Bare Minimum: The Secrets Behind Nude Interior Design

There's no need to blush when discussing nude interior design. It seemed appropriate to shine a spotlight on this undressed style on National Nude Day—so celebrate the day by integrating these stripped-down strategies in your home.

Ground rules

So, what does it mean to go nude? There's often an overlap between fashion and home design. Most minds might immediately skip to “nude” tights (better known as pantyhose once upon a time)— and thanks to the royal likes of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, this look has been favourably exposed once again. Nude tights are barely there, they are neutral and this same sheer look can be applied to your home, too.

A nude approach shouldn't be confused with muted. It's gentle and unassuming—but the ambience is bold. Think subtle hues: greys, blush and creamy whites. Warm pale and chalky tones create an easy “barely there” vibe of tranquillity. Distressed and faded wallpaper designs with a burlap weave, light denim or linen texture can offer a sly suggestion of texture.

Feel the breeze

If you could capture the summer breeze in a room—what would it look like? The nude style embraces freedom and everything au naturel. Think wire-brushed hardwood, hand-scraped, ultra-matte white oak, hard maple or wide plank hickory flooring. Go with the grain! Aged and “naked” furniture that's stripped of stain will blend, which is the desired look.

How to dress down

A genuine nude style steers clear of colour pops, loud prints and patterns. Instead, think in terms of layers and textures of the same hue. Roman or roller blinds are favoured over popular jacquard options with florals and geometrics. Textured bone grommet curtains or faded damask fabric can help warm a room if you feel it's too undressed. When emphasizing simplicity, attention is instead turned to mouldings and trim.

How to dress up

Go big on the metallics! Rose gold, copper and satin nickel hardware and fixtures will shine with the neutral nude palette. Mix metallics with Venetian plaster, glass tables and caned chairs. Conical, cylinder or schoolhouse pendant lamps and fixtures with clear seedy glass are subdued and functional.

Nothing hidden

Apothecary jars are ideal for sundries and can be incorporated into any room of your house. They can do double duty in the kitchen for loose leaf tea, raw sugar and granola. For a sweet surprise, stock them with wrapped salt water taffy or pastel jelly beans in a guest room.

Air plant terrariums or a simple plant wall provide unique living art while twisted driftwood and antlers lend well to the nude aesthetic of simplicity.

If you've always wanted to display your books backwards, the nude design style embraces this. By pointing book spines backwards, a monochromatic sameness will be achieved. And, if your bookshelf is located in a room that sees a lot of afternoon sun, it will actually help preserve your collection from fading. Don't forget–when you go nude, your tan lines will show–just grin and bare it.

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