Decorating in Neutrals

Neutral colors range from the lightest of beiges to the richest of grays. See how to use neutral colors in your home decorating. Plus, learn how a neutral color scheme can be brought to life in any room.

-Decorating in neutral colors doesn't have to be boring. Here's a fail-proof way to bring neutral shades to life. Neutrals aren't just gray, black, white, or beige, they can also be colors from the color wheel that are tinted with white or black along with another color to create a new hue. These remixes turn the hues on the color wheel from vibrant green into muted khaki, snazzy red to earthy taupes, bold blues to steely grays, bright yellows and oranges to soft beiges, and sassy purples to rich browns. You can create a variety of looks by using different shades and intensities of neutral colors. In this living room, wallpaper in charcoal gray, instead of paint, colors the walls with a large tone on tone pattern. A swirling area rug adds graphic impact underfoot. Basic carpet in a lighter solid gray is a smart choice that will withstand changing décor. Pillows at smaller doses of color in varying intensities of gray add in a variety of small and medium-scaled patterns as well as in solid fabrics. Like with more colorful schemes, balancing the main color with contrast is important. Hints of golden beige on the upholstered sofa and ottoman as well as on the table and lamp warm up the living room. A pattern such as the striped fabric on the chair that features all of your neutral hues will tie everything together. Groupings of accessories such as the plates on the wall will also do the trick. Here, neutrals black and white will also sharpen a neutral color scheme. The black banding on the curtains and cornice as well as on the back of the chair pop in a sea of gray and beiges. A neutral room relies on the same principles as colorful rooms for success. Use neutral colors you love. Balance cool neutral colors with warm ones. Incorporate pattern in various scales and you'll be well on your way to a beautiful neutral room.