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decorating with neutrals

5 Ways to Layer Neutrals

Decorating with a neutral palette will always bring serenity to a space. While some might label a neutral room as “safe” what’s true is that layered neutrals are pleasing and tranquil year round. Here are five simple way to layer your home in neutrals to create an inviting retreat. 

Introduce Contrast.  Dark wood tones and dark metal surfaces ground a mostly white space. Dark woods seem richer and whites feel brighter with the use of deliberate contrast. Consider oil rubbed bronze or powder black metal finishes in your light fixtures and curtain rods and darker stained wood accent furniture and floors when the remainder of the furnishings are pale neutrals. 

neutral living room with contrast bhg


Pattern Play.  Mixing textiles in a similar neutral palette is a no fail way to add interest to a predominantly neutral space. Combine stripes, geometrics, and botanicals together and include both large and small scale pattern.

mixed gray patterns bhg


Mix It Up.  Using varied wood tones in a space is de rigueur in interior design, especially whitewash and graywash treatments in rustic or matte finishes. While you’re mixing your wood tones, mix your woven tones as well, from pale sisal to darker bamboo – they shouldn’t all match but instead complement each other which creates a layered over time look.

mixed wood tones bhg


Texture is Key.  In a room that lacks color, texture is what makes it interesting. The intentional use of organic textures in the form of raw wood, linen, hide, metal, and woven materials will transform any neutral space into an appealing one.

layered neutral textured living room bhg


Add Color in Small Doses. The benefit of a neutral space is it allows you to change the accents and accessories with ease. Crisp white walls, neutral upholstered pieces, and classic wood accent tables are a blank canvas for a collection of throw pillows and a lamp in any hue you prefer that season.

neutral living room colorful pillows


As much as we all crave color, there is something equally wonderful about neutral spaces layered in desirable texture, interesting patterns, and plenty of contrast.  Do you decorate with a neutral palette anywhere in your home?


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