Last Tuesday I attended the Amsterdam Woonbeurs, a trade show for all things interior.


I had my 6-week-old, Nathan, for company. He took it all in from the comfort of his carrier. I forgot how mobile babies are (at least, compared to toddlers) and in Nathan's first weeks I've definitely taken advantage. He didn't even slow me down but for one feeding and a diaper change!

Anyway, we loved these neutral palette still lives that were on display at De Kunst Salon, where you can rent and/or buy paintings for your home or office.
In this display, I especially like the grouping of the dark, light, and dramatically vertical canvases all together, more than I would, I think, if they were on their own.

Other colors I saw popping up all around the show were neon pink, orange and yellow. These are details seen at 101woonideeën (a Dutch interiors magazine with a particular slant toward DIY). I love this magazine, because more than inspiring you want to BUY things, it inspires you to want to MAKE things, or update/embellish/alter things you already have.


You might say neon colors fall on the other end of the spectrum, representing a totally different mood, generation ... century even.

That's why I've been inspired this week to experiment with a color study incorporating neutrals and neon. Or any bright accent color, really. Lots of blogs and magazines are filled with neutral-palette interiors these days. Maybe there is a reluctance to commit to color. So what if you stuck to a neutral palette for permanent fixtures in your home and then rotated different accent colors in when you needed a change?

I understand the appeal of neutral colors. They don't impose on your mood or psychology the way bright colors do. It's easy to tie different styles (modern, traditional, simple, ornate, etc.) together with a unified, neutral palette, which means you can pick out eclectic pieces that don't have much else to do with each other outside of the fact that they belong to the same color family. And it won't feel busy, or cluttered. A single (bright) color or a couple of colors that stand out against this ground have a decided effect. It's nice to be able to rotate these as seasons, moods and tastes change.


I love this still life by Jo Bradney on Etsy. It incorporates the best of both of these color worlds, with the neon brights of the lemon popping out against the beautiful, subtle gradations of a neutral ground.

This gave me the idea to try some new versions of my tulip wallpaper (on dark gray, light gray and black backgrounds), and combine it with some neon accents, including a couple of pieces of neon furniture I found on Pinterest.




The chair is by Thomas Bentzen; unfortunately I couldn't find a credit for the table.

These images represent a fresh and unexpected combination of modern and traditional, bright and subdued, angular and billowing that is really working for me.

Which color background do you like for the tulips?