Neutral colours, whatever the fashion, always retain an edge of sophistication and peaceful glamour. Whether a mix of 1950s satin mink drapes and low wool sofa or an Ibizan farmhouse with an unstructured linen day bed, neutral room décor is a timeless choice. But it’s not as easy as it looks: If pale fabrics neutral and paint colours appeal then it’s key to ensure you plan ahead to bring some depth to the scheme, or it can feel bland and cold. A little lateral thinking can deliver a design of subtle power and quiet design punch.
On the wall
A natural fit for communal living spaces, neutral colourways are an obvious choice for adding grown-up calm. Living room paint ideas can move beyond the obvious beige colour paint into a game-changing design feature; The best beige paint colour in an interior ‘texture’ paint can add a subtle mood, or an unexpected variation to a very simple scheme – so don’t underestimate it.
A sheen of gloss paint on a large wall can reflect back lamplight and looks particularly slick against grained wooden furniture (a metallic finish paint will have a similar play with light). A natural pairing for neutrals is suede paint, giving a soft tactile finish that creates a look of brushed suede and feels especially warming in neutrals. For something with a grittier edge, try concrete effect finish paint, an easier way to get the urban look without changing the fabric of the wall material. Simply put, for a neutral scheme, paint colour ideas work more as a way to pull together a backdrop for items such as grey and brown living room furniture. So put them at the centre of your plan.
Neutral colours can also be brought into a scheme very successfully through your wallpaper and fabric choices. See these elements as a way to layer a simple design in a more interesting fashion, and avoid just repeating the colour on walls. Remember, however, that this scheme doesn’t work as normal, so avoid throwing in accent colours for grey or beige (which would be contrasting tones of yellow or orange) as you don’t want to break the palette. This is more about subtle flattering accents not in colour, but by adding in textures and patterns to build up against the neutral wall colours. For example, if you have textured wallpaper with a subtle silver thread, then a totally plain mid tone linen is the perfect match to create a little low-key drama.
Night time Neutrals
For neutral bedroom ideas, a swathe of grey tweed curtains is an instant glamour win. Paired with a plain cream fabric blind this window covering combination will feel modern, but also give more light control during the day than the limited open or closed restrictions of curtains. To find the best paint colour for a bedroom to increase a sense of harmony, stay away from the colder end of the grey-hued tones and head more to warmer tones such as taupe. Again, a beige bedroom can feel very sophisticated or very plain, so ensure you find ways to add in softness and more rich materials. A neutral headboard can be accented with copper or brass studs. Or consider a luxury curtain fabric with a lining of a shimmering dull gold that can be revealed as they are held open with tone-on-tone silky ropes.
A neutral colour scheme can go beyond the traditional plain-on-plain; keeping the palette tight, you can break out from expected beige, grey and taupes. This subtle pattern in a gentle green still works as a neutral fabric as the other items in the room are so simple; the cream colour paint, the cream wall and rug with the dark lines of the window reflected in the chair frame. Pale greens are a great way to experiment with a softer scheme if the rest of your house is more colourful. However, although rooms should have their own sense of identity a home feels better when it has an overall feel, rather than a jump from one look to another within a few feet. You might change from one mood to another by making a hallway a transitional, mid-tone colour.
Low and slow
Considering how light acts as part of your netural scheme is important. A plain and simple neutral colour scheme can feel bleak if subject to harsh light. Adding in a translucent blind with a woven or printed pattern will filter the light’s intensity and add a glow to the space. This creates the premium feel that makes this scheme successful. This is also a good opportunity to use some decorative patterns, especially if the windows are large, to break up long expanses that can look dull if left unadorned. During the day the view may be enough to add interest, but at night bringing in some subtle decorative weaves to pick up the lamplight can cosy up the room. Also try using a deep pile champagne rug to curl up with a book in this diffused pool of day (or fire) light.
All in the details
Luxury is always in the quiet touches. Don’t just look at the obvious neutral decoration selections such as fabric, furniture and paint. The finials on curtains, door handles and wall switches are the places we engage with every day, so choose something more unexpected or thoughtful. Standard white plastic switches won’t kill a scheme, but a pewter or dull brass choice will elevate it. For your window coverings, new hardware such as these designer roller blind brackets will blend into your walls and add that touch of considered polish. For a darker tone, use a the antiqued brass look- or if you prefer your neutrals with a harder edge, black against a concrete paint effect wall will make the feel more masculine and sharp. Whatever your preference, the devilishly good design is in the details.
If you want more ideas to try once you’ve mastered our guide to the New Neturals, follow us on Facebook for a daily dose of design ideas.