Our first palette introduces the colour that, we feel, is Olive’s ideal neutral partner: Honed Slate. Like Olive, it has a yellow base and could even be considered to have a touch of green about it, so it’s less of a crisp contrast than, say, Shell, Salt or Snow would be, and more of a tone-on-tone pairing.
One way to use it is simply as the woodwork colour to walls in Olive. Although the first thought with your room’s skirting, coving and doors is to reach for a shade of white – which Honed Slate, although neutral, decidedly isn’t – if you were aiming for a muted scheme like the one in our moodboard, any white, however soft, is going to stand out as bright when directly against the deep and pigmented Olive. (Although that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with that if your palette is a cleaner, bolder one.) So, while on its own Honed Slate is quite dark, side by side with Olive, it takes on that role of the muted woodwork neutral perfectly. You could even take it up onto the ceiling, although if you feel it’s too dark for that, we’d suggest Old Chalk, which comes from the same colour family as Honed Slate, instead.
The other course you can take is to flip things around and make Honed Slate your dominant colour with Olive as an accent. In several of our photoshoot schemes this autumn, we used Honed Slate across both walls and woodwork and then added in Olive on painted furniture and through our Harris Tweed textile. The effect is very similar to Olive with accents of Honed Slate – still soothing, warm and cossetting – albeit lighter.
You can then leave things at that, like we’ve done in our moodboard, and continue the subdued palette with undyed linens, natural and darkened timbers, and other stone-like hues, or you can see the Olive and Honed Slate pairing as your jumping off point from which brighter colours can really sing.