Colour schemes – Timeless interior colour schemes using neutral colours

Inspired by nature, neutral paint colours vary from bright white through to ebony and black, with the range in between including subtle and stronger shades of brown, ochre, earthy green and grey.
Diverse in colour from light to dark, and warm to cool in tone; lichens, bark, foliage, alpine tussock, riverbed stones, rock formations, sandy beaches and seashells found around New Zealand all inspire our interior and exterior colour schemes.
What makes them so enduring is the soft, muted natural tones, their suitability for traditional or contemporary building styles and their ability to blend rather than compete with our urban, rural or coastal environment.
For interior background wall colour, off-whites, soft greys, creams, beiges and taupes generally work well and provide a backdrop for more vibrant colour to be added with fabrics, rugs, artwork and accessories. As in nature, texture, pattern, tonal variation and accent colour is necessary to prevent blandness and create visual interest.
A neutral exterior colour scheme needs to be well planned, with consideration given to the style of architecture and the surrounding buildings, countryside or seaside. Muted tones suit any style of architecture if the intensity of colour and choice of accent trim is well balanced and co-ordinated. For maximum impact, the presentation and ‘street appeal’ of a home should be further enhanced by making a welcoming front entrance, landscaping the garden, and selecting complementary paving or tiles and outdoor furniture.

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