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

On The Market

For Sale: An Ultimate Sydney Dream Home, With Waterfront Views

This new Balmain family home has it all - a resort-style backyard, swimming pool, gym, steam room, home theatre, and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...
Lucy Feagins
  17 hours ago

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

See the winners and finalists from the most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras
  11 hours ago

Stays

A Serene Architectural Getaway Overlooking Vineyards In Central Victoria

Barfold Estate's new boutique accommodation is the best kept secret in the Heathcote / Kyneton region – for now!

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.
Bea Taylor
  8 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.

This Week

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.
Bea Taylor
  8 hours ago

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras
  11 hours ago

On The Market

For Sale: An Ultimate Sydney Dream Home, With Waterfront Views

This new Balmain family home has it all - a resort-style backyard, swimming pool, gym, steam room, home theatre, and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...
Lucy Feagins
  17 hours ago

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

See the winners and finalists from the most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!

Stays

A Serene Architectural Getaway Overlooking Vineyards In Central Victoria

Barfold Estate's new boutique accommodation is the best kept secret in the Heathcote / Kyneton region – for now!

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras

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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net