14/07/2016

How to: decorate with neutrals

It's a lot easier to add interest and impact to a room when using colourful or patterned accessories than it is when decorating with a neutral scheme, however, as the gorgeous images below show, if you follow a few key rules you can still make an impact with a neutral colour palette.

How to decorate with neutrals
Authentic Interior Styling

How to decorate with neutrals
Authentic Interior Styling
How to decorate with neutrals
Amara Home
How to decorate with neutrals
Beach Studios
How to decorate with neutrals
Beach Studios
How to decorate with neutrals
Pale and Interesting
How to decorate with neutrals
Decorative Antiques UK
The key to why all of the images above work so weel is texture, texture and more texture! As you haven't got colour to add impact, the use of contrasting textures adds depth, encourages the eye to wander and is generally visually pleasing. If you had a room or display full of the same textures it would feel so flat and lifeless but combining a rustic peeling piece of funiture with a shaggy sheepskin, shiny metal accessory, a glass mirror and a woven basket and you have lifted the whole space and created depth, interest and personality.

Tips for Decorating with Neutrals

1. Introduce texture - As explained above, this is the most crucial element for interiors in a neutral palette. If your room is feeling a little dull and you're not sure why, look around, do you have enough textural interest? Add a woven basket, a piece of coral, a shiny vessel, something wooden and chippy and your room or display will liven up!

2. Incorporate natural elements - I've mentioned this in my previous posts but adding something organic and natural is very important for a scheme to work well, in every image above there are either flowers, plants or pieces of coral or shell. These items add life to a scheme with their organic shapes and tactile nature.

3. Add statement pieces - Whether its a shaggy rug, a framed print, a piece of sculpture, a wall of mirros, or a large piece of coral, statement pieces are another way to add personality, interest and impact without needing to introduce colour.

4. Display quirky or collected items - The bookcase in the first image is an excellent example of this, it is full of "where did you get that from" items, they tell a story, they're collected and foraged finds. The best thing about this look is that you can achieve it on a budget, shells collected from the beach in a simple glass bottle, a bowl of pinecones, a box frame filled with postcards and treasures all add personality without using colour.

5. Play with heights - This is a general interior design rule but even more important to remember when trying to add interest with a neutral colour scheme. Different height are crucial to making a display work, if all of your pieces are the same height, they will feel flat and lack-lustre, mixing taller, slimmer pieces with shorter, fatter accessories will transform your display.

I hope that's given you some inspiration, I think I'll be re-arranging my bookcase this weekend!

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