I just bought a house...like everyone else you know, right?! I love it (although I hated the moving process) but it needed a little work. The number one item that had to change fast was the the wall color. There was a big dark navy all, a bright orange bedroom, lots of dated, peeling wallpaper, and a two-tone "Green Bay Packers" bedroom that had to go. Before we painted, people would ask me what color I was planning to paint. I'd decided long before we moved that I was painting everything white but the reactions I got at this suggestion were the best. It was either shock with a comment like "white?! all white? Every room?" or people would acceptingly shake their heads and say, "Oh, you mean, until you figure out what color you want to paint." Nope. White is the color I want to paint, I would say. It'll be permanent, not temporary. :) But for me, a designer, white didn't scare me because it's clean and neutral. It's pretty by itself but it also create a big clean slate for me to work with. I can add pops of color where ever I want, change "color scheme" without having to re-paint, and pretty much have a guarantee that my wall color will work with whatever I decided to do in my house.
So today, in honor of that, we're talking about the neutral color scheme and how to make it work. It's funny because people are so often scared of color but they're also scared of the absence of color. So I'm going to give you some tips today on how to make a neutral color scheme work. Hopefully by the end of it, you'll realize that there's more to a good design than the paint color on the wall!
The one thing I love about neutrals and layering them is that it instantly makes the whole house flow. Flow can be difficult to achieve but when it is accomplished, make everything all of the sudden click together.
You do need a focal point, though. So rather than painting a wall some bright color, choose a great light fixture to draw the eye up. This will make the ceiling feel taller because it will accentuate the height but it also gives the room a focus that doesn't make it feel choppy.
Layer in texture and subtle pattern to give a neutral space some life. Just because you don't have lots of color in a neutral space doesn't mean everything looks exactly the same. Whites and tans and beiges and greys all come in varying shades and patterns. Mixing in a little of those won't detract from the neutral feel, it'll actually give it some subtle depth that will bring it to life.
Add color and pattern to your walls with art. Art has line and pattern in it as well which adds to the space. Consider this when selecting and hanging your art. Even if you've got a big neutral palette, the layers your adding with the wall decor will instantly add texture. Different displays like gallery walls or large mirror installations can be THE thing that brings a room to life so don't forget about those aspects of the room either!
Greenery, greenery, greenery. We can't stress enough how you need greenery. Even if the plants aren't real. If they're green they add an organic element that is an instant game-changer. We know that not everyone has a green thumb but silk florals have come a long way and we suggest that you use it to your advantage! The amount of impact a little pop of green can make on a room is uncanny. Don't forget the green!
Aside from fabrics, bring in texture with other accent pieces to bring a neutral room to life. Woven rugs, baskets, even furniture with rattan or seagrass always complements a neutral space well. It's a good alternative to a lot of dark wood and keeps the space feeling light and airy.
What do you think?! Still scared of the abscence of color?