How Neutral Are You?

July 22, 2012

My wife (that’s Al from Style Counsel) and I have something in common. Lucky for us, otherwise the last 24 years would have been hell-on-earth!

In many ways, ours has been a marriage of styles – from her first rough, hand-drawings of the first home we built together, to how she styles herself, ME and her clients – to the way I used to style a room for my Oz Design customers to how I style rooms for my Changing Rooms clients. You see, we both love neutrals. And there’s a damn good reason why…

When you make neutral your base (be it for clothes or decorating your interiors) it’s really simple to keep up with either your own changing tastes or the current-season trends.

None of us want to be slaves to fashion fads and trends. Let’s face it. With interior decorating, to do so means you’d have to almost take out a 2nd, 3rd or 4th mortgage every week to keep up! BUT, we all want to update our look from time to time, and there’s no easier way than starting with a blank canvas of classic neutrals and building our own tastes and ideas into the theme from there.

Just as there are investment pieces in your wardrobes (I learned that from Al!) there are investment pieces in your home. They’re the items you spend a little more on (or perhaps a lot on – depending on your budget!) because you know you they will stand the test of time; they will wear well; they will be used often, and will form the base of your space. A good example is the lounge-suite.

If you follow fashion to the letter, you may be swayed to buy the latest hot product – maybe an animal print, maybe bright red or orange, maybe aztec print. Thing is once you do that, you find that all your existing pieces look a little dated and tired next to that vibrant piece. Then you start changing rugs, cushions, tables, ottomans, occasional pieces, lamp shades and on it goes. That one purchase soon becomes a very expensive fashion-follow!

BUT, if you’d had a bit of a plan in mind – a style direction that is in sync with your own innate sense of style – you’d perhaps have settled for a more neutral shade for the lounge-suite and chosen to update (i.e. go a little bit crazy if you must!) with a bold animal print rug, some orange cushions, a few vases and a new lamp-shade) to achieve the new-look you’re after. THEN, when you grow tired of that bold statement, or just want a seasonal change, it’s as simple as a few new soft-furnishings to soften the look or reinvent your space completely.

I’ll be sharing more of my style philosophies with you here – this is just the beginning! If you want more style inspirations, just follow me on Pinterest and Facebook and subscribe to my newsletters and blog. And if you have any requests for advice or articles please just drop me a line!

‘Till next time…keep it neutral and stay stylish!

Cheers, Shane


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