How to Use Neutral Colors In Interior Design?

How to Use Neutral Colors In Interior Design? Some people just don’t like to be overwhelmed with color. Usually their home has beautiful white walls, and their wardrobe consists of wearing khaki on a daily basis. Although some people will immediately think of ‘dull and uninteresting’ when presented with the idea of neutral colors, a neutral color palette can be very comforting, uncomplicated, sophisticated, polished, and more. Decorating with neutrals can take a variety of directions and the result is anything but boring.

If you decide that a neutral color palette is the color scheme for your decorating project, what you are saying is that your selections will be primarily composed of white, off-white, beige, tan, khaki, gray, black and other similar colors. So now that you have made that decision, what is your next step?


You should first determine the two or three main colors for your decorating project, and then select a fourth color as an accent. This is where the design decision becomes interesting. For example, you may decide that your main three colors will include off-white, tan and black. The accent color could be a deeper shade of the tan that you selected (or several shades of tan) and use it on accent pillows, in a patterned area rug, artwork, sculpture, etc. By using lighter and darker shades of tan, you keep the decor interesting but still quite neutral. Black can be quite striking and not overwhelming if used in small quantities.


Or, you may decide to go down a different decorating road and introduce a burst of cherry red in very small and select amounts as your accent color with the palette as described above. Imagine this living room decor: light wood floors with dark area rug. There is a sofa bed upholstered in gray color, with geometric patterned red and gray throw pillows. The windows are dressed with retro curtains and the wall color is medium gray. The living room furniture has a dark wood finish, as does the contemporary glass coffee table next to the sofas. There is a very simple floral arrangement on the end table with big white flowers in it. On the wall is a contemporary picture framed in black that is neutral overall, with cherry red motif. The overall effect is neutral, but striking and memorable.

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Texture is another aspect of neutral decor – on the floor, walls, upholstery, window treatments, etc. By using a variety of textures in the room, you will keep things interesting with something other than the literal colors used. If you have carpet, think of using a berber or frieze; try a textured paint product for the walls; select a nubby window treatment fabric; use a contrasting upholstery fabric such as leather to offset other texture selections in the room; find an interesting textured lamp shade. Remember that your goal is to maintain a balance of color and texture in the room, so don’t get too carried away with the ‘texture’ idea. You don’t want the result to look thrown together and un-coordinated. If you think that adding another texture to the room might be too much, it probably is.


So go ahead and plan for your neutral decor. There are many ways to create a neutral color environment that run the spectrum from soothing and quiet to surprising and bold, so your room will be anything but dull and boring.




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