The Art Of Decorating With Neutrals

{originally posted on 9/19/2011}

Sometimes it is way too easy to rely on color to add interest to a space. If the living room is too bland, what is the first thing we think to do? Paint! Or add bright accent pillows or curtains. Don't get me wrong, I definitely love color, but I think neutrals can get forgotten sometimes. When I was starting my interior design career I worked for a designer named Betsy Brown in Birmingham, AL. She was the one that opened my eyes to the elegance of neutrals.

When decorating solely with neutrals, you will start to notice things that are often overlooked. Balance and pattern become main players in the design of your space. You will start to notice that there are countless different neutral shades to use. Texture is a huge part of using neutrals too. When color is eliminated it is easier to see the roughness of unfinished wood, in contrast with the softness of linen and the shiny-ness of a mirror or vase. It really is a brilliant and elegant way to design a space.

Of course you can always add pops of color if you want. In fact, I think the best designs DO incorporate pops of color.  I love this grey-blue of the lamp shades.

Don't be afraid to go dark with it either. Charcoal and black are beautiful too.

See how dramatic the antlers are in this room?

See how the texture of the wood just pops in this space? I love how the details start to come alive when color is not drawing all of our attention.

Like I said, I really am a big fan of color. Most of my designs incorporate a lot of color actually. SOmetimes it is just nice to take a step back and edit the color back a bit to let other elements like balance, texture, shading, and architecture have center stage.