Guide For Decorating With Neutral Colours

Decorating with neutral colours does not mean you lack expression or will be labelled as dull.

Neutral colours in interior design bring a whole new element to a room and can be just as exciting and interesting as brighter colours

White living room with minimal colour

Image: The home of Fred Musik as featured in 'Extraordinary Interiors' by Jane Rockett & Lucy St George. Published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Debi Treloar.

Neutral Colours In Interior Design - Paint

Painting a room a neutral colour will tend to create a calming interior. This will allow you to add pops of colour when and where you like, therefore giving you versatility in your decorating. A neutral colour palette is much more versatile when redecorating, due to all the soft tones.

The obvious go-to neutral colours are beige, off white, taupe and nude. But also consider grey, Kahki, Navy and even black. Creating a neutral coloured room does not mean you can't have contrast and drama.

One option is to combine different shades of the same colour through walls, ceiling and woodwork. For example, Rockett St George Broderie, Bohemia and Emmanuella. This will bring interest to your room, allowing you to define different parts of the room, as you would with brighter colours. The subtle differences will still be noticed but in a less obvious way.

Selection of Rocket St George neutral paint colours

Our neutral colour palette inspiration with Rockett St George Paint

The joy of using paint is the ability to try out different looks. Rather than having a whole wall one colour, how about splitting the wall in half with two neutral shades. A horizontal line running around the whole room will guide the eye. You can even try this with black if you are feeling brave. Use the black on the top half of the room and why not take it onto the ceiling as well.

tip: Painting a room black will not make it feel smaller. In fact painting, the upper part of the room, including the ceiling will not only add drama but give the impression of height.

White living room with black ceiling

Image: The home of Michael Minns as featured in 'Extraordinary Interiors' by Jane Rockett & Lucy St George. Published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Debi Treloar.

Neutral Colours In Interior Design - Soft Furnishings

Using neutral soft furnishings in your living room is another way of bringing this look into your home. If you have painted or wallpapered your living room with a slightly darker tone - green or blue perhaps - then light accessories will bring the colour balance together. Think ivory sheepskins, peach or pale pink cushions & pale grey throws. These shades will give you a gorgeous grown-up and cosy space, and using neutrals means they will work with most sofa colours.

Neutral Colours In Interior Design - Wallpaper

Using neutral colours in interior design doesn't stop at paint. If you're a lover of pattern and just can't bare plain walls, then fear not as neutrals lend themself to a pattern. We recommend using wallpaper for an easy solution.

With so many wallpapers imitating wall finishes or textured surfaces, you can get a gorgeous statement wall in your living room. Use wallpaper to give yourself a finish with interest. This could be an art deco-inspired print like Cole & Son Icons Collection - FeatherFan Wallpaper. Maybe you prefer florals like our Rockett St George Flower Power Wallpaper - Blush.  Alternatively, bring some visual texture into your living room with the stunning NLXL Webbing Wallpapers.

Decorating with a neutral colour palette also extends to rugs and accessories. Use natural fibred rugs like wool and jute. This will help echo the vibes of your soft furnishings. These might be layered over a dark wooden or black floor for contrast. Alternatively, you could go neutral, keeping it soft and light. Do this by painting your flooring an off white with rugs displayed over. If you have a relatively dark room this will help to make your living room feel airier.

Light accessories placed on black shelving

Image: The home of Kate Learmonth as featured in 'Extraordinary Interiors' by Jane Rockett & Lucy St George. Published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Debi Treloar.

Accessories are a great way to bring a neutral colour palette into your living room. Vases and ornaments in off whites and soft tones will add to the look. If you have darker furniture or walls these pieces will stand out against the contrasting backdrop. A neutral coloured interior does not mean you avoid all other colours. You just need to have enough soft shades to tone down the harsher ones. This will give you a cohesive, yet understated living room.

For more neutral colours in interior design inspiration head to our Instagram & Pinterest pages.

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