How to Create a Neutral Haven
Think neutral colour schemes are drab? Think again. Challenging the myth that beige is boring is Cape HOMEMAKERS Expo exhibitor Mono Shop, here to tell us that a calm, neutral backdrop can make a solid statement. Mono Shop’s Creative Director, Petro Vivier, gives us some tried-and-tested tips on how to get the look:
It may sound boring but trust me, even I never get tired of it. It is like starting on a clean canvas and it just makes life so much easier (no deciding on a colour and having the paint mixed). Also – and this is the main reason why most Scandinavian homes go with the white scheme – it allows more light into the room. A bright, white rooms feel a lot warmer than dark rooms.
Wooden floors (preferably in white or a very light colour, such as washed oak)
I suppose that for a lot of you, it is not possible to replace your floors but if you ever get the chance to do this, wooden floors are a great choice (and the way to go if you want a Scandinavian-style home). Firstly, make sure you go for hardwood or engineered wood. Secondly, choose white or a light shade of wood. When we picked out a floor we went with engineered wood in washed oak. While it is not 100% white (but rather more of a light grey, it is still gorgeous), the result transformed our entire home and again, brought so much more light into the house. It’s amazing!
If you find yourself in a house with old wooden floors hidden beneath the carpets, consider yourself lucky! Getting white wooden floors is a simple matter of stripping away the carpets and giving the planks a few coats of fresh white paint (provided there aren’t any missing planks, of course). This will give you a truly Scandinavian look, since solid white wooden planks are nearly impossible to find which is why we had to go with a slightly darker shade. Not to mention, it will probably cost a lot less than a new set of floors.
Wood (and other natural) elements
In my opinion, one can never have too much wood. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. We actually used a lot of pallets in our home (I’m counting 13 in total). It’s a great way to build your own furniture at a low cost and I promise, it does not look like a cheap DIY solution. We’ve received many compliments but decide for yourself.
Another great way to incorporate wooden elements is with driftwood – tree branches that got washed up on the beach and get bleached by the sun and wind to a beautiful grey shade that works surprisingly well with our look here. This is especially great if you live near the coast or if you have a beach house. Always make sure that you allow your driftwood to dry out in the sun for at least a couple of months before you use it.
Cork, rope, natural wool and paper are also great for this look and they are trending this year.
Creating a neutral bedroom that allows you to easily change some elements without changing the whole look, starts with creating a clean canvas that you can work with. Choosing white bedding allows you to accessorize with blankets, throws or even scatter cushions – items that you can collect and change up when you get tired of your look. I have to mention here that when choosing a white duvet set, it is important to choose high quality bedding. Choose something with a high thread count. The higher the thread count (number of threads per square inch), the finer the cotton and therefore the more comfortable and durable it is. A set with a high thread count is more expensive, but you will notice the difference, and you don’t have to go for the highest thread count you can find; anything above 200 is acceptable.
I am talking about beige, shades of brown, different shades of white… We have a lot of neutral products in our shop. Add something like a beige throw or neutral scatter cushions to your bed. Use the neutral elements as an accent – white should still be the predominant ‘colour’ in this look. Adding small black accents to your room also helps – it actually prevents the entire space from looking a little ‘washed out’.
Add your own personal touch
This ‘how-to’ guide was only for your inspiration. It is important, especially when decorating your own bedroom, to add a little bit of yourself – it is your personal space after all! I have a mood board with some of my favourite magazine snippets and pictures above the desk in my room. I also love decorating the back of my bedroom door with washi tape! That is what I love about this look – it is so flexible and you can add almost anything to it.