Color Palette on Point | Making Neutral Work

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?

White | How to make it work.

While white has become a very popular color on pinterest and in magazines, many homeowners struggle with white and how to make it work.  Before the minimalist movement, white was stark feeling and cold.  People associated white walls with governmental buildings and hospital, but white has come a long way.  However, there is a trick to making white look right in a home.  There's a way to bring the warmth out of it so that it doesn't feel cold but rather clean and bright.

To begin with, there isn't just one shade of white.  There are tons of different shades with a little more grey or a little more beige....some with blue undertones, some have a hint of pink.  This may seem overwhelming, but is actually a good thing.  You definitely want to capitalize on this when bringing white into a room and use different shades.  This will give white it's own depth.

Another way to help make white work is by bringing in texture.  Texture is a our number one go-to when adding the layers.  Honestly, texture can make almost any space work but it's a must in mostly white rooms.  Texture can come in the form of other white things but it can also be created by bringing in organic pieces in earth tones.  These types of accessories and lighting additions are what elevates a room too.

Don't be afraid to add a pop of a different color in a white room either.  Some people worry that adding a new color will ruin the look and the room won't feel like a white space, but that's not the case at all.  When a space has white walls and mostly white larger pieces of furniture, you can easily add some color in a rug, pillows, art, or even an accent chair without taking the look of the room off track.  In fact, sometimes, depending on the space, it's exactly what the room needs to pull it together!

The stark and sterile feeling that people associate with white comes from cold governmental buildings that (used to...because it's not really that way anymore) kept things clean and simple.  However, what they're not realizing is that, in most of these places, it isn't appropriate to add soft layers like rugs and window treatments so there isn't any softness.  Yet they're still associating the cold with white because that's where they've seen it applied.  If you can add some softness to a white space, you've accomplished a lot in making white feel warm so don't forget the fabric!

It's no secret that we love white but we understand that it can be a hard color to make work.  And honestly, that's why we have jobs!  However, if you're trying to do this on your own, we want to help!  So hopefully these tips will take you a long way!

White | Why it Works in a Bathroom

Last week on our Facebook page, we featured a variety of all-white bathrooms.  White is the new neutral...or the old neutral, however you want to look at it, and we're all about that bandwagon.  Grey and Beige are still good neutrals but all-white spaces have a number of advantages.  Today we're going to discuss a few of those as they relate to bathrooms.  

When picking white, be sure to look at it under all different lights.  Most people don't select a pure bight white.  That color often looks too sterile.  Most whites that are painted for interior walls have a color mixed in--grey or yellow or even brown.  These color mixtures soften the white and keep it from feeling so harsh on the wall.

When using white in a bathroom, consider these benefits as well. For starters, white creates a nice clean slate and neutral backdrop for interesting fixtures and or faucets that you have in your bathroom.  Cool copper tub?  White makes it stand out.  Awesome gold sink faucet?  White is the perfect way to highlight it.  In the same way, white is a great backdrop for interesting architectural details that you may have in your bathroom.  If you live in an old house and have a cool window in your bathroom or maybe some arches or beams that you'd like to highlight, go with a white wall.  It keeps the look of the bathroom clean but brings in a big focal point just by highlighting the existing structure.

If you have a large bathroom with a view, you'll definitely want to paint the wall white.  White is the perfect color to highlight an amazing view! It draws your eyes toward the architectural detail of the window and then you're immediately looking at the view.  However, if you have a small window, you'll want to paint the walls white as well.  White reflects light, so if you don't have a bunch of natural light in your bathroom, white walls will lighten and brighten!  When a space feels brighter, it immediately feels larger too.  So small bathrooms are the perfect candidates for white walls.

If you're dying for some variation but like the practicality of white walls in bathrooms, the best thing to do is mix your textures.  Since you don't want to mix whites too much, you bring in your visual interest with texture.  Do white tiles with a white pattern and layer!

We love white on white--it's clean, it's classic, and it really has a lot of practical functions!  For some, white is scary because it shows everything, but don't worry, there's always bleach!