7 Tricks to Working With a Neutral Palette

living room neutralCynthia Lambert-Langdon

If you want to create a sophisticated, elegant interior, try working with a neutral color palette. Your room can be the essence of calm with soft hues as your base, or you can make it dramatic with black and white. A neutral palette doesn’t have to translate to a boring palette. Here are a few tips on how to make your neutral colors interesting.

Bring in variation. Spice up the space by introducing a variety of textures, patterns, materials and finishes. You can do this with wallpaper, fabrics, flooring, window treatments, etc.

Provide layers. Most neutrals carry a hint of color. As long as those subtle shades are compatible, layering them can add warmth and interest.

Add contrast. You’ll create a terrific impact when you add contrast. A neutral room in deep beige looks fabulous with a white lacquered bench. Or take a risk and include a pop of bright color for a little excitement.

Make it personal. Add an accessory that expresses your personality. An old chest, a collectible artifact, art pieces and personal photographs all work well to create character in a neutral-colored space.

Mix it up. A sleek, contemporary room looks great with a found or distressed object. Conversely, a casual, cottage style looks fabulous with a modern chandelier.

Include lighting. When lighting is used effectively, such as when accent lights are installed above wall art, dimension and depth are brought into a neutrally hued space.

Finish it off. Small touches can make any room look welcoming. Fresh greenery and white flowers in a room with a neutral color scheme provide a quick transformation. 

Cynthia K. Lambert-Langdon, Allied Member ASID

CKL Designs 




Join the San Diego Chapter of ASID on October 26th for the 2013 Kitchen & Bath Tour. Visit asidsandiego.org for ticket sales and tour details. See new design elements, products and take away ideas for your projects.

Categories: Home Design