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How To Decorate With Neutral Colors + The Best Neutral Paint Colors

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No! I’m not repainting my house today, but we are going to talk about how to decorate with neutral colors! I often get asked about our neutral color scheme and how we make it work without causing our house to look bland or blah.

One of the secrets to decorating with neutral colors is, of course, to pick a really great wall color. It may sound strange, but I have a whole pallet of my favorite neutral paint colors. The subtle differences between cream, grey, white and ecru are distinct and there’s a big difference. Some neutrals read warmer and some read cooler. There’s currently a trend to go with either “griege” (grey + beige) or all-white on walls and interiors. This color scheme has been trending for a while, but it shows no signs of going out of style. I get weekly questions about the paint shade we used in our house, and how to incorporate more of a neutral color scheme into a room without causing it to feel “flat.”

The great thing about light paint shades is they lend themselves to many different décor styles—rustic, modern, bohemian, Scandinavian. It’s all about the ways you choose to accessorize the room with texture, furniture style, shape, and accents. Mirrored, silver and mercury accessories can create a lux atmosphere when combined with decadent textures like velvet and fur. At the same time, white-washed or weathered wood furniture looks charming, fresh and rustic against a neutral palette. It’s all about the style you bring into the room. Neutral colors are exciting because they create the perfect canvas for any room!

If you’re ready for the clean, bright, cheer of a neutral color palette, here are some great ideas to inspire you, along with a guide to my favorite neutral paint colors. Incorporate more “griege” into your life to create a room that stands out!

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Neutral Color Palette Inspiration

How to decorate with neutral colors: this living room is full of neutral browns, greys, and yellows - but with the addition of stripes, textures, and patterns, there is NOTHING boring here!{ via }

In this room, you get pops of this great shade of griege on the walls and on the furniture. The pale-yellow paint on the accent wall reads as a neutral. Adding bold stripes via the rug keeps a small room from feeling too snug. The statement chandelier expands the room by drawing your eye upward (and complements the rug). With the addition of texture on the ottoman this room feels perfectly warm and cozy. No starkness here!

How to decorate with neutral colors: this neutral color scheme makes this living and dining room feel warm and inviting. The griege chairs and carpets bring a consistency throughout the room. { via }

Again, the use of black as an accent makes this space have a greater visual impact. The arrangement of the warm griege chairs mirrors the two square industrial lamps hanging above. Despite the formal symmetry, this room still feels relaxed and warm due to the plush chairs, exposed beams, and natural accents scattered throughout the space.

How to decorate with neutral colors: this all-white living room doesn't look the leave bit intimidating with those stunning pewter grey ottomans and gorgeous weathered wood coffee table!{ via }

This elegant white room manages to feel soft and inviting despite the white-on-white of the wall color, flooring, rug, and couch. Using the two pewter grey ottomans along with the warm, textured wood coffee table makes this space feel comfortable and casual. Once again, touches of nature with the giant shell and beautiful hydrangea bouquet are a welcomed addition.

How to decorate with neutral colors: another all-white living room sparkles with silver and black accents, giving this room a clean, yet elegant and comfortable feel. { via }

Nothing makes a neutral white color scheme look more glamorous than silver accents. From the frames and the chandelier to the pillows on the couch, this room feels elegant and stately. The dark flooring compliments the room perfectly, and the color is repeated on the coffee table and the little horse on the mantel.

How to decorate with neutral colors: Who said neutral had to be boring? This all-white furniture looks amazing against those large windows filled with green. The pops of color throughout make it feel fresh and clean. { via }

The cream walls with white trim are bright and inviting in this sunny room. Lots of texture in this room in the rug, coffee table, and wood accessories make this all-white furniture pop and not blend in too much with the cream walls. Those big windows offer plenty of green, complemented by a few plants throughout the space. The natural woven jute and the fun shape of the light fixture keep this space playful and relaxed.

Griege also works great in a kitchen setting! As a cabinet and accent color, it works beautifully!

This all-white kitchen pops with gorgeous gold accents and a lovely subway tile backsplash. This is how you decorate with neutral colors!{ via }

This kitchen is stunning with neutral white subway tile covering the walls. The griege cabinets stand out, especially with those gorgeous gold handles! Gold is an unexpected touch in the kitchen, so it really catches the eye. It plays very well with the rest of the neutral scheme which keeps a smaller cooking space feel expansive.

This kitchen is neutral, yet comforting with the dark grey cabinets and shiny gold hardware. The white backsplash lightens everything up.{ via }

A darker grey cabinet paint color also works for the kitchen with a neutral palette. Again, the subway tile backsplash is a perfect background for these dramatic cabinets. Check out that gold faucet too! I’m really falling in love with gold accents for the kitchen. They’re beautiful with the deep farmhouse sink and offer the perfect contrast against the neutral cabinets.

All- white kitchens work best when complimented with colors. This neutral color scheme on the chairs, carpet, and beautiful wood dining table make this kitchen look bright and welcoming. { via }

In this all-white kitchen, griege tiles and weathered furniture work seamlessly together. The eclectic country pieces pair with the modern, industrial background largely because every piece reads as a neutral. Working with this color scheme is fun because almost anything goes together!

How to decorate with neutral colors: a farmhouse kitchen is calling for neutral colors! But this kitchen pulls everything together with pops of green, silver, and soft yellow. { via }

Above is another great example of how country pieces like a farmhouse table, industrial accents, and even an elegant chandelier look cohesive and deliberate when working in a neutral palette. The exposed beams in all-white paint keep the ceiling high and open. The white walls and island are complemented by the cool white of the industrial metal chairs and the sweet ceramic pitcher on the table filled with fresh blooms.

I LOVE how the neutral color scheme and griege accents are also being used to make focal pieces in a room stand out.

How to decorate with neutral colors: painting the whole room a neutral color with major statement pieces of white liven up this bathroom while making it the perfect place to relax and unwind!

Against a neutral background, this griege clawfoot bathtub is breathtaking. The simple bathroom is inviting, elegant and in no way blah, despite the simple color scheme.

This dreamy beige piano stands out perfectly from the white walls and creates a lovely neutral atmosphere in this living room. { via }

This piano is just dreamy in a creamy beige color! We often think color makes a piece pop, but against white walls, great lines can make a neutral focal piece really stand out. Who could miss this stunner? It just invites you to sit down and play a tune.

So, are you sold on the idea of neutrals? Are you ready to start painting the town (or your house, rather) greige?! Looking for the best neutral paint colors to tackle your next project?

Here are my favorite neutral wall colors I’ve used for my clients, along with a few tips for selecting the perfect paint color.

How To Select The Perfect Neutral Paint Colors:

Remember the following when selecting paint:

  • Any shade, especially whites and neutrals will look different from one room to the next due to lighting.
  • Always paint a 4” × 4” swatch on the wall to test your chosen paint color and see if it will work.
  • Always paint at least two coats for a realistic swatch on the wall.
  • If you want to frame the room, pop the trim in white or even go in a shade darker than the wall color selected.
  • Accent the wall with accessories in the same shade as your paint, to add visual interest and give your wall some depth.

Want to know what my favorite paint shades are? Grab it below!

 

24 Comments

  1. Our house is yellow now but we’re painting it soon. I want to more white or neutral than yellow. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi, They all looked wonderfull, But Im thinking of some other Neutrals for my Living Room and Dining Room Elegant Ivory Cream By Benjamin Moore . Kitchen and Family Room Wickham Gray By Benjamin Moore. and all my floors will be close too A medium to dark wood and Cabints a Cream or White. And In the Floyer Im thinking maybe Edecomb Gray and it going up the stairs and Hall, By Benjamin Moore, What do you think? The Bathroom downstairs it has Brown Tile looks like wood and Shower Tile is Cream with a little Gold /Tan swirls looks almost like marblethinking, Light Revere Pewter By Benjamin Moore, what do you think? Master Bedroom Healing Aloe By Benjamin Moore and Master Bath Sea Breath I want like light teal but very light both of them to compliment each other. 2nd Bathroom upstairs Gray Owl By Benjamin Moore it will have Dark Gray Shower Tile and it has Light Gray Floor Tile looks like wood or something with a very light Blue very light Blue, Blue Bonnet or something lighter?The Vanity is Black.Ok the other 2 Bedrooms are already Painted one is Blue I may change everyone likes it, Second bedroom is a Mist Gray a very Pretty color Both By Benjamin Moore . The carpet is a Gray ,Cream ,Brown not to light not to dark. Laundry Room thing Balaloa Mist By Benjamin Moore. Let me know what you think of my Ideas, and if you have any that you thing my be better please let me know my design is Traditional French.Thank For Your. Well I look farward to hearing from you Soon. Have A Wonderful Day

    Sincerely,

    Betty Dunn

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