Make it Yours - Neutral with a twist

Sensible yet stylish, a neutral colour scheme offers so many advantages.

It’s the perfect choice if you want to achieve a look with classic appeal that will maximise light and space in your home – and won’t date.


The trick is to add the right element of contrast to avoid it being bland (which is really the only potential pitfall), but this can easily be done with textures, darker tones and individual personal touches.

You can see the look expertly achieved in our ‘Tildale’ showhome at Mayberry Place in Aylesbury, which was designed by Amie Reeves, Design Account Manager at Show Business Interiors.

Amie chose a palette of warm whites, soft creams, caramels, beiges and taupes – and then added fabrics, wallpaper and dark pieces of furniture, along with subtle use of black.

“Black can be quite grounding as long as it is used in the right proportions with the right colours around it,” she says. “It can be as simple as a piece of black on a cushion, or a black frame on a neutral wall, for example.”

14A large, light and airy kitchen/dining room forms the hub of this home and a neutral scheme works well in here as the backdrop to family life. Patterned fabric to the windows in the dining space adds interest to the design.

Feature wallpaper is another great way to add individuality, while a large mirror on the opposite wall is a clever way of picking up the pattern elsewhere in the room.

“I’ve gone for feature wallpaper on the main wall of the living room,” Amie says. “It’s the first thing you see when you walk in and it has an inviting floral design.”

Amie also picked co-ordinating dark walnut wenge wooden furniture for the living room, which can be easily purchased from high street stores, to contrast with the neutral scheme.

4To enhance the flow throughout the ground floor, beautiful wood-effect ceramic tiles lead through from the hallway into the kitchen/dining room and utility room, combining the soft appearance of wood and the hard-wearing qualities of ceramic.

But don’t forget, it’s the personal touches that will really make your home your own – such as the ‘family gallery’ in the hallway.

“The idea is that you can make it your own,” says Amie. “It’s all about photographs and pictures of people or places which mean something special to you. Using different shapes and sizes creates an informal, homely feel and really the only rule with this is there are no rules!”