Decorating with a neutral design scheme
Neutral decorating tips & tricks
Whatever your taste, using a neutral colour scheme creates a calm, cohesive and professional-looking home without any fuss. Using your favourite furniture, accessories and other decorating elements whilst keeping to a neutral colour palette, will create an interior scheme that will never go out of style.
A kitchen, lounge, bathroom or bedroom with a neutral design is an extremely soothing environment to spend time in. You can create a neutral look throughout every room of your home easily and simply by mixing different textures and styles for your walls, soft furnishings, flooring and accessories from within this palette, without losing any cohesiveness in the overall effect, as the overall look will be harmonious.
WHAT ARE NEUTRAL COLOURS?
Neutrals for interior design include beige, ivory, taupe, cream, black, grey and shades of white. Using natural materials like wood, wool, cotton, rattan and pottery in your neutral decoration scheme is an easy way to pull in those natural shades too.
Within this family of neutral colours, there are numerous variations of either cool or warm tones, all of which can also be brought in using fabrics, wall paper, paint, soft furnishings and kitchen finishes too.
TIP: It’s best to try test samples before you totally commit. The shade you love may look totally different next to your other decorative choices in situ.
HOW TO ADD DRAMA TO A NEUTRAL SCHEME
Neutrals can be used for interior design in two ways - either as a soft, neutral only, natural look, or as background for dramatic accents.
- If you are going for an all-neutral look, try layering different hues of the same colour. Keep an eye on the individual tones however, to make sure there is enough contrast.
- If you want drama, try adding a strong contrasting element such as black or a totally different light or dark colour.
- Before you commit to your choices, observe the light in your home at different times day. Neutral colours in particular, can look different at certain times of the day.
- Metallics and mirrors bounce light around your room, furniture can create shadows on the walls, and fabrics can absorb the light – all of which can change the colours of your scheme depending on the light variations.
TIP: Brighter neutrals give your room a more open, fresh and breezy look, whilst muted or darker neutrals give your space a cosier appearance.
USING BLACK OR DARK BROWN
If you’d like to make more of a statement, but want to keep a neutral scheme throughout your home, try adding some black furniture, ornaments and mirrors etc, which will act as a strong contrast to your natural scheme, whilst still sticking to a natural palette.
Black can make your scheme pop and is super cool in any interior space. If you want a slightly softer contrast, try a dark brown instead.
TIP: Experiment with darker accents in your furniture choices, such as installing a wall-mounted media unit, contrasting kitchen cabinets or an arcus, black framed mirrors or a painted metal coffee table, for an ultra-modern look.
Caption: Darker accessories on a neutral background stand out in every room of the show home
ADDING LUXURY WITH METALLICS
Another way to add drama to a neutral scheme is to sprinkle metallic accessories such as mirrors, candle holders, ornaments & planters throughout your home.
This design trick adds reflective surfaces and a subtle shine, as well as a touch of sophistication and decadence to your look.
TIP: Add warmth to neutral tones with gold, brass or copper accents. For a cooler look, add silver-coloured accessories to your scheme.
WOW WITH WALLPAPER
Pops of pattern or texture in wallpaper gives maximum impact to your interior design with minimum effort.
Patterns inspired by the natural world, add softness and visual relief to a neutral scheme, without creating too much contrast. Textured geometric wallpaper in the same colours as the rest of your neutral scheme will add an extra dimension to the overall design, without jumping out too much.
TIP: Changing a feature wall in a child’s bedroom can give them a more sophisticated look as they start to grow up, without a costly redesign.
Caption: This wallpaper gives an interesting focal point to this bedroom whilst still keeping to the neutral palette
EXPERIMENT WITH COLOUR
Neutral elements always stay in vogue, but you may want to add a pop of your favourite colour into the mix.
- Keep the neutral theme as your canvas and add another stronger colour as a contrast, such as lilac, blue or mint – all in the top 10 paint trends for this year. When you fancy a change, it’s cheaper and easier just to swap out your coloured accessories and repaint or re-paper a feature wall with another colour to change your look, without having to totally redecorate the whole space.
- Different finishes of paint such as gloss, satin, eggshell or matt reflect light in different ways, so you can get different effects and textures within a close neutral palette by using them together.
- Neutral walls can really make artwork or other statement pieces such as mirrors, pop.
TIP: Plants, fake or real, add to the overall natural effect, whilst bringing in a different colour into the mix and are another way to create bright focal points.
Caption: Soft pink accents make a statement in this soft grey neutral scheme with cool metallic accents
Neutral interior design The Whittingham Show Home in Longridge
Create's Brand Director and Founder Gill Mathison, chose the Mocha Create Homes Colour Collection for the show home kitchen at The Sandpipers.
The colours and textures of that neutral scheme flow seamlessly through into the interior design of the whole show home.
The addition of light upgraded worktops with a cool veined marble look, add an extra touch of luxury to the nature-inspired design.
Show home kitchen specification:
- Colour Collection: Mocha
- Units: Agate Grey
- Arcus: Terra Larix
- Breakfast bar: Natural Sangha
- Worktop upgrade: Platinum upgrade Oro (veined worktop)
- Peninsular upgrade: Seamless quartz downturn
Caption: The Mocha Kitchen Colour Collection by Create Homes was the inspiration for the whole interior colour scheme of The Whittingham show home at The Sandpipers, Longridge
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