Neutral living spaces look fantastic when they feature various textures and tones. We show you how to make these spaces contemporary and interesting with three top tips from design expert and interior stylist Juliette Arrighi de Casanova of Juj Living, along with a round-up of décor buys:

Envy & Co

1 – Form

Pay attention to the form – the shape – of your decorative pieces. An ornate mirror will have its own identity and will create its own mood. A conical-shaped vase will stand out among round examples. Adding LED lighting to a piece of furniture or an accessory will cast a certain shadow and guide the eye around a room in a particular way. Be mindful that sizeable furniture allows for drama if that’s what you want to add to a neutral living space. Try piping a sofa in a contrasting colour to the upholstery or finish edges of your joinery with a brass beading detail. This is all key to contemporary design.

2 – Tone

Layering pieces that are from the same tonal “family” makes for beautiful vignettes and creates visual intrigue. It’s all about acknowledging the principles of the colour wheel and the temperature of the hues you’re employing. Timber and greenery work well together, naturally. Why? Browns and greens evoke a sense of sylvan earthiness and serve as a strong anchoring palette that will work well within a neutral or a more colourful decorative environment.

3 – Texture

Consider the materials your furniture and accessories are made of. What is the feel you want to evoke? Concrete surfaces, de-saturated or monochromatic décor schemes and hard metals like steel and brass generally need softs (textiles etc.) to balance their harshness, their weight and their seriousness. A space comprising these types of elements will also require warm textiles like wool or bamboo-silk rugs and natural chunky fabrics which will introduce both sensuality and cosiness into a generally cold environment.

Dark Horse

Here’s our round-up of décor buys that can add texture and tone (and most importantly interest) to your neutral living space:

1. A good mix of scatters like this gorgeous collection of mixed prints, patterns and textures adds a pop of pizzazz to any lounging area, providing an instant glam factor. www.woolworths.co.za

Woolworths

2. Adding personality, the vibrant Wimbi pendant from Ashanti Design will add interest by providing an element of texture and design. ashantidesign.com

Ashanti Design

3. As the saying goes, it’s all in the detail. Ceramics are a must and we love the detail of this piece from Pazz Modernist’s Mud Studio collection. pazzmodernist.co.za

Pazz Modernist

4. Neutrals often soften the look and feel of a room. Adding a White Bone & Brass Frame from Poetry can do just the trick! www.poetrystores.co.za

Poetry

5. No matter the season, a throw is a must. In winter layering throws in varying colours and textures can add warmth to a space, while in summer light linen throws of prints and plains can freshen up the feel of the room. Keeping us cosy, this Dana Natural Throw from Volpes can be the perfect neutral base. www.volpes.co.za

Volpes

6. A necessity in the design of a living space, rugs have so much to offer. The Ozenzulu rug by The Ninevites from Esque makes a bold presence with a graphic print in a neutral palette. Handcrafted and handwoven with 100% Mohair, the Ozenzulu could be your living room’s statement piece. www.esque.co.za

Esque