How many of your attempts to create a relaxing neutral environment ended up in drab and lifeless interiors? Has it occurred to you that there is a way to make your place come alive without giving up the “safe side”?
Not all of us are brave enough to follow dazzling trends full of stimulating and adventurous color choices. At the same time, we are told that decorating with neutral color palettes is buried deep in the past. What do we do?
The answer is simple: we stick to what we want! The neutral color palette interior design remains popular, especially if you use it to offset a poorly executed interior with a rich spectrum.
The truth is that neutral interiors aren’t anything boring and the perception that bright and bold solutions are more polished is just a well-selling myth.
Image source: Fredman Design Group
The reason most neutral interior designs fail is because people are too lazy to plan them properly. You wouldn’t believe how many people go for beige or cream because they don’t want to redecorate in a short time.
As a result, they only toss a few pops of poorly combined pastels and think the job is done, but that approach is inherently wrong. It’s up to you to consider why you prefer neutral interiors, and it’s up to us to explain how to use color for this purpose:
Styles compatible with neutral schemes
Image source: Winder Gibson Architects
The best thing about neutrals is their universality: you can literally apply them anywhere! They support each specific style, from the most traditional to the extremely modern. Neutral schemes create the perfect background for any type of furniture or accessories and go perfectly with all rooms and moods.
It is perfectly okay to use the same color in different colors
While we wouldn’t recommend this for light colors, it works surprisingly well with cream, taupe, gray, or any other calm tone. The reason you should gradually apply these colors is to add depth and make a statement.
The first among modern neutrals is gray, and the crazy affection for it grows day by day. Homeowners love gray because there are so many shades to experiment with, and you can also distinguish between warm and cool tones for a stunning combination. Tone-on-tone decorations are very stylish with other neutral colors.
Complex neutrals: the latest fashionable solution
Image source: MuseInteriors
Designers have strayed a long way from the favorite ’90s neutral solutions, but they haven’t forgotten them. They developed a brand new ideology that breaks down traditional barriers between different color families. This is exactly how the so-called complex colors (or new neutrals) appeared.
These neutrals are considered complex because of the color composition used to create new muted nuances and undertones of the standard colors.
It is, in fact, a tactic that reduces the vibrancy of a strong color (including blue, green, red, or even yellow) to turn it into a neutral tone. For example, a subtle touch of black and white and a nice olive undertone finish could create a perfect shade of gray sage that looks cooler than usual.
Complex colors make for the safest and most livable options that go with any style or decor.
Textures are important
Image source: Martha O’Hara Interiors
In neutral interiors, textures play the same role as colors in bold and challenging rooms. Textures make neutrals more attractive to the eye and have an overall exciting effect on your living space.
There are many wonderful texture combinations to choose from. For example, you can add excitement to your living room by applying leather or natural fibers like bamboo and wicker to enhance the attraction.
The elegant image can be enhanced with cute pillows, comfortable plush rugs or a single pashmina throw.
Neutral in the service of warm interiors
Image source: Kate Jackson design
The only thing you should be doing to make your neutral palette warmer is to add some calming pastel orange tones. Neutral orange is the preferred choice for Asian-inspired low furniture as it enhances the purity and smoothness of the room in which it is applied.
It is mainly used for its clean appearance and calming influence. As far as we know, even stronger shades of orange can be “soothed” with white trimmings and accents, especially when decorating bedrooms and similar quiet spaces.
Image source: Joel Kelly design
The theory that you can mix and match all neutral colors is nothing more than a delusion. A much smarter solution is to go monochromatic, which is to use different undertones of a single neutral color. Undertones can be both warm and cold and look fantastic together if you can manage to balance them out properly.
Glittering gold and shiny silver
Image source: CM Glover
The popularity of shiny gold and silver is comparable to that of strong jumps in color. and the great presence of glowing metallic accents is there to prove it. Designers of our time are inspired by retro solutions from the 60s / 70s and interpret their own contemporary reinterpretations with beautiful Cooper, gold and silver surfaces.
Image source: tuthill architecture
Taupe should be at the top of your list for creating peaceful and harmonious spaces. Provided you’ve applied it with the right textures and subtle color combinations (chocolate, olives, etc.), you can create a real oasis of relaxation in no time.
Image source: Bruce Johnson & Associates interior design
There are many contrasts to consider in neutral environments. Almost any contrast could work there! You can try cool verse, warm, polished verse, textured surfaces, shiny glass against dark wood, or nubby burlap chairs against steel furniture. You decide!
Combinations of neutral and bold colors
Image source: Allen Construction
Such combinations are perfect for homeowners who want a generally calm look but have trouble giving up their creative, colorful ideas.
Then wonderful pop combinations come on stage, stretching from the walls to the furniture, making the place dynamic.
In most cases, neutral palettes are used as a background, while lighter and heavily saturated palettes are used for furniture fabrics or accessories in general.
To successfully run this scheme, you should follow these guidelines: Use a maximum of three colors, as more colors can be overwhelming and you don’t want things to get out of hand.
The colors should match your favorite accessories, which makes these accessories the starting point of your design. If you follow these rules, there is absolutely no way you can throw the place off balance.
Multiple geometric patterns
Image source: Brandon Architects, Inc.
If you feel that the gradation and texture are not enough to make your space come alive, consider introducing several geometric patterns in different and contrasting shapes.
For example, the dominant straight lines of your living and dining area could use an unusual curve ball placed in an interesting place.
Geometric patterns add excitement to any setting and offer more experimental material than colors and shades. Think, for example, of visually attractive and unique tables, strange carpets, DIY art on the walls or unusual accessories.
A neutral appearance
Image source: RDM general contractor
As you have seen for yourself, neutral interiors are a timeless and elegant choice for any home. This applies to both indoor and outdoor areas, as you can use even more extraordinary solutions outside of the house.
To be perfectly frank, bright and intrusive homes will never look as good as transcendent ones, and this stands for cases where they blend in with the suburb’s color scheme or when they stand out for their tastefully chosen cream tones.
A good source of inspiration could be Mediterranean homes – they look absolutely gorgeous when painted with rich neutral undertones like light yellow. Tasteful and timeless, neutral colors are wonderful choices for the exterior of your home.