Style

Unbasic beige

We’re not saying it’s the new black, but beige is back – but this time around the look is all about subtle nuances and raw textures.

Beige on beige: How to make au naturel tones work in the modern home.

We know what you’re thinking – beige equals boring. But choose the right shade and you can take a room from safe to sophisticated in a flash. The key to bringing beige to life is creating contrast. Your beige wall will act as the backdrop to your scene, subtly changing with daylight. Then go for a contrasting lighter or darker shade on the floor, before building layers with furniture, objects and art in a limited palette of colours.

Add texture with raw materials such as wood, leather and cork. Roll out a natural jute or woven wool rug for texture underfoot. And hang sheer linen drapery so it pools on the floor, for an elegant look that creates subtle shadow play in the room.

Once you have your beige base layers established, add dark and shiny accents in smaller amounts to bring richness to the room. Both the dining and living rooms featured in these pages feature lighting in matt black metal finishes which provide this visual contrast. Seek out smaller accessories in smoky glass, cast iron and brass.

DINING DETAIL ABOVE Chang Mai Pottery Drip vase, $55, blackbirdgoods.co.nz. Constellation white acrylic and oil on wood painting (130 x 220mm) by Louise McRae, $390; Mellow Yellow acrylic and oil on canvas painting (200 x 200mm) by Sarah Williams, $650, seedgallery.co.nz. Dried flowers, markantonia.com. Mason Chidgey porcelain vase, $125; beaker, $50, thepoiroom.co.nz. Papier mâche cone, $2.99, spotlightstores.com. Olio stoneware jug by BarberOsgerby x Royal Doulton, $99.95, everyday-needs.com. Rattan cane rings, from $3.99, spotlightstores.com. Compound sideboard in natural oak, $2290, cittadesign.com. All other items, stylist’s own.

unbasic beige homestyle 2

DINING ROOM Sideboard, as previous page. A2 Dry Brush Paintings by Jessilene Marriott, $215 each (framed), fatherrabbit.com. Tom Dixon Beat light, $1045, ecc.co.nz. Foundational jug, $67, theshelter.co.nz. Handblown Orphans Kitchen carafe, $220; handblown glasses, $50 each, monmouthglassstudio.com. Twenty-seven names Florence coat, $620, twentysevennames.co.nz. RD leather dining chairs, $845 each; RD dining table, $3650; RD stool, $350, douglasandbec.co.nz. Looped jute rug in Natural, $1975, nodirugs.com. Walls painted in Resene Sandcastle; floor painted in Resene White Pointer, resene.co.nz.

unbasic beige homestyle 3

LIVING ROOM Ona drapery in Natural, $79.95p/m, jamesdunlop.co.nz. Mylius floor light, $249, freedomfurniture.co.nz. Glinks 2 photographic print by Duncan Innes, POA, duncaninnes.co.nz. Marimekko Flower glass, $55, boltofcloth.com. Muuto Cosy lamp, $395, bauhaus.co.nz. Cork low sidetable, $399, concreteblush.com. Rare Carstens vase, $320, mrbigglesworthy.co.nz. Birger sofa, $3039, dawsonandco.nz. Eno denim cushion cover, $49.90, cittadesign.com. Castle Penny Round velvet cushion, $109, smallacorns.co.nz. Cotton velvet cushion cover in Oat, $49.90, cittadesign.com. Klippan Sweden Inez blanket, $239, teapea.co.nz. Paddle chair, $1500, homage.co.nz. Cushionolopy Wave The Flag cushion, $129, afdstore.co.nz. Katherine Smyth ramekin, $17.99, smallacorns.co.nz. Marbleman clutch, $295, deadlyponies.com. Walls painted in Resene Sandcastle; floor painted in Resene White Pointer, resene.co.nz. Coffee table and contents details, next page.

unbasic beige homestyle 4

COFFEE TABLE SHOT KS boots, $699, katesylvester.com. Journal table by Nonn, $5155, simonjamesdesign.com. Hand-carved pumice bowl, $25, blackbirdgoods.co.nz. Assorted notebooks, from $26.50, tessuti.co.nz. Katherine Smyth ramekin, $17.99 each, smallacorns.co.nz. Olio teapot, $119, everyday-needs.com. Nanbutekki cast iron trivet, $55, aaaselect.co. Cire Trudon Cyrnos limited edition candle, $169, worldbrand.co.nz. Marbleman clutch, $295, deadlyponies.com. Paddle chair, $1500, homage.co.nz. Klippan Sweden Inez blanket, $239, teapea.co.nz. Ribbed wool rug in Marl Grey $1380, nodirugs.com.

Styling Alice Lines  
Photography Wendy Fenwick