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

Don't Miss The 'My General Store' Pop-Up This Weekend

Melbournians, you’ve got one day only to have an IRL try on of these Australian made designs in natural fabrics.
Miriam McGarry

Studio Visit

The Self-Taught Painter Inspired By His Ethiopian Heritage

We visit Afro-Norwegian artist Olana Janfa in his Thornbury garden-shed studio, who paints to connect with his history and culture.

Architecture

Making Mid-Century Modern Again

The rejuvenated 'Fig Tree Pocket' 60’s House by Bligh Graham Architects, in Brisbane.
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

Food

Ella Mittas' Zesty Potato Salad With Pesto

Ella Mittas' Greek-inspired potato salad, with zesty lemon, roast almonds and a flavour-packed fresh pesto.
Ella Mittas

Art

A New Direction For A Much-Loved Landscape Painter

Belynda Henry’s forthcoming exhibition, ‘Reflections’, is a bold new collection of oil-on-canvas landscapes.
Elle Murrell

Lighting

A Leading Lighting Designer Transforms An Underground Carpark

British product designer Lee Broom creates a breathtaking installation in the carpark of Space Furniture in Sydney – and it’s only open

Architecture

A Home In Three (Tiny) Parts

Atelier Chen Hung blasts open the idea of micro-living, with a literal hole in the middle of this tiny home!
Miriam McGarry

News

A Rare Insight Into The Life Of Design Legend Dieter Rams

ACMI presents the Australian premiere of Rams, a documentary about one of the modern world’s most important design icons.
Sally Tabart
  23 hours ago

Get A Good Night's Sleep, With These Top 10 Bed Linen Brands

Celebrating World Sleep Day (today!) with top tips for a good night's sleep, from ten of the best bed linen brands.

Interior Design

The Stella Collective's Award-Winning Interiors, From Palestine to Brisbane

Meet Hana Hakim the founder of a Melbourne interior design studio creating WOW-factor projects, both here and abroad.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

The Long And Lean Sub-Tropical Dream!

Painted white brick and intriguing forms create a real eye-catcher, in this Shaun Lockyer designed home in Chandler, Queensland.
Miriam McGarry
  1 hour ago

Art

5 Standout Installations At Melbourne's Newest Gallery

Corbett Lyon guides us though Lyon Housemuseum Galleries' inaugural exhibition, unveiling new works by Australia's contemporary art trailbla...
Elle Murrell

News

Thomas Coward And Fiona Lynch Bring A Greek Marble Quarry To Collingwood

An exhibition that honours the ancient materials used in Artedomus’ ground-breaking furniture collection, New Volumes.
Sally Tabart

Travel

A Micro Hotel Room Inside An Upcycled Shipping Container

A pop-up hotel on a tiny footprint, touring Victorian wineries the autumn!

Homes

The Self-Designed Home Of Two Architects In South Melbourne

The self-designed home of architects Edward and Edwina Glenn in South Melbourne.
Lucy Feagins
  9 hours ago

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

News

Don't Miss The 'My General Store' Pop-Up This Weekend

Melbournians, you’ve got one day only to have an IRL try on of these Australian made designs in natural fabrics.
Miriam McGarry

Homes

The Self-Designed Home Of Two Architects In South Melbourne

The self-designed home of architects Edward and Edwina Glenn in South Melbourne.
Lucy Feagins
  9 hours ago

Architecture

The Long And Lean Sub-Tropical Dream!

Painted white brick and intriguing forms create a real eye-catcher, in this Shaun Lockyer designed home in Chandler, Queensland.
Miriam McGarry
  1 hour ago

Lighting

A Leading Lighting Designer Transforms An Underground Carpark

British product designer Lee Broom creates a breathtaking installation in the carpark of Space Furniture in Sydney – and it’s only open

Art

A New Direction For A Much-Loved Landscape Painter

Belynda Henry’s forthcoming exhibition, ‘Reflections’, is a bold new collection of oil-on-canvas landscapes.
Elle Murrell

Get A Good Night's Sleep, With These Top 10 Bed Linen Brands

Celebrating World Sleep Day (today!) with top tips for a good night's sleep, from ten of the best bed linen brands.

Food

Ella Mittas' Zesty Potato Salad With Pesto

Ella Mittas' Greek-inspired potato salad, with zesty lemon, roast almonds and a flavour-packed fresh pesto.
Ella Mittas

News

Thomas Coward And Fiona Lynch Bring A Greek Marble Quarry To Collingwood

An exhibition that honours the ancient materials used in Artedomus’ ground-breaking furniture collection, New Volumes.
Sally Tabart

Interior Design

The Stella Collective's Award-Winning Interiors, From Palestine to Brisbane

Meet Hana Hakim the founder of a Melbourne interior design studio creating WOW-factor projects, both here and abroad.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

The Self-Taught Painter Inspired By His Ethiopian Heritage

We visit Afro-Norwegian artist Olana Janfa in his Thornbury garden-shed studio, who paints to connect with his history and culture.

Travel

A Micro Hotel Room Inside An Upcycled Shipping Container

A pop-up hotel on a tiny footprint, touring Victorian wineries the autumn!

News

A Rare Insight Into The Life Of Design Legend Dieter Rams

ACMI presents the Australian premiere of Rams, a documentary about one of the modern world’s most important design icons.
Sally Tabart
  23 hours ago

Architecture

A Home In Three (Tiny) Parts

Atelier Chen Hung blasts open the idea of micro-living, with a literal hole in the middle of this tiny home!
Miriam McGarry

Art

5 Standout Installations At Melbourne's Newest Gallery

Corbett Lyon guides us though Lyon Housemuseum Galleries' inaugural exhibition, unveiling new works by Australia's contemporary art trailbla...
Elle Murrell

Architecture

Making Mid-Century Modern Again

The rejuvenated 'Fig Tree Pocket' 60’s House by Bligh Graham Architects, in Brisbane.
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

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.