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Good morning and welcome to the new season. The clocks have gone back, the leaves are turning and, in the UK, we all had an extra hour in bed. At least some of us did. Those with small children will have got up at the same time as usual despite what the clock said. As did I. I woke at 6am and while my  brain and the clock told me it was 7, my body refused to go back to sleep. Still, it turned out to be quite a productive hour, as I lay there hoping I was going to nod off and actually  having lots of useful thoughts about the next book.

lo wallpaper by sandberg

Because Saturday morning’s post brought the contract for the next one – Mad About The House II. It’s not out until 2020 but it needs writing by the end of March. Eeeek. So I’m very thankful for that extra hour and all the planning it afforded me.

Anyway rooms. This week I was first struck by the one above. It’s a wallpaper by Sandberg and I love the colours. For those of you who still love grey but feels it needs warming up a little, this is a great way to do it. Grey is very easily influenced and adding some of these spice colours, which are currently on trend – and therefore easy to find – is a great way to to do it.

warm neutrals by earthborn paints

warm neutrals by earthborn paints

You can go with a mix of ochres and rusts or pinks and burgundies as the two images above show. Both have accessories that can easily be bought on the high street – such as throws and cushion covers and this is a lot less hassle than repainting the walls.

Another way to warm up a room is with plants. This bedroom below is white not grey, but the plants and accents of wood and leather bring layers of texture and interest to the space – you can do the same thing with grey. Grey loves green and natural wood, so if you don’t fancy the colours above you can create the same effect by bringing a bit of the outside in.

green and white by theresa gromski

green and white by theresa gromski

If you’re thinking of moving on from grey (and grey isn’t over it’s become a classic it’s just some people are now looking to new colours to freshen things up) then take a look at Bianca Hall, who is – for my money – always ahead of the curve – and is currently filling her home with accents of cream and beige. And for the record she did her sitting room blush pink about four years ago when the rest of us were just contemplating a soft grey, so if she says this is the colour then take heed.

warm neutrals by Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple

warm neutrals by Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple

Notice how the same shades of soft pink and yellow/brass work just as well with a cream shade as with pale grey so it’s a scheme that will last beyond a quick fad. Notice also, in both rooms, how a small touch of black stops it feeling like a melted Neopolitan ice cream where all the colours have run together and provides instead definition bringing a punch of clarity to the space.

warm neutrals by Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple

warm neutrals by Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple

You will have heard it said that pink is the new neutral and this image from Earthborn paints below shows you how that might be true. This is Peach Baby (get a tester it will be different in your house from this photograph which will have been professionally retouched) and it works wonders with the soft green of the kitchen cabinets but they could just as easily be grey. Or even ochre to really warm the scheme up.

peachbaby by earthborn paints

peachbaby by earthborn paints

In this room below the owner has gone for a soft blue to contrast with the white but the white is warmed by the dark wooden floor and table giving it almost a delicate pink hue.

Never forget that you don’t use a colour in isolation. It will pick up on the other items in the room and the light through the windows as well. A cold white or grey can be warmed with soft furnishings and wooden floors and a warm grey can be toned down with a cool rug or north-facing light.

image via @a_prettier_interior

image via @a_prettier_interior

Back to wallpaper and I love this scheme of dark green, white and splashes of pink and gold. It’s timeless, it’s warm and it works in every season. Even if you don’t have this gorgeous panelling. Although there are plenty of tutorials showing you how to add it to your own walls if you wish you did have it.

christian wallpaper by sandberg from l'hotel collecdtion

christian wallpaper by sandberg from l’hotel collection

This image below is just to suggest why painting the woodwork in a strong colour can look great. After choosing a bold wallpaper, it might be tempting to leave the woodwork white, but highlighting it in navy blue looks great and really shows off the paper. If you were nervous of papering the whole room and wanted to stick to one wall then picking a strong colour for the others will make it less feature wall and more of a design decision, which is ultimately what we are all looking for.

It doesn’t matter what your personal taste is, whether its fashionable or not, nor what your mother/neighbour/instagram thinks – the key is that you made a decision about why your room looks the way it looks and that it makes you happy.

marie wallpaper by sandberg

marie wallpaper by sandberg

Finally, taking the dark blue from the woodwork onto the walls. Ombre has been in vogue for a couple of years now but it’s tricky to paint well. Now you can pick a wallpaper and get the job done for you – these inky shades are perfect for a hall where you don’t linger and they will make the rooms leading off it seem lighter. It would also work well in a bedroom as the pattern stops before the top and has the effect of a half-painted wall – ie it allows you to go dark but not all over.

midnatt wallpaper by sandberg

midnatt wallpaper by sandberg

And that concludes our stroll through 10 Beautiful Rooms today. I hope that has given you some inspiration for your own rooms.

Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.

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