Decorating a Home or Office with Neutral colours

Decorating a Home or Office with Neutral colours
Michelle Tether
Written by Michelle Tether

Despite the recent trend to decorate with bolder colours, many people continue to enjoy the quiet comfort of neutral hues. For homeowners who fall into this category, they may feel that their room is “boring” or “dull”. It certainly does not need to be this way! These simple guidelines will ensure all neutral spaces still have some interesting features that make a neutral base vibrant and this post follows on quite nicely from the previous one in which we looked at Feng Shui as a way to decorate and maybe you might say, “live”.

Use Varied Textures and Patterns in a Neutral Room

The key to decorating with neutrals is variation and all grand decoration designs start from a great design plan. Using a myriad of patterns and textures in a room will create a space where even neutrals have an air of excitement. For example, adding a sisal rug to a room will add a layer of interest to the space even though it is essentially a plain, beige rug. Likewise, placing a sleek mirrored side table near a stone fireplace creates an exciting juxtaposition of textures. This room hardly looks boring in the highlighted image. The contrasting colours from accessories leave the neutral colour of the decoration highlighted beautifully.

Contrasting colours in a neutral room

Image source. Contrasting colours in a neutral room – the fabrics look amazing set against the neutral decoration.

Using pillows in floral, stripe and geometric patterns brings punch to a plain leather sofa. A patterned rug, created using soft neutral tones, adds depth and interest to a boring room. Even when using only neutral tones in a room, contrasting textures and patterns bring new energy to a space.

Use Contrasting colours for Interest

Varied depth of colour also adds interest to a room full of neutrals. “Beige” is not the only tone that can be considered neutral. Consider mixing tones of varying depths to the room for best results. Chocolate brown, mocha, wheat, camel, black, pewter, charcoal, cream and white are all neutral colours. By mixing very light tones with medium and deep hues, the room will catch the eye, not slide into colour monotony. Just as with texture, contrast is the key in neutral decorating schemes. Please, whilst I think about it, when we are using internal paint, we shouldn’t be concerned with the paint degrading, in the interests of being environmentally friendly with your paint selection, let’s use water based! It cleans out of the brushes more easily and it’s the quick and effective way to decorate. You can even have a glossy effect, but a Farrow and Ball matte finish looks much better anyway. Just take a look at the picture below. This is a really good use of a neutral and then pattern.

Not boring neutral colours

Not boring neutral colours by

Neutral colour schemes need not contain only one family of neutral hues. In fact, contrasting warm and cool neutrals creates another level of contrast in a room. An example of this is using brown and grey in the same space. Coffee brown can be paired very successfully with icy grey and smooth cream for a sophisticated and warm, yet still neutral colour palette. Or, consider a golden wheat tone, black and platinum for a contrast of warm and cool hues.

Add an Accent colour for Punch in a Room

Another way to add interest to an otherwise neutral space is to inject just one accent colour as a jolt of electricity in the room. A simple, classic black and white room becomes extra-special with a pop of mandarin, sunny yellow, spice or sky blue. Adding violet to a scheme bursting with warm tans and caramels brings a cool sophistication to the space. Take a look at this wonderful example of an accent.

Add an Accent colour for Punch in a Room

Image source. Add an Accent colour for Punch in a Room

Another example might simply be by adding the chosen accent colour at three locations in the room. For instance, bringing in a turquoise vase for the table, a painting containing turquoise on the mantle and a turquoise pillow on the sofa, adds a simple accent to a neutral space. When tastes and trends change, homeowners can change the accent hue for the latest colour by simply changing out the accessories or possibly adding some new bargain accessories to accentuate a rooms colour. Pillows are a great example of cheap accessories that really bring a dull room to life.

Cheap accessories for decoration

Cheap accessories for decoration by

And here’s another example of a bargain accessories that do winders for neutral colours. The use of a vase and wall hanging clock quite inspiring.

Cheap accessories to improve a room.

Image source. Cheap accessories to improve a room.

Although neutral tones are often the safe decorating choice, using varied textures, colours and accents creates a space that is anything but boring. You can also use a variety of house plants to spruce up neutral decoration. It’ll have quite the effect as well as improving the quality of air in your room.

About the author

Michelle Tether

Michelle Tether

I love everything home. I write as a passion for non profit about the things I love.