Design Tips for Decorating With Neutrals

Neutral decorating - living room
thornton sofa | table | rug

If you’re a huge color enthusiast, terms like “boring, bland, or not-in-my-house” might come to mind when you think of neutral decorating.

That’s understandable, but neutral rooms definitely don’t have to be predictable or boring.  And they make a great backdrop for switching accent colors in and out as your taste or design trends change.

Done right, neutral decorating just might surprise you!

Neutral territory.

Neutrals encompass everything from white and cream to dark grays, browns, and blacks so, to keep your space from feeling flat, use a range of neutrals or several shades in the same family.

modern farmhouse desk in a neutral space that uses a range of neutrals
modern farmhouse desk

Mix it up.

A variety of fabrics, materials, and finishes lend character and coziness to neutral zones. Don’t be afraid to mix nubby chenilles with smooth silks, rustic finishes with more refined, or add unique materials like leather, faux fur or animal hide.

bedroom with neutral decorating and avariety of fabrics and materials will also help to keep things interesting
calistoga queen bed | nightstand

Bring on the sparkle.

Metallics, mirrors and glass will add sparkle and shine, and bounce light around the room.

Try texture.

Texture plays a part in any successful design, but it’s especially important in neutral decorating. Make a conscious effort to use a range of textures in your space, and you’ll be amazed at how much more interesting and inviting it feels.

neutral decorating - lower level kitchen with loads of texture
carmen bar stool | Builder: JMS Custom Homes | Photo: Schneiderman’s

Outdoors in.

Nothing brings a room to life like elements from the outdoors.   Cut some tree branches, purchase (or cut) fresh flowers, or add a potted plant.

Play with pattern.

Patterns pack a punch and may just be the perfect finishing touch your neutral space needs. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to bring it in.

Add patterned pillows, throws, accessories or artwork for a smaller punch, or consider painting a patterned wall, or bringing in a patterned chair or area rug (or both!) if you want to make a bigger impact.

cozy neutral corner by the fireplace
alpha stone swivel chair | table, rug and pillow | lamp

When it comes to decorating, are you in the neutral zone or a color enthusiast?

More inspiration.

Browse more design tips, decorating ideas and room inspiration on our Design Tips page!

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