Liv­ing Neale Whi­taker

Its time to put an end to the be­lief that beige is al­ways bor­ing in fact, its one of the most prac­ti­cal tones a home can have

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - by Neale Whi­taker

doesnt equate beige with bland.

Im con­icted. Half of me wants to side with Gly­nis Traill-Nash, while the other half wants to dis­agree, and ve­he­mently. Let me ex­plain. Traill-Nash is fash­ion edi­tor of The Aus­tralian, and just re­cently she wrote, There are two types of peo­ple in this world: those who em­brace beige and those who run scream­ing.

She was of course writ­ing about the sea of beige (plus sup­port­ing cast of caramel, tan, bis­cuit and ecru) that is swamp­ing au­tumn fash­ion, but its a sim­i­lar story with home­wares. And like Traill-Nash, I too used to equate beige with bland. But I think its time for a reap­praisal.

The irony is that where in­te­rior de­sign is con­cerned, beige has never been out of fash­ion. Take a look at the ex­quis­ite work of Aus­tralian de­sign­ers Meryl Hare (harek­ or Pamela Makin (lesin­, for ex­am­ple. While they might baulk at be­ing de­scribed as beige, Im guess­ing nei­ther would have an is­sue if I spoke of their aes­thetic in terms of nat­u­rals or neu­trals. Its all in the ter­mi­nol­ogy. Once we change the vo­cab­u­lary, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are in­nite.

While the ex-mag­a­zine edi­tor in me wants to be­lieve ev­ery other home in Aus­tralia now has a vel­vet sofa in midnight blue, the re­al­ity is most dont. The sim­ple fact is the ma­jor­ity of us my­self in­cluded

Strange as it might sound, beige is not for the faint-hearted

tend towards prac­ti­cal, time-hon­oured neu­trals. I hes­i­tate to use the word safe, but many sen­tences that in­clude beige also in­clude the words goes, with and ev­ery­thing.

Clichéd or not, it hap­pens to be al­most true. Be­cause strange as it might sound, beige is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a de­gree of con­dence and in­tu­ition to un­der­stand that neu­trals re­quire lay­er­ing and ac­ces­soris­ing to work. Most neu­trals are grey-based or brown-based. They can work in har­mony but the glue that binds them to­gether will be the con­trast­ing tex­tures wood, mar­ble, leather, con­crete, linen that are used in con­junc­tion.

And in the con­text of this au­tumn, neu­trals best friends are shades of green and black. My own liv­ing room has white oors, a neu­tral sofa, pale Mo­roc­can rugs, white linen cur­tains and a grey leather chair. Even my dogs are beige. The only colour comes from some vi­brant wall art. It might sound like a recipe for bland but its ac­tu­ally rich and wel­com­ing. Those in­gre­di­ents com­bined pack a punch.

Neale Whi­taker is co-host of Fox­tels Love It Or List It Aus­tralia on Life­style, and a judge on Nine Net­works The Block.

ITS ONLY NAT­U­RAL (from top) Con­trast­ing tex­tures and shades of green and black are the best friends of beige this au­tumn; a vi­brant art­work off­sets an oth­er­wise neu­tral pal­ette; this out­door room by Hare + Klein is made all the more invit­ing by its calm colour scheme.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.