7 Practical Tips for Designing Your Home with Neutral Colors


Almost all classic color schemes for interior design bear neutral tones. Whether it be bright palettes for the maximalist room or dark combos in a modern space, you can expect blacks, whites, and grays. Neutrals are a timeless, stylish addition to any home design.

It’s no surprise that a lot of “serious” decorators want to master the art of using these hues. If you’re thinking of redesigning your home, switching to neutral colors in your rooms, here are the best ways to make that happen:

Match the Room’s Atmosphere


Although neutrals seem to be a straightforward color, they actually come in a wide variety of shades. Each gives off a unique kind of intensity, which makes for the nuances. Head over to your local paint store and ask for a line up of neutral paint choices. This way, you will understand undertones better. Once you understand the differences between neutrals, consider the area you’ll be decorating.

Ask yourself these questions: What’s the mood I want to create? What are the colors of other elements I already have in the room? This will help you in choosing which neutral shades would be suitable for the space. Since we all want a relaxing, calm atmosphere in the bedroom, it’s best to go with cool-inflected neutrals. In the kitchen, where there’s a lot of activity going on, you want to keep the energy with warm-colored undertones. 

Layer Different Shades

A lot of people are afraid to go for an all-white or all-gray look for their homes because they think it would make their space boring. The thing is, it’s all about incorporating different shades. Follow the 60-30-10 rule when applying hues. Choose a dominant shade, which will cover 60 percent of the space. The secondary shade should be on 30 percent of the room. The last shade, which is the accent color, must be on the remaining 10 percent of the space.

Applying the color principle, go for a light shade of gray on the walls and some of your furniture upholstery. Then, use a dark hue for the floors, moldings, and window mullions. Choose a gray shade with a hint of red on small decor pieces, such as artwork or vases. Layering different shades like this would create visual interest in the space.

This principle applies to your exterior design as well. In the quaint residential community Phirst Park Homes, the facades of the townhouses feature a mix of warm and cool neutral shades, which make for a strikingly stunning look.

Use Contrasting Neutrals

In case you don’t want the all-neutral look, you can pick two contrasting neutrals, such as the classic black and white. This is a no-fail color scheme, which is why it’s perfect for homeowners who are just starting out in designing their spaces with neutrals. What’s more, this is a timeless palette choice. You won’t grow tired of them so quickly. There’s no need to repaint your walls or change up your furniture every now and then.

Try them first on one section of your room and see if it fits your preference. Choose a white shade for your walls and then go for some black chair rails. This particular look is perfect for a corner in the room that you want to accentuate, say, a reading nook or mini office space.

Mix Them With Textures

For those who are new to interior design, texture refers to the surface tactile quality of an element. For example, your rugs can be smooth, woven, or silky. Texture adds visual interest to the design. It breaks up the monotony in colors when you’re working on a room full of neutrals, avoiding a flat look. That’s why as much as you’re mastering layering different shades, you should also learn to introduce different textures in the space.

The key is to vary the materials you use in an all-neutral room. Incorporate glass, wood, stone, metal, textiles, and even plants. With this, all of your neutral-toned elements will come together well, from the wooden coffee table and the faux fur rug underneath it to the soft, velvet sofa, and the brick stone wall serving as the backdrop.

Complement Them with Patterns

This is a common trick in pulling off an all-neutral space, as the patterns make the room lively and less boring. You don’t have to go for bold, loud prints just to spice things up. Simple patterns, such as vertical and horizontal lines, florals, and motifs, which features abstract shapes, will do. This is perfect for small rooms. They don’t overwhelm the space and make it cramped.

However, if you have a big, all-neutral room, and you want to make a huge splash on patterns, stick to just one kind. Mixing different themes of patterns would only result in a disorganized look, even if you do have neutrals. If you’ve decided to go for geometric shapes in your kitchen backsplash, do the same for other walls, instead of adding banana leaves or animal prints.

Pair Them with Bold Hues

If you want to completely do away with the all-neutral and contrasting schemes, then treat neutrals as supporting elements for your main hues. For instance, if you’ve already settled with bold combinations using warm bright colors, use neutrals to provide visual rest for the eyes. In a room full of red furniture and yellow window treatments, temper the look with a huge beige backdrop.

Neutral tones can support main hues by adding a bit of sophistication as well. Suppose you used bright lime greens and teal blues in your bedroom. Paint your ceiling with a deep charcoal tone to create a polished appearance. The bottom line is, while playing with bold hues, sprinkle some neutrals for a better look. 

Choose Iconic Furnishings and Decor

Neutral colors naturally put a spotlight on architectural details, furnishings, and other decor pieces because they don’t call attention to themselves. When you walk into a space filled with whites and grays, you immediately notice the crown moldings on the wall or the texture of the sofa.

Given this “spotlight effect”, it’s always a good idea to put pieces that are really worth looking at in a room with a neutral color scheme. This includes furniture pieces that have odd shapes or ornaments that have intricate details.

Are you planning to decorate your home with neutral colors? Don’t be intimidated by its simplicity. When done right, it can elevate the style of your rooms and make it more inviting. Have fun on your color makeover!