2017 is to be a year of clarity and resolution, allowing us to be brave and bold while exuding confidence in the choices we make. This clarity and almost whimsical determination finds it roots within the environments in which we immerse ourselves, our spaces in which we find solace. To create these spaces for ourselves we look to rustic materials, textures and customisation which promote relaxation and an ambience in which to while away the stresses of the modern life. The colours that we choose must therefore be deliberate and bold, pure and uncluttered. One of my favourite colour combinations that speaks this language is white on white with accents of earthy neutral tones. White elevates and lifts the space whilst the earthy tones provide a sense of grounding and Africanism, effectively bringing you back “down to earth.” This is something that the hustle and bustle of modern life often prevents. We forget to schedule free-time, time to recuperate and reflect. By creating an environment that supports this need to step back, one intrinsically will.
This crisp monochromatic colour scheme softened with earthy accents brings with it a sense of the country to city living. It provides a sanctuary to escape to form the demands and stresses of daily life. Although white may be considered to be harsh and overstated, if held on a pure white background you can begin to explore its vast range of hues and the different emotional responses these will create. A gloss finish will create a chic modern feel whilst a satin matt will evoke more of a soft warm ambiance. Another contributing factor to the overall ‘whiteness’ of a room is the amount of natural light that filters into the space. Contrary to popular thought, white is a dynamic and living colour full of vibrancy and life. The hue will change and develop according to the time of day and the way that the light falls on each surface creating interesting shadows which will encapsulate the space. Such shadows cast have a grey to brown undertone adding to the purity and scope of the whole space. The shadows on the white background emulate the creation of life, dancing and undulating within the space, allowing our minds to wander as we wind dow.
White is often one of the hardest colours to get right, therefore when choosing white I would suggest going for a softer less stark hue. Look for a hue with subtle grey, stone or beige undertones; which are soft and warm and allow the surface textures to pick up readily within a room. Introduce character and emotion by incorporating a variety of textures and finishes in the same colour but in different hues. The contrast of rough and soft, woven and smooth, matt and gloss will add interest and depth to the interior. This will contribute to the warmth and expanse within the space.
By layering a variety of white hues from the ceiling to the walls to the furniture selection, you will create a fascinating coherence, a character which exists seamlessly throughout time. A light voile curtain blowing in the breeze creating a translucent break between the inside and outside world, a large faux minx throw draped over the sofa to bring warmth and a sense of relaxation. These small yet deliberate additions create a sense of relaxation and stillness.
To reiterate the country within our city dwellings introduce accent colours into your furniture, accessories and design elements. Rustic earthy tones of foliage, sand and rock, ground white and bring us back to our roots. The neutral colour combination creates a sense of stopping in time and allowing yourself space to breath, while creating clear clarity of mind. The earthy tones are deep, rich and sophisticated yet balanced on the warm white canvas. Colour can further be introduced into the detail of the design. Introduce natural materials such as metal edgings to counters and tables, exposed conduits for lighting and raw timber flooring which affirm our connection to nature and bring out the earth tones further in the interior, almost bringing the outside in.
For a colour that is often associated with garish starkness it is refreshing to see it in a more relaxing and soothing light, showing that if done with a clear vision and a careful eye, white on white environment can in fact drain the stress away from even the weariest of souls.