Staying Neutral in the World of Interior Design - Our Top Five Tips

The most remarkable and inspiring interior designs are often also the simplest, where it is not about what you can add but about what you could take away.

From time to time, contemporary trends in home décor may encourage the use of bolder and brighter tones filled with strong colour blocks or adventurous prints, but the nobility and elegance of neutral hues certainly remain the most sophisticated option, a path that guarantees a sense of timelessness.

Colours tend to have one of the several primary roles. For example, magenta and cobalt tones are widely considered to be active and engaging, while pastels are regarded to have passive and calming effects.

Within the context of interior design, “neutral” can broadly be defined as the absence of colour. With a wide range of variety including beige, ivory, grey, black and many shades of white, these impartial tints have the amazing dual ability to be strong statements for their own existence, while simultaneously providing versatility in decorating needs as muted backgrounds for accents to create visual contrasts – An especially attractive quality as personal preferences and contemporary trends consistently change and evolve.

As Leonardo Da Vinci wisely observed, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

1. Hues

Neutral interiors can be just as warm and cosy as their more colourful counterparts and are often the frontrunners for the selection of paint options.

It is ideal to select a colour based on the other complementary colours you wish to include in the same room while taking into consideration the amount of natural light the room will also receive.

Be mindful that darker walls create the illusion of cocoon-like environments, while lighter tones work in the complete opposite way, often creating the illusion of space.

It is also important to note that neutrals often have undertones of other shades that belie their seemingly basic existence. For example, beige isn’t just beige, and white definitely isn’t just white. They could come in a wide variety of intensities and shades with subtle nuances that could dramatically affect the atmosphere of a room.  Whether it’s the warm undertones of yellow, tan or gold in beige, or the subtle cool infusion of ivory, peach or blue in white, painting a room within a neutral hue could feel like a gratifying cleansing of the visual palette.

2. Shapes

When the colours in a room are identical, the presence of shapes and contrasts can be an essential game changer. Pay attention to the selection of furniture and accessories because they have the ability to instantly break the monotony by adding interesting angles that catch the eye.

An easy and fairly inexpensive way to express variety and spice up a living room or bedroom is to add decorative pillows. Within a primarily neutral décor, cushions with strong vivid images or bold colours can add dashes of fun and personality to any space.

Memorable handcrafted ornaments like standing vases or organically shaped decorative pots could also help the space to come together.

3. Textures

Neutral does not mean boring, and the presence of tactile and visual texture is one of the most effective ways to liven up a space.

Living rooms where family and guests congregate should be multisensory experiences through design and decoration, whereby they should not only look great but also (literally) feel amazing.

Take the opportunity to be playful and juxtapose rough textures among soft fabrics, shiny ornaments alongside matte finishes and coarse with smooth surfaces. Include unexpected items like rugs and blankets made of linen, velvet or wool and take heart that these versatile home accessories can be modified at any time to match the seasonal changes throughout the year.

Introducing natural fibres like bamboo or wood in home furnishings can also create a more soothing and relaxing aesthetic while contrasting accents with visually stimulating materials like corals or copper can enhance the space to make it feel more complete.

4. Variety

Variety is a delightful element in creating an interesting space – Get creative and experiment with layers in height, width and depth to break the visual uniformity of a neutral room. Allow the space to come alive as a three-dimensional entity while encouraging the aesthetic eye to be delighted by elements which all come together stunningly.

Mix up the selection of accessories according to personal preferences by combining hanging lamps with upholstered furniture, or unique handcrafted ornaments next to tribal art. Be bold with the selection, and remember that the sky can be the limit. Neutrals create an excellent backdrop to provide a strong foundation for decorating no matter what your personal preferences might be.

5. Lighting

Undoubtedly one of the most crucial elements in home decoration regardless of style and design, lighting can dramatically enhance or impair the atmosphere of any space in a home.

The walls in a room might be painted in similar shades, but the differences caused by the angles and placement of lights can create different effects.

From the warm gentle glow of a ceiling pendant light to the cool effects of a delicately positioned table lamp, use the lights to your advantage and create the presence you desire.

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