When fashion and interior design trends come and go, it can be tempting to stick to one classic theme, such as a neutral one. Trouble is, magnolias and beige can look a tad boring and it can be a challenge to stop them looking tired and even dated. So how can you avoid the pitfalls of being bland and uninteresting, but still use neutrals in your décor and interior? The problem lies with the fact that in a neutral palette the colours are all very similar to each other, and will blend in with one another, unless they are contrasted sharply with a different neutral that is at the end of that colour spectrum.
For instance, if you are using neutral beiges and creams, you can utilise a dark chocolate brown to contrast, or if your neutral is in the greys and off whites, then take a charcoal and mix that up in with the colours. A neutral theme is not just about painting a wall either. Think about textures, lighting, furniture and soft furnishings. Do you have wooden floors that can be sanded down, varnished up or even painted? If you have a carpeted area, think about sumptuous rugs in different textures such as felt or real wool and have them in patterns or brighter prints than the walls to make a statement. And with a neutral palette you can always add a splash of different colours if you simply keep to off whites.
As for lighting, do not just think about where the light will fall, but about how large the shades are and go for big and interesting designs. You can be much braver as your neutral colour palette offers you much more scope than if you were using brighter primary colours. You can also afford to be bigger and bolder with accessories as the neutral colours you are using are more delicate and gentle on the eye. So search for some stand out and interesting pieces and try different materials such as metallics or hessian to keep the textures dynamic. As for particular lampshades, try out ones that have cut out patterns that throw out shapes onto the walls which will add extra interest to the scheme, or use a shade that has either different colours on it or a couple of differing textures, or even coloured lightbulbs
Neutral tones lend themselves beautifully to anything organic and natural so think about products that are from the earth, the sea and use pictures or wall hangings that depict outdoors scenes. For instance, you could have a floor covering made of sea grass, bowls filled with polished pebbles and pictures of landscapes in neutral colours. Don’t forget the smaller details such as table runners and cushions that can either contrast or compliment your neutral scheme. And if you keep the accessories small then if you come to change your mind and want a more lively and brighter colour in your living space, if won’t cost you the earth to replace them when they are no longer needed.
Finally, the best neutral themes are always based in a modern or contemporary setting. Trying to use a neutral theme in an old fashioned space somehow makes the living area look more dated so take accessories that are current and upto date to ensure your home does not take on a tired and outdated look.
*All pictures courtesy of BHouse Desain.