow your instincts!
With the days growing shorter, it's time to talk about lights. This key element in any home improvement project strikes terror into many of us. For proof, look no further than those bare light bulbs still hanging from the ceiling several years after you've moved house… The famous Danish designer Poul Henningsen was already mocking us about this a century ago: "Furniture, style carpets, everything in a home is secondary to the importance of lighting. The correct illumination of a room does not require money, but insight." So, prepare for your very own "Fiat Lux" moment…
Written by: Mélanie Trinkwell, Interior Designer*
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