Neutral Color Schemes for Bedrooms

Check out these ideas for using neutral color palettes to create high-style bedrooms, whether they're soothingly tranquil or downright vivacious.

It makes sense that neutral schemes are a popular choice when it comes to decorating bedrooms. The flexible chromes supply calming cadences, promote sweet dreams, and create adaptable backdrops that complement every style and most every color.

Though neutrals are easy to design with, there are a few things to keep in mind when making your selections. Warm neutrals, such as brown, tan, ivory, gold, and black, work well in bedrooms where casual cocooning is the favored activity. Cool neutrals, such as white, silver, lavender, gray, and icy blue, establish elegant scenes that issue reassuring rhythms. Remember, too, that a neutral hue's undertone (think bluish gray, buttery whites, and reddish browns) may shift a color from warm to cool and vice versa. Here's a look at other design strategies to consider when decorating a neutral bedroom.

Get inspired: Browse our best neutral bedrooms in the Decorating Gallery.

Neutral Decorating Tips

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.

Pattern Placement

Weave patterns rendered in complementary tones throughout your design to heighten interest, but distribute them in a thoughtful manner to keep your bedroom feeling calm instead of chaotic. Understated tone-on-tone textiles and wallpapers work nicely in neutral designs, as does a mix of simple prints in varying scales. Unsure of where to begin? Pick an inspirational textile, such as a pillow featuring avian forms, and use it as the starting point for choosing an overall palette and additional patterns. Remember that window shutters, pillows outlined with cording, and sculptural sunburst mirrors also add patterns to the mix. Don't forget to counterbalance the impact of multiple patterns by including blocks of solid color, showcased as bedspreads, upholstered headboards, furniture finishes, and upholstery fabrics.

Color Strategies

Although they won't entirely shift a bedroom out of neutral, colorful accessories really rev up a neutral design's appeal. That's one of the primary advantages of neutral backgrounds: They let you vary how a bedroom looks and feels just by changing the bed linens or switching an artwork. If you live for change, opt for gallery-white perimeters so you can alter the view anytime the mood strikes. But, as with placing patterns, incorporate color strategically. For example, limit bold swatches of color to one or two areas, and scatter smaller pops of the same colors around the room. Create enduring designs by investing in neutral-hued furnishings, flooring, architectural details, and custom draperies. Then color your neutral world by adding in vibrantly hued art objects, bed linens, and decorative trims.

Textural Blend

Interweave plush, rough, smooth, shiny, and matte textures into your design to create a multifaceted master bedroom that is both remarkable and refined. Gray, platinum, and silver, whether presented as classic damask coverlets or as snazzy shag rugs, are versatile neutrals complemented by items such as time-silvered mirrors or polished chrome lamps. Prevent a neutral decorating scheme from appearing one note by representing the main color in varying tones, patterns, and sheens and adding in another neutral, such as green or gold. Want to create a sophisticated space that holds a few surprises? Opt for elegant fabric patterns done up in casual-weave textiles, such as linen, cotton, or suede, to get a look that's chic and comfortable. 


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