Tone-on-tone decorating refers to combining different tonal variations of the same color. Whether you lean towards the calming greens of jade, moss, mint, apple and emerald for your bedroom or would love your living room to be awash with blues that are as deep as the ocean or as light as the sky, decorating with these colours tone-on-tone will evoke a connection with nature like no other will.
Working with harmonious natural wood tones is so fresh. Unless your intention is rustic wood cabin, keep your eye out for contemporary pieces of furniture or items with a modern twist. Try using the natural hues of wood as an accent among the blues or greens. Grey also works well and adds a refined appeal. A throw rug in a steely grey tossed across the back of a chair, stainless-steel benches, polished-concrete floors or chunky rugs that run from grey into grey-blue would all be right at home.
Panels of highly grained timber are beautiful backdrops for lighter cabinets or timber cut-outs, which are affordable pieces of art in themselves. Wood is so tactile that collecting special pieces can become quite an obsession.
Blue and green tones
There’s a growing global trend for harmonious colour combinations, particularly using tones of blue with other tones of blue as well as shades of green with green. Mixing it up with natural elements such as timber, which itself has lots of variations in both colour and texture, relaxes the look, making it a perfect palette for the way we live in South Africa.
The key to making this work is balance. Pattern is wonderful but aim for a ratio of 30 per cent pattern against 70 per cent plain if you want the space to feel calm. Texture, be it in the scuffed-up paint on a treasured kitchen chair or the mottled pigment of a chalky wall, adds warmth through the suggestion of age. Bring in a breath of fresh, seasonal air with flowers in shades of the same colour: think hydrangea, cornflower, iris and lavender for starters.
All shades of blue work well together. Deep inky blues offset turquoise shades and a dash of white brightens everything.
Blue, in all its forms, be it cobalt, navy, royal, aqua or eggshell, is a meditative colour and green evokes harmony, making both perfect for a bedroom.
Forest, citrus and emerald greens sparkle when grouped in displays of glass or dishes piled high on open shelves. Living with blues and greens isn’t about matching shades, as the effect may look contrived. It’s the subtle contrast between colours that makes this tone-on-tone approach so refreshing. It’s a great starting point for any decorating experiment.