How to achieve the sleek, natural decor look in your home this season.

Words: Georgia Rickard

Natural linens, pale hues, lots of white and plenty of texture – the ‘neutral decor’ look is big this summer, but it’s not just trendy – it’s functional. “It’s clean, it’s modern, it suits most homes and the white makes everything look more spacious,” notes Janelle Neal, assistant manager at Bed Bath N’ Table. Plus, she adds, “the lack of colour allows you to focus on texture, which adds warmth and interest without losing elegance”.

But how do you incorporate this trend into your home without spending a bundle? Easy – start with these tips.

Lighten your lamps

According to sales assistant Jess at Sorrento, a new lamp will make a significant contribution to the atmosphere of your home – and you don’t need to spend a packet. “In fact, you don’t even have to purchase a new lamp,” she says. “Just new lampshades can make a big difference!” Lighter colours, such as cream, sand and ivory, will help amplify the amount of light emitted by the bulb, she says, and don’t forget to change your lightbulbs. “Choosing white bulbs instead of yellow will change the feel of a room.”

Clear out the kitchen

“Who doesn’t like a lovely, neutral kitchen?” asks Tiff Herbert, manager at Plenty Kitchen & Tableware. “It’s visually cleaner to look at, and a calm house is a calm mind. Heaven!” To embrace this trend without having to renovate, she recommends overhauling your kitchen storage. “If you can streamline your storage space, you’ll not only get a great-looking space but enjoy better quality of life,” she says simply. As for appliances – choose white and timber tones wherever possible for a
blank canvas.

Invest in bed linen

“Good-quality bed linen isn’t cheap, and the bed is usually a major feature of the bedroom – so it’s smart to choose sheets that will suit the room even if you change your colour scheme,” says Janelle. White, cream or natural linen colours are not only a fantastic way to establish the ‘neutral’ look but give you the freedom of changing the style of your bedroom down the track using smaller, more affordable accessories, she says. If you really want to embrace this trend, however, “linen is the most popular type of sheet we’re selling at the moment”.

Buy a linen throw

Forget buying a new couch – purchase a beautiful linen throw for a fraction of the price, and create a whole new look in the lounge with minimal effort. “A throw that covers the couch – especially a lighter coloured one – can lighten the room, and add texture and warmth,” Janelle says.

…then add cosiness

Bright all-white rooms can look a little stark without texture, so add interest and warmth with different materials. “Lighter cushions are a great way to freshen up a room – even if you’re purchasing them in traditional ‘winter’ materials such as wool,” says Jess. Rugs and throws also offer depth, particularly when layered.

Get the look with these pieces from The Village: