It’s fair to say that when King Living launched the original Jasper sofa back in 2003, the world was a little beige, style-wise. Neutrals ruled the day then, and – to be honest – sixteen years later, they remain a firm favourite with us Aussies. These days we might use a broader range of names (latte, stone, pumice, ecru, taupe) to differentiate between these natural shades, but there’s good reason for their enduring appeal. Neutral shades feel cool in our frequently harsh climate; they complement our abundant natural light; neutrals suit the pared-back, Scandinavian-style simplicity that we love and they remind us of the beach that’s so often on our doorstep. Surrounded as we are in this country by the intensity of nature, neutrals provide the perfect backdrop.
Yet for all its apparent simplicity, a neutral palette can often be the hardest to work with. Perhaps that’s a polite way of saying that in the wrong hands, it can feel bland. But used correctly, a neutral interior can be warm, rich and sophisticated. Look at fashion maestros like Giorgio Armani and Max Mara, who have made neutrals their signature over the years. The secret is in layering and accessorizing. I mention fashion because this autumn, there’s a real synergy between what’s happening on the catwalk and in our homes. Neutrals are autumn’s big style story and I believe the same rules apply whether we’re dressing ourselves or our rooms.
In my autumn space, I’ve used the clean lines of King Living’s Jasper II sofa (in Palm Beach Pumice fabric) as the focal point. But I’ve chosen not to use the obvious contrast of strong colour. Instead, I’ve opted for a mix of aesthetics and textures to create impact in a room that feels contemporary and welcoming. Starting with a generous Hue Mink rug to outline the space, I’ve added the mid-century lines of the Aspen coffee table in American walnut to add warmth and complement the sofa’s timber trim. Additional depth and contrast come from the luxurious Cassia daybed - one of my favourite pieces - in rich green leather and Panama Square cushions in deep green and geometric patterns. King Living’s elegant new Balla floor lamp adds height, depth and a confident industrial note to the setting. In the dining area, I’ve teamed the sleek simplicity of the Canyon dining table with Aspen dining chairs in leather. It’s a setting that can be as formal or relaxed, as contemporary or classic as you wish, based on the tabletop accessories you choose.
Autumn’s pale palette is a welcome change from the saturated colour we’ve been seeing recently. I’ve chosen greens and other textured neutrals to complete the look, but burnt orange and terracotta and the muddier shades of yellow, blue and pink will work equally well - as will large houseplants, traditional basketry and oversized art. Remember that neutrals provide a truly blank canvas for whichever interior story you want to tell.