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Featured Image: Studio Mcgee.
LISBON - At home, our home office greets the south-east. The task at hand? More than selection, it's an act of refinement - the perfect neutral paint colour.
Now, the following considerations aren't just about hues and tones - they're about creating an aesthetic that nurtures both a rescued Greyhound and two minds constantly toggling between productivity and creativity. Because light, neutral colours aren’t just a choice in this space but a necessity. As Sally Augustin, an environmental and design psychologist, notes, “Lighting [has] a significant effect on people’s psychological state as well as how they think and behave.”
Each morning, shafts of sunlight, filtered through the lacework of a silver birch tree, perform a pas assemblé across our home office. Illuminating Pombaline architecture, nature’s choreography means the choice of a neutral hue becomes not just an aesthetic decision but a tribute to daybreak. Much like this cabin in Mont-Tremblant.
Balance of colour? Paramount. Too crisp, and the room becomes a sterile, unwelcoming space; too creamy, and it risks swamping the natural light that is one of the room's best assets.
Beyond their calming aesthetic, neutral colours serve a deeper purpose. They reduce anxiety, foster peace, and become a refuge in a world that rarely pauses. Light aids our sleep rhythms and, in the home office room, can make all the difference in how it feels and welcomes us all year round.
As we edge into 2024, a year set to be more drenched in technology than we’ve ever felt before, the picking of the perfect palette for your home office isn't about trends; it's finding the right backdrop that enhances your home office's natural play of light and shadow, fuelling your creative spirit. Here are seven neutral colours that promise to do just that:
Whipped is morning light captured in a can. And it adds a brightness to your room that's both hopeful and understated, never demanding attention but always optimistic. Clare Paints' Whipped is the quintessence of neutrality. The creamy undertone is a perfect backdrop for both minimalist and maximalist interiors, playing well with natural light to create stability.
White 02 Matt by Lick is not simply white; it's low-key in a colour. Its matte finish absorbs light in a way that cushions edges and obscures flaws, lending an effortless sophistication to any room. It is the canvas of choice for those who seek a immaculate setting that allows their furnishings to speak, yet it carries a warmth that prevents it from becoming too harsh.
Slipper Satin from Farrow & Ball is the little black dress of paint colours. Timeless, versatile, and elegant without trying. Its reserved pigment is a story of colour that brings class to any room. This shade doesn't shout; it doesn't need to. Its controlled presence is a statement of luxury.
Neptune's Shell Paint is a nod to the fullness that can be found in neutrality. Its velvety texture and deepness transform walls into works of art. Shell offers a richness that belies its underplayed character, providing a full-bodied neutral that is both soothing and strong. Enveloping you like a well-steamed latte on a brisk morning.
Alabaster by Sherwin Williams is the epitome of softness in a shade that speaks in quiet tones but resonates enormously. It's a white with a hint of ardency - think sunlight filtered through 220 thread count curtains. Alabaster doesn't dominate; it motivates, offering a breath of fresh air to spaces that covet a more light.
Wevet No.273 is the poet among neutrals. Think, dawn seeping through dew-laced spider webs. It seems to float on the walls, obtaining a rare weightlessness. Capturing the crux of morning mist in a paint that is both elusive and evident, Farrow and Ball have crafted an almost perfect neutral, causing Coat Paints to sponsor Google Ads for ‘Warm Putty’ each time you search for it. (Which, if you’re wondering is a rich and fun, neutral that creates warmth in any facing room.)
Last by by no means least, Blackened is Farrow and Ball's ode to the colour of shadows on snow, a white that speaks in cooler tones but never feels cold. It's the shade that reflects the modernist's search for the perfect neutral – a hue that complements the stark lines and curves of any contemporary design.
So, when was the last time your home office was painted? As we’ve discussed, next year is poised to be more intertwined with technology than ever before. And our choice of paint in your home’s most creatively used space is an important decision. As designers, artists, and strategists, our environments shape us as much as we shape them.
And these colours are more than just a backdrop; they are a choice to live deliberately. Is there an incredible neutral I’ve left out? Get in touch and let me know!