How to decorate with dreamy neutral paint colours

Why warm, dreamy neutrals are the perfect backdrop for affordable antiques

Multiple vases sit on a blush pink sideboad

Warm, dreamy neutrals are big news this year. And, luckily for us, they provide the perfect backdrop to myriad affordable antiques…

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A wicker chair sits on an Aztec patterned rug in front of blush pink walls
Wall painted in ‘China Clay Deep’ (177) Absolute Matt Emulsion, £42 per 2.5l, Little Greene. Doorway painted in ‘Plum Tree’ (283) Marble Matt Emulsion, £46 per 2.5l, Mylands. ‘Black and White Aztec’ patterned rug (120 x 180cm), £330; ‘Medium Poppy Field’ rug (120 x 180cm), £125, both French Connection. Wicker chair, £360, Elemental. ‘Transformation No. 4’ Tate Victor Pasmore cushion, £31.99, We Love Cushions. Fishing on the Seine oil on board by Evert Fahrm, £3,200, Maison Artefact. RJR.John Rocha pink vase, £18, Debenhams. Small distressed 19th-century mirror (behind vase), £95, Lassco. Royal Lace teacup and saucer c1937, £28 for a tea trio, Robinson Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. Large mirror, £450; antique sunburst mirror, £380; coral fragments, £280, all Puckhaber. Late 18th-century mirror (on right), £1,250, Maison Artefact. Whitefriars vase c1955, £125, Robinson Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. Boxed moth, fire screen and crystal geode, find similar at Lassco.
Multiple vases sit on a blush pink sideboard, behind a sleeping black cat
Wall painted as before. Chair and painting, find similar at Puckhaber. Sheepskin rug, £59, Rockett St George. ‘Efni’ sideboard, £845, Debenhams. Fulham Pottery glazed black bowl c1955, £55, Robinson Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. Vases (from left): 1970s large Kaiser Fossil White Bisque Op Art vase, £65; 1970s German White Bisque ‘Batman’ vase by Werner Uhl, £85; 1970s White Scherzer Bavaria German Op Art vase, £55, all The Old Cinema; black and white vase, £28 for set of two, Debenhams. 1930s porcelain and gold bowls by Gunnar Nylund for RÖrstrand, from £95 each, L&V Art and Design. Trims, as before.
A black teapot and vase sit atop vintage tiles against a blush pink wall
Rosenthal tall vase by Raymond Loewy, £125, Robinson Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. Faux dogwood berries, £11, Oka. Sylvia K plate, from £22; small cup and mug, £27 each, Heal’s. Reclaimed tiles, £350 per sq m, Lassco. Midwinter teapot c1960, £55; Langley mustard pot and oil jug, £16 each; Lord Nelson soup bowl c1960, £100 for six, all Robinson Antiques at Alfies Antique Market.
A dining table with benches, stools and a pink table cloth sits in front of a blush pink wall
Primitive bench, £600 for a pair, Elemental. Primitive stool, £320, Puckhaber. Stonewashed tablecloth (170 x 250cm), £79.99; ‘Rosa’ linen napkin, £8.99, both LinenMe. Vintage kantha quilt (used as a table cover), £120; vintage Hungarian grain sack (on stool and under blue runner), £45; antique French indigo linen table runner, £160, all Rebecca’s Aix Home. Sylvia K tableware, from £22 for a small plate, Heal’s. Cutlery, find similar at Maison Artefact. ‘Luxe’ wine glasses, from £7 each; tumblers, £5 each, all French Connection. ‘Diablo’ vase, £29, Heal’s. Faux magnolia branch, £17, Oka. Pendant light shade, £160, Janie Knitted Textiles. Flex and bulb fitting, from a selection at Urban Cottage Industries.
A washed wood double bed with pink bed linen against a two-tone purple and white wall
Top of wall painted in ‘China Clay Dark’ (178) Absolute Matt Emulsion, £42 per 2.5l, Little Greene. Bottom of wall painted in ‘Rose Bark’ Paint Mixing Matt, £27.56 per 2.5l, Dulux. Travertine sculptures (used as side table), £1,050 for two, Retrouvius. ‘Diablo’ vase, £29; Sylvia K tableware, from £22 for a small plate, both Heal’s. Tumbler, £5, French Connection. 19th-century French door panel (used as headboard), £950, Maison Artefact. Divan bed, £1,085; valance, £142, both Oka. ‘Rosa’ linen duvet cover and two pillowcases, £179.99, LinenMe. ‘Eden Blush’ throw, £95; ‘Perth Blush’ cushion, £45, both Ian Mankin. ‘Boho’ pattern cushion, £15, Sainsbury’s Home. ‘Made for You’ pendant light featuring galvanised disc shade and blue linen cable, £45.50, Urban Cottage Industries
Clay coloured walls with a similar coloured glass cabinet
Walls painted in ‘China Clay Dark’ (178) Absolute Matt Emulsion, as before. Cabinet, find similar at Lassco. Ancient Roman bottles and unguentarium (top shelf), from £150 each, St James’s Ancient Art. Other antique Roman glass flasks and jars, from £150 each, Ancient & Oriental. Coral fragments, as before. Vintage jewellery, from a selection at Alfies Antique Market. Woven hanging, £35, Woven By Emily.

The full feature on decorating with neutrals in the March 2018 issue of H&A.

Photographs: Katya De Grunwald

Twitter/Instagram: @katyadegrunwald

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Styling: Ali Attenborough