Experience the lively, youthful side of neutrals
Push bland aside and discover a side to neutrals that is fresh and exciting.
Neutrals are often dismissed as being boring and mature (read: old, outdated). They’re used in rentals and public spaces because the colors are inoffensive (read: incapable of making a statement) and easy on the eyes. As a result, the importance of neutrals has become highly underestimated by many novice decorators.
The versatility that neutrals provide, though, makes them ideal for the changing tastes of young decorators. By equipping your home with neutrals you can prepare your place for countless changes afterwards. Change the style of your home without having to repaint the walls or buy new furniture.
The key to making neutrals more interesting is to integrate texture and pattern into the space.
Texture Neutrals blanketed across a wall or coating your couching can make your room appear flat. Texture instantly adds depth, a dimension that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the sense of touch. When the colors in a room seem muted and dismissible, our eyes are naturally drawn to the first thing that is different; a bit of texture can make a neutral palette appear more diverse even when it isn’t! In a monochromatic room, for example, various textures can give the illusion of different colors. The tiny shadows found in the crevices of white, ruched fabrics may create gray or blue tints.
The textured arm chairs featured above pop against the smooth leather couch and wooden table. The tufts of plant life on the right peek from behind the couch, providing a prickly contrast to other textures in the room. While this room is dominated by neutrals, it maintains and hip, natural vibe.
Patterns Patterns act as dividers, visual respites in the potentially stale world of neutrals. Patterns work much in the same way as texture, breaking up expanses of color with bits of interesting detail. Additionally, the patterns can also provide small quantities of color that enhance the space without altering the overall color palette.
The fine plant pattern on the comforter works in conjunction with the delicate stripes on both sets of pillows to add definition to an otherwise dull field of color. The patterns give the nearly monochromatic bedding a pop of life and organic energy.
When Their Powers Combine…
The panels on the wall, though a neutral color, are anything but boring. The pattern breaks up the toffee color on the wall while the ornate detailing catches the eye; the intricate metalworking is replicated in the decorative vase by the mantle.
The plush couch and decadent pillows invite you sink in and relax. On the other hand, the taunt leather ottoman gives the appearance of strength and stability, which is precisely what’s needed to coax you into reclining easily or resting your glass on its surface.
In a room of manmade and fashioned materials, the foliage tucked away in the corner adds a pop of organic texture and color. The small tree is simultaneously soft, shiny, curved, and pointy, combining textures found throughout the room. With so much happening with color and texture, the neutral palette of the room becomes more interesting.
In the bedroom featured above, the stripe pattern on the linens provides a visually engaging alternative to solid beige or brown bedcovers. Pleats on the valence add needed contrast against the wall of the same color. The textured headboard stands out beautifully against the pristine backdrop of the wall. Implied texture in the gnarled branches on the painting above the bed provide contrast against the geometrically precise pattern on the bedding.
What are you waiting for? Start playing with neutrals, patterns, and textures.