We love the crispness and simplicity of a well-curated neutral palette. From the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom, this is a great way to create stylistic cohesion throughout the home. However, if done incorrectly, a neutral palette can feel cold or even dull. If you want to keep things interesting, follow our guide on designing with a neutral palette.
When sourcing materials for a neutral palette, it is important to consider the texture of your materials. Instead of going for a solid, all-white look, go for something with more contrast. Natural materials are a great way to do this.
Check out the contrast between the wood cabinets and the floor-to-ceiling marble in this Manhattan brownstone we redesigned.
Just because you’re designing with a neutral color scheme doesn’t mean you just have to pick solid patterns. Look for a tasteful geometric pattern that ripples on a color you already have in mind.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the patterned rug that we incorporated into this Westchester home.
A neutral palette should never be boring. Offsetting darker grays and blacks against light whites is one of the easiest ways to create a dramatic, high-contrast neutral palette.
Check out the contrasting color scheme we implemented in the kitchen of this South Orange, New Jersey home.
Attenuated neutral conductor
Designing with bright colors is certainly more fun than choosing between black and white. However, using too much of a light color can easily upset your design scheme. If you want to incorporate lighter colors into your neutral palette, choose muted versions of your personal favorites.
Check out the decked pink chairs we reupholstered for this luxury condominium on the Upper East Side.
Pops of the primary colors
If swaths of subdued neutrals aren’t your thing, try using primary colors. While lighter muted colors work well in grouped pieces, primary colors work best when they’re evenly distributed throughout the house.
Check out the main accents that flow through the living room, kitchen, and breakfast nook of this redesign of the Westchester family home.
Natural elements are a great way to keep a neutral scheme from feeling boring. Plants are an obvious way to add a little green to the house. However, don’t forget to include other natural elements such as branches and geometric table objects.
Check out the living room table we designed in this luxury apartment on Market Street, San Francisco.
One of the advantages of designing with a neutral palette is that you can incorporate a wider variety of artwork into your design scheme. We find abstract paintings with strong colors or black and white photographs particularly appealing.
Check out the horse photo framed above the bed in this SoHo duplex that we redesigned.
One of the easiest ways to add the necessary contrast to a neutral palette is to include objects that differ in shape and size. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the variety of geometry in the foyer of our Westchester redesign.