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Homes & gardens: The White stuff; Not so long ago magnolia used to be a dirty word -but now neutrals are back in fashion big-time. LUCINDA LEWIS gives you the low-down on light off-whites.

Byline: LUCINDA LEWIS

REMAINING neutral when it comes to decorating your home doesn't mean sitting on the fence.

While neutral schemes can all too often be labelled unexciting or soulless, they can also be sumptuous and stylish.

What's more, they can be very NOW!

The yellowy pink hues of magnolia still grace the paint charts but they've been joined by a whole host of creamy off-whites and pale taupes.

Neutrals are easy to live with, calming, adaptable and timeless. By adding in a touch of colour through furnishings and accessories, your colour scheme is brought to life.

The result is a room with a sense of sanctuary, giving the entire house a calm and serene atmosphere When it comes to designing your interior, neutral schemes are relatively easy to put together, too.

The High Street presents us with a vast selection with nearly all homeware retailers holding a basic range of cream and off-white soft furnishings and accessories.

Getting an exact match is never really going to be an issue, either. If anything, a scheme will be enhanced by the contrast of several shades or different fabrics use.

Elegant and classic, neutrals are comparatively timeless.

Yes, trends change but you're less likely to date a room with a cream based scheme.

The flexibility of neutral schemes also means that they work well with other colours and translate well into different styles.

Team them with natural materials such as stone and wood to offer an extra dimension as texture is added to your scheme.

And if you feel your room is too neutral, the addition of a couple of pink orchids and matching cushions works wonders.

Neutrals are important, too, when it comes to selling your house.

Few people are going to be offended by a neutral scheme whilst that red hallway is more of an acquired taste, unless your name happens to be Laurence Llewellyn Bowen.

A neutral scheme will provide a potential purchaser with that simple backdrop against which they can picture themselves and their own furniture.

CAPTION(S):

ALL CHANGE... Laurence Llewellyn Bowen might not approve but neutral is back
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2003
Words:352
Previous Article:Homes & gardens: ASK TOBY.
Next Article:Homes & gardens: DRESS TO IMPRESS AT HOME.


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