Neutral is the new black. Yes, you read that right! The word “neutral” often gets a bad rap because it is normally associated with being bland and boring or cold and sterile. Guess what, sweet friends? Neutrals are none of those things! A room based on a neutral palette can be just as warm, cozy, and impactful as any other space, and it actually gives you more options for layering in color and texture to suit whichever style you prefer. White does not have to mean coastal, and flax does not belong in only your grandmother’s formal living room.
Think of neutrals as a blank canvas. You have the opportunity to make the space read however you desire! When using a neutral palette, the end result is truly dependent on the style of furniture you pick and how you accessorize your space. Yes, a white slip-covered sofa can lean coastal, but a white sofa with English or rolled arms will be more traditional. Whereas, if you opt for a white sofa with square track arms, you’ll instantly have a more modern feel. All are white in color but with different attributes that set them apart and allow them to be applied to the desired style of your interior design scheme. And by no means does this mean you have to have a white sofa! These are just examples to illustrate how a neutral element can be manipulated in so many different ways to meld with your style and preferences.
If I have failed to convince you that neutral is not another word for boring, but another name for versatile, then let me show you a few examples that I have found and fallen in love with! These rooms all vary in style, but their underlying palette is considered neutral. Notice how these talented interior designers have incorporated color, texture, and mixed metals and materials to add depth and visual interest to each space.
This vignette via Park & Oak Interior Design is an excellent example. By mixing leather, wood, and metal, this is space is masculine, yet cozy, inviting you in for a cocktail, game of cards, or a good read!
This living room from Grand Traditional Homes is neutral with modern touches brought in via fabric, lighting, and styling.
I love a modern design when it’s executed well, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Notice the neutral colors chosen for the furniture, drapery, and woodwork. They are all combined with unique elements that give this room a classic, yet fresh and modern feel.
This neutral living room designed by Haus Love is eclectic and fabulous. By mixing modern art pieces with neutral colors and oversized furniture, you are transported to a very European setting!
This design by Lauren DeLoach is light, bright, and just right! Traditional, rustic, and oh so comfortable…just the way we like it!
Wait…there’s a blue sofa in this room! Well, yes, blue can indeed be considered neutral as well! Adding in layers with plenty of pattern and texture give this space an eclectic and well-traveled vibe!
Color is a wonderful accent to neutral furnishings! The Gentleman’s Study at The Coburn Hutchinson House is our take on cozy masculine updated neutral. We included many touches of white, flax, and wood via furniture, accessories, and rugs to offset the deeper color on the walls. When you select neutral furnishings, you can visit the wild side with a dramatic color palette pulled in with paint, pillows, and artwork!
I hope I have presented a compelling case to lure you to the dark…errrr…neutral side, sweet friends! Do NOT be afraid of creating a neutral living room design because neutral is anything but boring. It provides you with a solid foundation that can be built on or changed over time with an ocean of choices for colorful decor accents, and ultimately, it will stand the test of time!