How to Create a Dynamic Space Using Neutral Colors

No matter your style, you can create a great design using neutral colors that are anything but bland. Use these four tips to transform boring to beautiful.

By Sara E. Head

 

Decorating with neutrals tends to get a bad rap as bland and forgettable. However, with a bit of creativity, beige and gray can become just as eye-catching as the boldest colors in the rainbow.

 

If you’re looking for a design palate that will be soothing, cohesive, and timeless, try looking outside the color wheel. Just because it isn’t bright doesn’t mean it won’t pop. Use these four tips to transform boring to beautiful.

 

1. Use Texture

When using colors that blend into the background, look to other physical attributes to give your space visual interest. Having a mix of strong textures will help individual elements stand out and prevent the room from becoming a bowl of oatmeal. When working with neutrals, natural materials are particularly good sources for texture. Wood grains, textured linens, woven fiber, and faux fur are all great ways to introduce tactility to a design. Metal, stone, glass, and even concrete pieces are also eye-catching ways to switch things up.

 

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Try to incorporate as much contrast as possible. Using opposing textures together will draw even more attention to their unique properties. Having both smooth and rough, soft and hard, or shiny and matte will create a room that stands out.

 

2. Mix and Match Neutral Colors

Going for neutral doesn’t mean you have to pick one neutral tone and stick with it. Neutrals aren’t overwhelming colors, which means they can be mixed together without making the space look too busy. Whites, blacks, beiges, grays, and browns can be utilized side by side to keep the space interesting, or multiple shades of one neutral can be used to make a monochromatic room that stands out.

 

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Just remember that neutral colors usually have an underlying hue. For instance, different shades of gray can have blue, purple, green, red, or brown undertones. If mixing different neutrals together, try to stick to either cool-toned or warm-toned. It will help keep things cohesive without having to match.

 

3. Use Pops of Color

Just because you’re designing a neutral room doesn’t mean you have to swear off color completely. Creating a neutral base makes it all the easier to add in pops of color. Bright shades will make the room feel vibrant and edgy, while pastels will create a softer, more relaxed energy.

 

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The best part? You can easily trade the pops of color out when you’re ready for an update.

 

4. Find Statement Pieces

There’s a reason that museums usually go for minimalist, neutral design: to allow their amazing objects to take center stage. A neutral color palette is a perfect opportunity to showcase truly unique pieces of furniture and décor. Try to find things that have an interesting form or shape or a bold pattern. An unusual coffee table or an eye-catching lampshade can become a work of art if properly highlighted.

 

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No matter your style, you can create a great design using neutral colors. Never let someone call your space bland again!

 

Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

Next: The Wonderful World of Window Seats