The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - THE DECORATOR - ANNA CALD­WELL

Here’s how to make neu­trals as ex­cit­ing as brights. This room has just a dash of hip­ster flavour – it’s a nod to the mid-cen­tury, an ode to muted colours and a les­son in lay­er­ing, with none of the bold splashes of colour or the stark mono­chrome pal­ette that so of­ten de­fine a state­ment room. Yet there’s no deny­ing its wow fac­tor, with a lived-in look that harks back to grandma’s place and still re­tains a dis­tinct mod­ern edge.

The vin­tage-vibe, white rat­tan ta­ble, the dense gallery wall, the rus­tic rug, sleek mar­ble-topped cof­fee ta­ble and pot plants all con­spire to help this room pack a unique punch. In­stead of be­ing dowdy, the browns scream old-school cool.

Syd­ney in­te­rior stylist Emma Blom­field, of The Home, warns: “Neu­tral colour schemes can some­times be a lit­tle bor­ing and un­invit­ing.” Here are her five keys to avoid­ing the pit­falls of dowdi­ness … 1 Pat­tern: it should be sub­tle but invit­ing. 2 Tex­ture: this room has thick, grey wool fab­ric on the arm­chairs, a rat­tan side ta­ble, ce­ramic dec­o­ra­tive items, and a mar­ble-topped cof­fee ta­ble. Di­verse tex­tures add in­ter­est and depth. 3 Lay­er­ing: add a scat­ter cush­ion to an arm­chair, a throw to a sofa, or a rug. 4 Tim­ber: can bring warmth to any space, par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful knotty tim­bers which lend char­ac­ter. 5 Quirky touch: add a dash of the un­ex­pected. This room has the heavy-set gallery wall.

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