Whites, neutrals & naturals for interior styling.

Todays blog is a little about using white, neutrals and naturals. Being from Scandinavia our interior style is often white and simplistic. White is often chosen because it reflects the light and brings the light in - so in the winter months the smaller amount of light from the outside will make the room brighter in white colour schemes. 

White is one of the oldest 'colours' used, it can be dated back to the ancient Chinese who used lead pigment to give their pottery glazes and the Romans used white for their garments and decoration in their home. It is also seen in white washing of cottages and is still popular today as a way to make a room seem airy and clean. 

The challenges with white is that it can appear cold and bare - therefore when painting with white, choose one that is not clean white, but has an element of  either yellow or grey in it, as this will let it appear softer.

When decorating a white room it is often a good idea to supplement the white and bright room with lots of textiles, this softens the simplistic colour and makes sure the room don't seem bare and sterile. 


When talking about neutrals, they are often referred to as the 'off-whites' - this is because the colour combination is predominantly white but has a softening of e.g. yellow, brown or grey - most popular colours in the neutrals are Ivory and Cream.

Neutral colours are easier to work with and gives a versatile range - they are great in every room and work perfect with contrasting colours. e.g an ivory colour can make a great neutral to a strong olive green. 

- THE BEIGE EFFECT - What to keep in mind when choosing neutral colours.

Although light and bright, a wholly neutral scheme can quickly appear bland and insipid. - therefore use neutral colours in moderation and team them with bright colours to give character to a room.  

Under neutrals you also find Pastels, these are colours with a high proportion of white, most used pastels are powder blue, rose pink and butter yellow...pastels are a great way to introduce some colour in your scheme without it having a dramatic effect - they are softer more subtle colours but can also be contrast to stronger colours, if you want to soften aspects of a room or create zones this is a good idea. 


Natural colours date back many hundreds of years, these came from plants or the earth as e.g mineral ores. The colour know as Sienna comes from the earth in Tuscany and charcoal grey derived from burnt wood. Natural minerals is in this category too as limestone, marble, the different wood colours etc. 

- As the word lets on - all the naturals have a 'natural way' of going together. The trap here is the same as above, be careful not only to use these colours - as it can easily become depressing and drab.  - Mix them up with stronger bold colours either on a wall or be adding colourful textiles. 

I hope you found this interesting - my next blog will be more about the primary colours and how to use them. 

Enjoy your evening.


Interior Stylist