Let’s get one thing straight – as someone who works in the creative world of design where trends come and go as quickly as they do in fashion, I’m here to tell you that neutrals aren’t boring, they’re classic! I’m sure nearly everyone has looked at their room or outfit and thought that monochromatic or black and white was boring and it needed more. Consider Parisian street style as the marker for style that stands the test of time – it hasn’t changed in decades, yet they’re the chicest people on the planet. The same truly goes for your home especially because you likely don’t want to change out your sofa every couple of years when you want to hop on a new trend. So, I’m here to tell you exactly how you can make neutral beautiful, fun, unique, and totally un-boring!
- Play with texture – Regardless of the style you choose to go with in your neutral space, texture is essential to keep the space interesting enough and to add more dimension which is typically how color plays a role. I love to add texture with rugs, coffee table surface, throw pillows and blankets, and even faux fur accents.
- Add some pattern – This is one that won’t be for everyone but it can help bring your neutral space up a notch without too much effort. Many people that struggle with adding color often also struggle with choosing the right pattern for the space. If the room is modern, stick with geometric patterns, if it’s more on the traditional or rustic side, adding some farmhouse distressed art would help, or if you’re going for minimalism, a light, muted, stripe is usually enough.
- Use natural surfaces – This literally helps elevate any style of room and is usually the safest bet for kids and pets as well. That being said, natural fibers aren’t always as durable, so some stain-resistant action may have to be taken before the little ones get to it. It’s still worth having sold wood rather than IKEA MDF furniture, natural linen upholstery or jute rugs over polypropylene, and silk drapery over its cheaper, uglier step sisters out there. However, performance velvet, microfiber, and faux leather have become so durable and sustainable that we prefer them over the real thing (and who wouldn’t want to save the animals anyway).
- Add some life – Neutral may seem bland and really lack life in many cases on its own, but the tried and true way to ensure that doesn’t happen in your space is to literally add some life: aka plants. Some of you may say that you kill them all, but I assure you there are some many that thrive in minimal light and water such as the snake plant, rubber plant, succulents, and several cacti. Although I hate to admit this as a designer, even silk plants have gotten so good over the years that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. So, if you truly kill every plant you’ve owned, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, and even Wayfair have some great excellent options.
- It doesn’t have to be Boho – neutral, natural, textures, and plants doesn’t have to automatically equal bohemian. Consider that a traditional farmhouse may have distressed wood, warm tones, antiqued frames, and knit blankets while a modern and neutral home may be all black and white with glass surfaces, clean lines, and minimal décor. You’re not boxing yourself into a single style by choosing to opt out of using color in your home, in fact, the opportunities are endless and will remain a classic look with no matter what style suites your life best.