This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Lift Your Home With These Subtle Tones

Roundup

The new year isn’t just about self-improvement. It’s also about home improvement! Now is the perfect time to consider a tidy-up, clear out and general refresh at home. Out with the old, in with the new!

One of the easiest ways to make a big impact at home is by introducing colour, and today we’re highlighting a palette of fresh, calming tones we’re totally loving right now.

Muted and neutral hues such as blush, peach, and soft, dusty blues inject a subtle sense of interest and personality, without commanding all the attention! Today we share some of our favourite examples.

9th January, 2019

The impossibly cool West Brunswick apartment of Sean Fennessy and Jess Lillico, and now baby Matilda! Ceramic face by Louise Kyriakou from Modern Times. Painting by Neil Tomkins. Sculpture by Sanné Mestrom. Tulip dining table by Eero Saarinen. Restored Cesca-style chairs. Pendant by Laal. Herringbone floors by Storey. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Styling – Jessica Lillico.

Mark Tuckey sofa and coffee table, with leather chair from Hub Furniture, B&B Italia marble coffee table from Space Furniture, and Rug from Loom. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.The tiny cottage of Josh, Jennaand Freddie Densten. Artwork by Samantha Totty. Stools by Fred International painted a custom apricot. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design  Files.

Looking out from the kitchen to the dining space. Brass cabinet handles from Superfront. Laminex counter top in Deep Sea. Painting by Neil Tomkins. Sculpture by Sanné Mestrom. Tulip dining table by Saarinen. Restored Cesca-style chairs. Pendant by Laal. Herringbone floors by Storey. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Styling – Jessica Lillico.

The tiny cottage of Josh, Jennaand Freddie Densten. Artwork by Samantha Totty. Stools by Fred International painted a custom apricot. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design  Files.

The secondary living area in James Tutton’s Victorian home in Coburg (painted in Dulux Ellen quarter strength), artwork by Dale Frank, and table from Dedece with Charles Eames chairs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sean Fennessy and Jess Lillico’s West Brunswick apartment. Above the bed. Small framed print from Mexico. Boris Bucan framed posted from Letitia Morris. Bedhead commissioned from Melbourne Table Co. Paper lamp from Country Ltd, Los Angeles. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Styling – Jessica Lillico.

The kitchen in Mary Featherston’s Ivanhoe homeKitchen custom designed by Julian Featherston. Corian benchtop with integrated sink. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

James Tutton’s Victorian home in Coburg An ornamental KISS-style guitar from when James was little and mirror from Cult. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Interior designer Therese Carrodus’ South Yarra home. Re-upholstered midcentury bar stools, blue Solo stool by District Furniture, artwork by Zac Koukoravas from Flinders Lane Gallery and flowers by Anna Loughnan Flower. Production/styling – Lucy Feagins. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

James Tutton’s Victorian home in Coburg. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A bright and fresh bathroom in this Yarraville family home designed by Brave New Eco. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

The Sorrento Beach House designed by Figureground Architecture. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The tiny cottage of Josh, Jennaand Freddie Densten. Artwork by Samantha Totty. Stools by Fred International painted a custom apricot. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design  Files.

Mardi Ola’s South Yarra warehouse. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mardi Ola’s South Yarra warehouse. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kitchen and dining areas in Chris and Arabella Wilson’s Jan Juc home. Dining table by Mark Tuckey, retro tulip lamps from 1stDibs, Aga stove from Aga Australia, and PET lamps. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 9th January 2019

These colours are the perfect alternative to white – adding just enough interest, whilst still being very ‘user-friendly’!

I’m often asked about colour trends, and I must admit it’s not my favourite question. I’m a huge fan of colour in the home – but I hate the idea of dictating what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out’, I think it leads to really formulaic, boring interiors. At the end of the day, there really is no right or wrong; colour selection always has an element of intuition about it, and having the confidence to just go for it!

That said, some colours are easier to work with than others. Whilst we do love seeing bold colour, and dark moody colour in Australian homes, right now we’re feeling a more subtle, muted palette of blush, dusty soft blues and washed out greys. These colours are the perfect alternative to white, adding just enough interest to a space, whilst still being very ‘user-friendly’!

As we documented last month, the apartment of Jess Lillico and Sean Fennessy combines a sleek and contemporary aesthetic, with down-to-earth liveability. The blush wall in the dining room is a revelation – this colour somehow feels both retro and utterly contemporary all at once. As with the rest of the apartment, this muted feature wall is ‘just enough’, without being too much.

A similar palette features in the incredible Coburg home of James Tutton, where the living room’s soft peach walls, painted in Dulux’s ‘Ellen’ in quarter strength, provide the perfect respite from white, lending a contemporary edge to this grand Victorian mansion, with subtlety and restraint.

One house we can’t ever get over is the former home of Chris and Arabella Wilson in Jan Juc. We described it as ‘Rustic Robinson Crusoe’ first time around, and we stand by that! Textured and whitewashed walls are enlivened in the kitchen by a dusty blue palette – a colour that pairs perfectly with the bleached timber and beachy styling of this eclectic family home.

This Week

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li
  17 hours ago

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!
Lucy Feagins
  9 hours ago
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

The Sleekest Apartment In West Brunswick

Explore the exacting apartment of photographer Sean Fennessy and stylist Jess Lillico.

Homes

James Tutton

An epic renovated Victorian home in Coburg, which merges contemporary interiors with heritage architecture.

Homes

Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

A post-war home in Melbourne's inner west is cleverly revamped by Brave New Eco, with wheel chair access in mind.

This Week

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!
Lucy Feagins
  9 hours ago

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li
  17 hours ago

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

Similar Stories

Homes

The Sleekest Apartment In West Brunswick

Explore the exacting apartment of photographer Sean Fennessy and stylist Jess Lillico.

Homes

James Tutton

An epic renovated Victorian home in Coburg, which merges contemporary interiors with heritage architecture.

Homes

Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

A post-war home in Melbourne's inner west is cleverly revamped by Brave New Eco, with wheel chair access in mind.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.