Wake It Up | The Neutral Space

While pops of color in paint and tile application is very much on-trend, many homeowners are nervous about making such a commitment in their space. The idea of re-design and the cost of it, not to mention the effort involved, is something that many people shy away from. So, they choose to go for color selections that are neutral and classic and will last rather than a bold color in a big way that will need to be updated in a couple of years.  And there's nothing wrong with it.  We understand that reasoning.  But too much neutral can make a space boring and lack-luster, so even if you go to all the time and money to re-do it, it can still feel unfinished.   Which is why it's important to wake up a neutral space.  There are different ways to do it so after we review them all, figure out which works best for your budget and home and go from there!

Neutral-on-neutral can work when it's done right and one of the few ways to do it right without bringing in color is by incorporating textures.  Layering textures in neutrals is what brings depth to the space.  Mix up the fabric type, sheen, and weave.  And be sure not to limit yourself to the exact same color.  A room full of neutrals may have 5 or 6 different shades of the same neutral just in varying darker or lighter tones.  It's important to have a little variation so that some visual movement is created.  If not, the room will appear dull and lifeless.  Depth and dimension wake it up!

Commit to one pop of color.  Even if you're terrified of color, force yourself to add at least one pop of it somewhere.  Maybe this is in an art piece or a table centerpiece....a couple of toss pillows.  Just something!  And if you really don't want to incorporate something too far off base, make the pop of color either blue or green.  We consider blue a neutral so it can actually flow really well in a neutral space by creating a grounding color that doesn't overwhelm.  Green is the same way.  If you're going to incorporate green, use greenery.  Something organic like plants will still balance out the space by bringing in color but it won't completely dictate the color direction should you want to add something in the future.

Use hard surfaces.  If you're having a hard time creating depth using fabric and different textiles, try it by mixing up the hard surfaces.  Metals and distressed woods are a great way to bring in depth.  Mix up light and dark woods and glossy and dull finishes.  All of these things catch light different ways, feel different to the touch and create a unique essence in a space.  Don't be scared to add things like this because they'll make your neutral space go far!

Finally, don't skimp on accessories and lighting.  When you have a neutral space, you have a blank canvas to display art and sculpture.  If you're not going to bring in pops of color as the focal point, at least bring in some cool accessories and fun lighting to liven things up.  Accessories can easily be swapped out so they're not a big commitment and lighting is vital to creating a warm, welcoming, finished space.  Every little bit matters so don't forget the end goal of a beautiful space!

Make It Work | Neutral Spaces

I love neutrals!  They're calming and classic and a room done in all neutrals doesn't have to be boring!  Some people think that a room without color is dull and lifeless, but there are ways to incorporate a little pops of life into a neutral space so that it's interesting and unique but it still has the overall feel of being neutral.

Some may think that designing a neutral space is easy.  They think it doesn't take talent to create a space that feels warm without color....wrong!  Because neutral spaces have less color, the warm and depth that a well-designed space have must be accomplished using other design elements.  The first one is texture.  A great space has layers and layers of textures.  The rug and the window treatments, pillows, upholstery--bring in new textures!  Even if they're all the same color, they way the light reflects off of them will make them appear to be a little varied which will give the room warmth.  If you're wondering what we mean by texture, think of all the different kinds of fabrics out there--leathers, silks, faux fur, chenille, velvet, cotton...bring them in!

Don't forget about your finishes either!  Woods, metals, and glass are all different textures and finishes too!  These elements layered in a neutral space create variety and visual interest.  If you're worried about incorporating the color of finishes like the brown in wood or gold or silver of certain metals, don't be!  These organic colors are actually considered neutrals too and will blend nicely in a neutral space!

If you're set in have some kind of a color in your neutral space--pick one and stick with it!  We're ok with a little pop of color, as long as it's not overdone.  Use it in an accent piece or some pillows...even a piece of art, but don't go crazy or you'll loose the feel you're trying to accomplish.

Get nature involved.  Just like the metal, wood, and glass finishes, bringing in color through nature accomplishes the goal of adding depth AND color AND texture without being obvious about it.  Incorporating plants is a sneaky way of livening a space up--it doesn't look like a colorful room but it still feels like it!

Don't forget about the layers!  Even after you've added the layers of texture and wood and nature, add more!  Add more pillows and picture frames and throw blankets and...whatever else you need to to make the room feel finished.  Bring in some of your personality in the accents so the space feels personal!  A room that feels collected and well-loved is comfortable.

Good design is in the details.  It's not restricted to room with color or room without color.  It comes in the small things that often get overlooked but matter the most.  Don't deprive your home of the details!