Our Guide to...Decorating with Neutrals
Neutrals can be surprisingly hard to decorate with, but we've created an easy guide for how you can incorporate them into your home. And what better way to do that than by showcasing our very own comfy upholstery fabrics? Let's run through our top five tips to decorating neutral style rooms, and then explore each one in more detail.
Our top 5 styling tips to make neutral interiors work
- Temperature. Choose the right tone when decorating with neutrals. Choose either 'warm' or 'cool' neutrals and then stick to this palette throughout your scheme.
- Shades. Explore the full colour spectrum. Create atmosphere and contrast with a range of 'new neutrals' such as blush pink, lilac and pale yellow.
- Textures. Add texture to the mix. Introduce textural cushions, rugs and curtains to bring warmth, depth and character.
- Patterns. Introduce subtle pattern. Patterns can bring a sense of movement and liveliness to an otherwise serene space. Add gentle patterns via cushions, curtains and furniture to add layers and interest to the scheme.
- Be brave. Just because you're going for a pared-down palette, it doesn't mean you have to play it safe. A neutral scheme can provide the perfect backdrop for a really striking piece of artwork or furniture.
When a neutral room really works, it looks absolutely effortless. The problem is, it's harder than you might think to get this right. The secret is to use a variety of neutral shades and to add layers of texture to create both visual and tactile interest.
How to choose the right colour temperature when decorating with neutrals
Neutral schemes work best by layering a variety of calming shades. But it's important to first decide on a palette that is made up of either warm or cool tones.
Colours with cool undertones contain pink, violet or blue pigments, and those with warm tones have a hint of green or yellow to them.
Cool tones work best in south-facing rooms because they help to balance the intensity of the light. Warmer tones work brilliantly in north-facing spaces to create a cosy atmosphere in a room which might otherwise feel dark and cold.
Related post: Expert styling tips for your living room
Beige isn't your only option!
With so many modern neutrals to choose from, beige doesn't have to be boring. In fact, neutrals are no longer limited to beige, cream and white. The term 'neutral' can now apply to a wide range of colours in subtle tones inspired by nature.
Create atmosphere and contrast with a range of 'new neutrals' such as blush pink, lilac and pale yellow.
In order to achieve real depth and contrast in your interior scheme, why not vary the kind of neutrals you use?
Use of sliding scale of neutrals going from very pale to dark – while remaining on the same spectrum in terms of 'cool' or 'warm' tones.
- Pale neutrals could include blush pink, muted lilac or watery aqua as well as the more obvious off-whites, creams and greys.
- Medium neutrals cover colours such as taupe, stone and mushroom.
- Dark neutrals include more dramatic hues like chocolate brown, charcoal and terracotta.
Related read: Colour inspiration: an autumn of zen colours
4 ways to add texture to neutral room styles
It might sound contradictory to be brave when decorating a neutral space, but when it comes to texture it's important to be bold.
Texture is the key element which will bring your neutral scheme to life. Here are our favourite tips:
Inject texture into a neutral colour palette by working with the materials and surfaces throughout the space.
- For example, layering different textured pillows on a sofa or combining a chunky rug with a textured wooden floor can introduce a sense of depth and tactile appeal.
- Look for woven wall art. Adding woven tapestries to our interiors is super on-trend right now, and we love it! Textured artwork or three-dimensional piece to create a captivating focal point and add a tactile dimension to the space.
Which fabric textures and characteristics are best for neutral interiors?
You can find fabrics with cotton characteristics throughout our upholstery ranges, and they have such a lovely tactile quality. Our ranges span from fabrics with a brushed cotton touch all the way to ones with a dry, matte, linen look and feel. Read more: Organic cotton, the Organic Content Standard, and FibreGuard.
Bouclé is a fabric woven from yarns with a loopy, coiled-up quality. Our easy clean bouclé upholsteries, in particular, are incredibly popular right now. Learn more: Style spotlight on bouclé yarn and FibreGuard fabrics.
Velvet upholstery, with a twist! Our special textured velvets steal the show in every interior. The soft, smooth nap of velvet works really nicely in neutral interiors too: add extra dimension by choosing a velvet upholstery with a distinctive texture such as a nailhead texture. Explore: Everything You Need to Know About Velvet Furnishing Fabrics.
Tip four: how to work subtle patterns into a neutral room style
While neutral interiors often rely on a calm and understated colour palette, incorporating patterns can help avoid a monotonous or sterile look. Geometric patterns, subtle stripes, or organic motifs can all work well in neutral decor.
While patterns can serve as an accent that adds visual intrigue, it's so important to maintain a sense of balance. Too many bold or busy patterns can overwhelm the space and detract from the serene atmosphere. Yikes!
We advise our readers to choose one or two key patterns and incorporate them strategically throughout the room. Some options:
Organic Motifs: Add a sense of tranquil elegance to your neutral interior with nature-inspired patterns, organic textures and leafy motifs.
Geometric Patterns: Geometric patterns, such as chevron, herringbone, or quatrefoil, can add a contemporary touch to a neutral interior.
Subtle Stripes: Soft stripes can introduce visual interest without overpowering the space. Opt for muted or tonal colours to keep the overall palette cohesive.
Tip five: don't be afraid to decorate your busy house in neutral colours
Busy family homes can often feel chaotic, and neutral colours can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. They provide a sense of tranquillity and balance, allowing family members to unwind and recharge.
We understand the hesitation though: children and pets and, well, life, can just be ....messy. Accidental spills, forgotten stains: we've seen it all. And yet, we're encouraging you today to be courage and decorate your entire house in neutral colours, with the textures and patterns to match!
FibreGuard's upholstery fabrics are fabulous in neutral interiors
FibreGuard fabrics are the game-changing solution to designers' stain and dirt concerns when choosing neutral fabrics. Our luxury-soft upholstery fabrics are crafted from long-lasting materials that also make for easy cleaning.
The easy-to-clean quality of FibreGuard's upholstery is one reason to include neutral shades in your decor—even if you have kids who insist on eating chocolate fingers while watching TV.
Get in touch with us today and dare to decorated with neutrals.