The Benefits of a Neutral Home
A neutral home has endless possibilities. “Neutrals provide an excellent blank canvas in order for you to build upon and exhibit your own unique home style with color pops and accents,” explained co-founder and lighting designer, Helen White from House of, an online lighting design retailer. “There is something grounding and reassuring with starting with a neutral color palette and adding on top of this. They also offer a terrific way to have a customizable base upon which you can add color with home accessories or furniture items without overhauling the décor entirely for each room.”
When Beth McCallum, a content creator on the cleaning website Oh So Spotless, bought her apartment, she painted every wall a neutral color. “We went for off-whites, creamy browns and extremely subtle pinks,” she said. “All of our furniture is either oak, black, white or grey.”
This might sound dull, but as McCallum pointed out every color works with such neutrals … and a cushion, blanket, basket or vase can easily be substituted as seasons change to update the look.
“When summer becomes autumn, we don’t have to do much to make our home cozy,” said McCallum. “We just swap out our cushion covers for oranges and yellows, pop some ceramic and cloth pumpkins around the room, hang up the fairy lights, and switch out our throw blankets. And voila! It feels like a new home, but all we did was change out half a dozen items.”
For the holiday season, McCallum switches the cushions to soft reds and muted greens. She also changes the books on the coffee table to more holiday appropriate fare such as The Christmas Carol. “You don't have to go full red and green,” she added. “You can also use baby blues, whites, silvers, and lots of shades of green.”
Ali Huseman, home décor blogger at Homemade By Huseman also changes his home for each season. He recommends keeping your décor in plastic bins and storing them in an indoor closet. “This helps to prevent them from getting musty and keeps it organized so the decor is easy to find,” he said. “When possible, it also helps to put them in a large vacuum seal bag to save space.”
Besides allowing you to update for the seasons, a home with a neutral background allows you to show off architecture, furniture and personal style. “There is a reason why designers often choose neutral wall colors, especially in modern interiors,” said Bryan Stoddard, director or the website, Homewares Insider. “They allow the lines of high quality furniture and architecture to be seen and appreciated by the people inhabiting the space.”
Things like picture frames and candleholders can add life to a neutral room. It is “a great way to fill in the neutral background with something that's important to you, and that will add to space you're using,” said Stoddard. “These are all ideal for the colder seasons as they will fill up space, and give an image of a warmer and friendlier home.”
Texture and form are also important components of interior design. “Arranging the perfect room is about much more than just choosing colors,” offered Harold K. Hardesty, home décor and DIY blogger at The House Wire. “It allows you to see the other aspects of the furniture besides the color. If I walk into a room and there’s a red couch, I’m mostly going to focus on its redness. I might miss the beautiful, mid-century design, or the gorgeous upholstery. If the couch is beige, however, I’m able to appreciate those other aspects without being distracted by a color.”
Make your chairs pop with taupe Schumacher Maxwell fabric (176402).
A home’s look becomes more dynamic when different textures are paired next to one another, say a rough throw blanket tossed on top of a smooth bedspread. “This works even if you're working with a neutral color palette,” said Hardesty. “Some heavy, textured curtains will visually pop off a smooth wall, even if the curtains and the wall are neutral colored.”
Form refers to an object’s size and shape. “The most interesting home layouts pair things of different sizes and shapes,” suggested Hardesty. So try using a multitude of styles when decorating—you can match geometric-designed couch, for instance, with a round table. “It’s much more fun to look at, and live in, than a room where everything is shaped the same,” he added.
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