Staying neutral in your home decorating seems key these days. All trends point to simple and clean. But sometimes when it comes to neutral home décor things can get, well, boring. There is nothing aesthetically appealing about beige on beige on cream on gray. In fact neutral does not necessarily mean color free. Any muted earthy tone and you’ve got yourself a neutral. Think white, black, brown, cream, gray. All of which come in various tones with blues, greens, yellows, etc.
No matter what your design sense and style may be, a good neutral will provide a workable backdrop to a room and lay a foundation for design that lasts the test of time and trends. We have some ideas to share with you as we go room to room that will take an ordinary neutral palette to and extraordinary design that provides visual interest.
–Majority of your furniture pieces with the exception of a statement piece (or two!)
By leaving these areas of your home neutral, you’re creating a design space that will be more resistent to time and changing trends. These elements are typically more expensive and time consuming to change. So as design styles change and evolve every 5 to 10 years, you won’t be staring at your red walls wishing you had the time to cool them down a little.
Instead of creating huge statements in your home design with the elements listed above, focus on design elements that are easier to change as the years pass. The follow items are great as interchangable statement pieces:
–Statement piece furniture (shelving, tables, etc.)
The entryway is the area of first impressions in any home. This is the perfect place to showcase your color and design abilities. All that is needed to make an impression is great taste in pattern mixing using slight variations of one or a couple neutral color(s). This simple method is congruent and goes a long way to impress the eye. Pull a neutral tone from your flooring to get started.
In this image, you’ll see neutral wall colors, flooring, and baseboards. The furniture is very neutral as well. Color comes into the room via the rug and other small details like the wreath, shelving details, and artwork. These smaller pieces are easier to change and update as trends change.
With all neutral rooms and designs it is important to throw in a pop of color. This is something you can change season to season and having a neutral base makes it simple to do so. Save your pop of color for things like window treatments and throw pillows. Be strategic in your color placement and allow the neutral elements to give breathing space to the areas with color that will bring life to the room.
This neutral living space is heavy on the neutral tones. But it can be easily transformed by changing out the small details of the room: throw pillows on the couch, the rug, art work on the walls, and even the light fixtures. All of these design details are much easier and less time consuming to change with evolving trends than painting walls or replacing large pieces of furniture.
A neutral palette in a living space will also emphasize the shape and architecture of the room. Perhaps there is a feature that you can highlight such as a fireplace or built-in unit by making it stand out with a contrasting neutral paint color on the backing wall. Adding mirrors will enlarge a space and draw more light into the room.
Kitchens are often the fasted evolving design trend in homes. And keeping up with these trends can easily be the most expensive. Light and neutral kitchens are very trendy right now but not too long ago, dark, stone-laden kitchens were the top trend. So what happens when you try to keep up with changing design trends in a kitchen that’s the polar opposite color scheme of whats currently displayed in your Better Home and Gardens Magazine?
There are many simple ways to make the style of your kitchen last. Selecting cabinet and appliance colors that compliment each other, instead of all being the same color provide a look of cohesiveness and suits better to incorporate changing design trends.
|Items to leave neutral in your kitchen:
||Elements to have fun with in your kitchen:
|Counter Tops||Back Splash|
|Stools, chairs, and tables|
Hardware that is bold and interesting will add so much personality to otherwise plain looking cabinets. It’s also very easy and inexpensive to change out every 5-10 years.
A variety of mediums such as butcher block and brick, or stainless steel and glass tile are elements that work together to create an intriguing space that is hip and neutral at the same time.
Finally, incorporate softness with a cheery patterned window treatment or chair fabric that compliments the scheme and infuses the kitchen with design flavor.
Another reason to leave the major elements of your kitchen neutral is for better resale. If you’re ever planning on selling your home in the future, the kitchen is a major selling point for buyers. When home owners make drastic design decisions with colors and patterns in their homes, it’s harder for prospective buyers to see themselves potentially living in that space. By leaving the kitchen (and many elements of your home) neutral, buyers will be more enticed to make an offer.
Just like the living area in your home, you can change the small design concepts in your bedroom throughout the year to accommodate seasons. By staying neutral through paint, furniture and floors its an easy task to swap window treatments, linens and other accessories. Add metal to the room in curtain rods, light fixtures and furniture accents to add some neutral glam. Use different textures throughout the room to create comfort and luxury.
In the photos below, you’ll see the same neutral colored bed in 5 different bedrooms. This is a great example of how versatile a neutral piece of furniture can be and how easily it can be transformed to match different tastes and style trends.
Think thick quilted blankets, fluffy knitted throws, soft over-sized pillows, full and flowing curtains. All of this can remain neutral by pairing different tones of one or two neutral colors and adding accents with your furniture. Look for pieces with charm and personality like curved legs, metal accents, tufted seats or headboards.
With all this talk of neutral color schemes, don’t forget to go wild here and there with your home interior. Nothing is more fun or more self expressive than painting an accent wall with your favorite color. Wall papering, fun fabrics, and artistic lighting are fun items to shop for and incorporate into your living space. So if you see something wild you just can’t live without, then buy it! You should enjoy the design of your living space.