Be Brave color combinations

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A. Subtle contrast

In a palette of five colors, we consider ways of balancing the scheme by choosing the dominant and accent colors, with the softer tones used to ground the look.

Neutral tones need not just be greige, with hazy pastels of mauve and aqua offering an uplifting alternative for interiors, working well on larger soft seating and window treatments. Flecks of white through rich purple give the fabric a delicacy, creating a subtler contrast with the other tones, a striking color and texture for task seating as well as a suggestion for finishes on accessories and woodwork. To finish the look, introduce some fresh coral pink; this baby herringbone weave offers a contemporary texture for soft furnishing and key furniture pieces.

B. Dynamic blends

Ambitious color mixing has the ability to create a dynamic and contemporary interior look, where energizing brights balance with shades of grey.

Central to this micro-palette is the lime green full of zest and reminiscent of sportswear. It is a color that is vibrant yet sophisticated for task chair bases and backs, not to mention a key accent to translate into accessories, trims and soft furnishings on contrasting soft seating, such as purple and mottled grey. A barcode-inspired stripe fabric encourages the eye to travel and is an effective way of giving larger seating a welcoming look. Quilted channels in the soft neutral grey wool also bring interest, adding a tactile quality for panels and pods to instill a sense of calm, with pale grey also as a background for walls against the richer tones.

C. Understated brights

Less is more in this unassuming palette of four colors, stripped back to allow bright accents and textural effects to take center stage.

Dappled checks and chunky weaves push the boundaries of grey in this textural scheme and ensure these softer tones balance with the richer, punctuating colors. Highlights of orange in the background of shades of grey is a sensitive way to add a bright tone to upholstery, while zesty green as an all-over color brings another dimension, key for task seating and soft furnishings. Mottled and patterned designs bring a contemporary feel to dependable grey, offering a new alternative for larger soft seating. This series of colors and fabrics has an understated aesthetic, for those who want to introduce bright color while maintaining a timeless look.