Among the biggest misconceptions that people have about neutral color schemes is they’re dull, which — in case you do them right — could not be farther from the reality. However, if weaving in texture, comparison, patina and pattern aren’t enough to satisfy your desire for visual interest, a wee bit of color can do the trick.
However, you don’t want to go overboard; that is why you selected a neutral colour in the first place. Check out these eight tips for slipping in a few more colorful hues without upsetting the balance.
You have to look for a moment to find the color in this bedroom, and then you will wonder how you missed it. A fairly china blue print, edged in red, on the window treatments and bed skirt pairs with restrained reddish details in the bedding. Keeping the cloth wallpapers predominantly white preserves the room’s neutral overtones, but those tiny touches of color add a vibrancy that is sensed as much as noticed.
The colours are a bit more obvious in this traditional space — bright novels, hunting artwork, china and an Oriental rug — but not enough to detract from the tone-on-tone sensibility. French vanilla–hued walls, natural flooring and ecru linens preside over the peppier notes and maintain their dominance.
Murphy & Co.. Layout
This living area has been a massive hit , and for good reason. Everything about it feels comfortable and familiar, yet fresh and clean. And these neutrals — vibrant woods contrasted with pale creams and beiges — simply glow together. Still, I really don’t think the space would be as engaging without the apricot throw pillows, which bridge the neutrals and create an irresistible warmth.
J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC
How many times have you heard it said that the best way to keep a neutral space from atmosphere flat is to coating textures? It is accurate, and this dwelling area demonstrates the idea to beautiful effect, from coarse rope and spooled detailing about the furniture into matte wire and nubby yarn accents. Soft chamois-yellow draperies warm the palette without calling attention to themselves.
Penguin Random House
Art can be among the simplest, most natural ways to vary the colour of a space. This gallery wall works particularly well because of the limited variety — only a couple of colorful pieces anchor the grouping, which otherwise reflects the black, black and brown colors of the room.
Linn Gresham Haute Decor
This space proves you could slip a little color into a neutral plot without disrupting the result. Gentle Wedgwood blue and vibrant orange on the chest bring to life an otherwise toned-down colour. It can be complicated to mix cool and warm colors in a neutral space, but it functions: Orange and blue create natural partners, and they pick up the yellow and grey undertones in the remaining part of the decor.
Here is another stroke of orange and barely-there blue. Tiers of rustic and refined woods and pale geometric prints diversify the beautifully nuanced neutrals, which are peppered with darker notes to give additional depth.
Even without the comfy fire, this dining space would radiate welcome. The secret? The rough-hewn dining table, with reddish undertones that warm up the brown-on-brown scheme. An abundance of natural light flowing in and bouncing off the mirror amplifies the color variants and makes them feel alive.
More: guides to using neutral colours