When it comes to home decor, some people automatically gravitate towards bright and bold colours, while others prefer a more serene and minimalist look. Neutral colour schemes remain a popular choice for many homeowners, as they provide a calming aesthetic and a versatile backdrop to showcase different styles and accessories. However, sticking to a neutral palette can sometimes result in a space feeling flat or uninviting. We’ve put together some tips on how to add interest to a neutral colour scheme, without straying too far from your preferred aesthetic.
Incorporate Texture through Different Materials
One way to bring life to a neutral-coloured room is by introducing different textures. This can be done through various materials such as natural fibres, wood, leather or metal. A chunky wool throw, a jute rug, wooden shelves or a brass lamp will all add depth and interest to a neutral space. Mixing various textures also works to create a visually dynamic and engaging atmosphere.
Play with Different Shades of the Same Colour
When it comes to neutrals, you don’t have to stick to one shade. There are various hues of each colour, from light beige to dark charcoal. For instance, if you opt for an all-white room, introduce a few pieces in cream or off-white to create subtle variation and bring the look together. Similarly, shades of grey can be used to add depth, with various textures enhancing the colour palette.
Add Interesting Furniture Pieces
Another way to bring interest to a neutral space is by choosing statement furniture pieces. These could be anything from a quirky armchair, a vintage curio cabinet, to a modern sculpture. These statement pieces will draw the eye and add visual interest to the space. Play around with different shapes, materials and styles to find the pieces that work best for your space. Mixing old and new pieces will also create a more eclectic environment that won't date.
It can be tempting to recreate the looks found on social media or interior design blogs, but it’s important to remember that everyone has their own unique style and preferences. Don’t try too hard to stick with trends – instead, choose pieces that you’re naturally drawn to. Consider fabrics, materials and shapes that suit your lifestyle, and add meaningful elements such as artwork or photographs of memories to make a space truly reflect who you are.
Introduce Colour with Accessories
If you’re not a fan of bright and bold colours, accessories can be an ideal way to add colour into your home decor. Consider adding some hues in the form of decorative items such as cushions, throws, artwork or flower arrangements. You don’t have to stick with one colour either; try combining different shades and tones to create a more colourful, but still subtle, look.
If you’re looking to maintain a predominantly neutral look, but still want to add interest, try sticking to varying shades of the same tones. This will keep the look cohesive and interesting, while allowing you to experiment with different hues. For example, use light cream walls as your main colour palette and then combine it with various shades of beige, grey and brown for furniture, accessories and rugs. This will provide a subtle yet sophisticated look that won’t overwhelm the room.
Choose Timeless Flooring
Flooring can play a key role in adding interest to a neutral colour scheme. Consider choosing a high-quality flooring material with interesting wood grain or a patterned tile rather than a beige carpet. A subtle but eye-catching design can add depth and richness to the space while complementing the neutral palette.
Engineered wood flooring will instantly warm up a space, whilst the unique grain and natural variation of knots will add interest to a neutral scheme. This is particularly the case in neutral kitchens which can risk feeling rather sterile; a rustic wood floor will provide the perfect antidote for lighter coloured cabinets and bright marble worktops. Wood flooring will also add a cocooning feel to a living room and provides the perfect opportunity for you to change up your style with added rugs and textiles.
If your budget won't stretch to an engineered wood, laminate floors today are convincingly authentic and offer a durable and resilient flooring option that replicate the look and feel of a real wood or natural stone floor.
Create Visual Interest Through Stylish Storage Solutions
Storage solutions are often overlooked when designing a space but can be key in creating visual interest in a neutral colour scheme. Choose stylish storage pieces such as baskets, cabinets or floating shelves and use them to display your favourite items. This is also a great way to add personal touches that will make your home feel unique and inviting.
Use Artwork to Inject Colour and Personality
Artwork can help to bring life to a neutral space by injecting colour and personality. Choose pieces that bring out your personality, whether it’s abstract pieces or bold graphic prints. Choose artworks that complement the existing colour scheme while adding personality to the space. Keep in mind that art doesn’t have to be hung on the walls, it can also be placed on ledges or shelves.
Play with Lighting
Finally, lighting can also add a lot of interest to a neutral space. Soft or indirect lighting can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere while highlighting the different textures, materials and artwork in the room. Consider adding a mix of floor lamps, table lamps, and pendant lights to create layers of light and shadows.
Adding a statement light can also be a great way to elevate a neutral room. Choose an eye-catching chandelier, pendant or lamp that stands out from the neutral colour palette. This will draw attention and brighten up your space with its own unique style. Just make sure you choose lighting fixtures that are in line with your preferred aesthetic, and that are appropriate for the size of your room.
Also, don’t forget to let in plenty of natural light by using sheer curtains or blinds.
Add Life with Greenery
Don’t forget about plants when designing a neutral space; they can add life to an otherwise monochromatic palette. Choose indoor plants with interesting textures, shapes and colours like ferns or succulents for instant impact. You could also consider adding a large tree in the corner of a living room, or line up small plants along a windowsill for subtle pops of colour.
A neutral colour scheme doesn’t have to be boring or lacking in interest. With the right combination of textures, furniture, flooring, artwork, and lighting, a neutral space can become an inviting, visually dynamic, and welcoming oasis. These tips will allow you to create depth and richness in your space, without sacrificing your preferred minimalist aesthetic. So go forth and experiment and see which combination of these tips works for your space and embody your personality.