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How to Create Neutral Interiors That Pop

Neutral spaces don't have to be boring and one-dimensional. Use these tips to make your neutral interior pop with life and energy.

When considering a neutral color palette for your home, beige may be the first color that comes to mind. While there are certainly many lovely shades of beige available, there is more to a neutral color palette than your basic beige.

When putting together a neutral color story, success comes in the combination of shades rather than the individual colors selected. Also critical to a workable color palette is making sure the components are properly balanced.

The Dark Side of Neutrals

Although when people think of neutrals, they think of colors such as white, cream, beige, or gray, neutral has a dark side. Dark neutrals include colors like dark brown, deep gold, charcoal gray, navy blue, and black.

You can create a stunningly dramatic neutral space by pairing light and dark neutrals together. Use the darker colors on your sofas, chairs, and headboards — furniture pieces that anchor the room. Another option is to use a dark neutral on an accent wall, window treatments, or area rug. Choose your dark neutral color first, then find the lighter neutral to go with it. Dark neutrals go best with light neutrals that have the same color temperature or the same undertones.

Classic Monochromatic Color Palette

living room with beige sofa and two side tables with lamps

You see a lot of monochromatic color palettes because they tend to be calming and soothing. They give your home a sophisticated look, and you don’t have to worry about matching the colors.

Start with a color you love and can live with because there will be a lot of it. If you want deep chocolate brown, and you already have a leather couch in that color, you can build your tone-on-tone color palette around them.

Starting with chocolate brown, choose colors that are next to it on a paint strip. These colors are generally darker or lighter shades of the same color, so it’s an excellent way to see what colors will go well in the space. While you can use any shade of the neutral you choose, to keep it balanced, use colors from up and down the spectrum.

Brighten Neutrals with Color

bed with cream colored sheets and marble nightstands

If you love the soothing look of neutral furniture and walls but want a little bit of color to complement the energy, adding some color here and there is the way to go. The best thing about a neutral backdrop is that you can easily add some brights or saturated colors to liven the look.

However, if you add too many colors, you lose the neutral vibe, so choose two or three accent colors to use. Use your favorite accessories as inspiration and go from there. Keeping the color palette simple will make your home feel balanced.

In addition, to keep the atmosphere relaxed, match warm colors together or cool colors together. Pair a cool neutral with a warm accent or a warm accent with a cool neutral, but don’t use cool and warm accents in the same neutral space. This can make the room look awkward.

For the finishing touches, layer textures just like you would your colors. Add different textured pillows and throws on the sofa. Bring in a natural element, such as a wood coffee table. Use an area rug on the wood floor. Layering different materials is a simple way to add texture and interest to a neutral space.

All these elements, used mindfully, will make your neutral interior pop with life and energy.