Although I love color, when we were planning our forever home, I began to notice that I was drawn to a neutral color PALETTE. Therefore, I chose to paint the whole house in shades of white, grey and black. It’s a decision I’ve never regretted. Don’t get me wrong, I still love color but guess what? I get to use a variety of colors and I’m not spending a fortune to change my color scheme. Here’s how!
Here are the reasons I believe you should decorate with a neutral color pallet even if you love color. When you use a variety of paint colors within your home, it can be expensive to change your decor choices. However, when using a neutral color pallet, you can change your smaller accessories such as pillows, rugs and art to achieve a completely different design style.
A Blank Canvas
When choosing a neutral color palette you are basically starting with a blank canvas on which you can add a variety of colors. However, a blank canvas can be considered boring. Therefore, here are three tips that I use to keep a neutral palette interesting.
Shades of White
The first tip is to vary your shades. Although I choose white as my basic color, I was careful to use various shades of warm white. The ship lap is painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore which is a warm shade of white and all the painted furniture is a warm chalk paint. In addition, the sofa and side chairs are a slightly warmer shade of white.
If all the whites are exactly the same shade, then the space has no depth. It’s also important to decide if you want a warm palette or a cool palette which will assure color harmony.
The next tip is to add texture to your space. This can be achieved with upholstery fabric, accessories, etc. In my situation, I chose to use ship lap walls and a brick accent wall in the kitchen. In addition, I’ve added texture with pillows, rugs and throw blankets.
The white washed brick wall added so much authentic texture to the kitchen. The DIY Kitchen Island also adds texture and character to the space. See how we made the Island here.
I knew the Antique Hutch would be just the warm wood tone needed with all the neutrals. See how these pops of blue were added for a Summer Blues tablescape.
Lastly, I chose to add natural wood furniture pieces, natural bambo flooring from Home Depot and doors stained for an aged appearance. As a result, the space is warm and inviting.
How to add Color when Decorating with Neutral
Now for my number one reason I love decorating with a neutral palette. Once you have your basic decor and paint selected in shades of white, gray and black, the possibilities are unlimited. You can add almost any color you choose and it will work. However, there is one caution. You want to continue with either your warm or cool theme. If you plan to add red’s to your warm neutral decor, then you should use warm shades of red. The warm colors will blend seamlessly with all your decor choices.
Add An accent wall
Karan at Designs by Karan does such a great job working with neutral colors. Her blue accent wall adds so much warmth and charm to her open concept living and kitchen area.
A popular trend is adding an accent wall in a fun color. Here are some great examples of how an accent wall can add interest to a neutral color palette.
If you follow Becca at Adventures in Decorating 1, you know she has perfected the art of neutral decorating. This past Spring Becca added this fun pop of green to her breakfast area. Such a bright and cheery addition.
My friend Carey at Carey’s Country Garden is known for pops of green throughout her otherwise neutral home. Here you can see that she’s not afraid of a paint brush. This accent wall has been white, black, green and her latest inspiration, pink. Each transformation works seamlessly within her neutral home.
Meeghan at Cali Girl In A Southern World is proof that you can add pops of color in fun and interesting ways. She used a beautiful floral peel and stick wall decal over her daughter’s bed and added a rug, pillows and throw to compliment the added color.
Accessorize with color in a Neutral Room
The ability to add colors of my choice is the favorite thing about our guest room. Here you can see just a few of the transformations I’ve made to this room in the past. Just changing a few of the basic pieces completely change the feel. Notice that the expensive items in the room remain the same in each transformation.
Add a Pop of Color with furniture
Another easy way to add color is to use a piece of furniture or cabinets in a fun or interesting color.
This vanity is a vintage piece of furniture that I had painted years ago. When planning our guest bathroom, the piece was a fun, unexpected and interesting choice for the vanity.
Amy at My Rustic House is a master at decorating with vintage pieces. It’s wonderful that she finds so many chippy pieces to add pops of color to her neutral home. She never has to worry about weather their color will work in her spaces.
Another favorite neutral decorator is Jenny at Big Family Little Farmhouse. She does a great job adding texture throughout her home but her famous green cabinetry is what really makes her beautiful farmhouse shine.
Don’t limit your pops of color to just furniture. Isn’t this door color so fun. Charlotte at Charlotte’s Happy Home is transforming her neutral kitchen by painting her door terra cotta. This is one of the least expensive ways to add pops of color throughout your home. Just to prove it, Charlotte wasn’t thrilled with this color and quickly changed it to a pink shade.
Add Color with Rugs & Pillows
An inexpensive way to add color to an otherwise neutral room is with rugs & pillows. Yes, they can be expensive, but if you shop around, you’ll see there are many price ranges that look fabulous. In fact, I have a 60% discount code that you can use at Boutique Rugs. The code is PONDS60 and can be used on this rug or any rug they offer.
Another tip is to purchase pillow cover’s to use with existing pillows to mix up your decor. They are less expensive and save you room when storing seasonal items. If you can sew, making your own pillow covers will really save you money. You can even make no sew pillow covers using fabric glue.
Don’t you just love this blue room. Look a little closer and you’ll see that the bones of this room are neutral. KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms is so talented and she has made this room gorgeous by mixing lots of different patterns and textures to create wonderful color in a neutral space.
Don’t forget the Exterior
In addition to a neutral interior, I wanted a neutral exterior for the same reasons. Here are some ways I’ve changed the decor on my front porch as well.
Here the porch has just a few pops of pink and blue and everything else remains neutral.
In conclusion, a neutral decor can certainly give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to changing you decor seasonally. Look for my next blog post for examples of seasonal spaces and get inspiration for Fall and Christmas.