Neutral living room ideas that can be used throughout your home, and how to transition to neutral home decor without breaking the bank.
This post is for those of you who have been thinking about adopting a neutral palette for your home’s decor, but are unsure if that’s what you really want, or are unsure how to do it. Are you worried a neutral space will be boring or bland? I promise it won’t be! In this post, I will walk you through the easy steps for transitioning to a neutral backdrop, how to incorporate different shades within a neutral color palette, and tips for adding natural materials.
Why I Switched To A Neutral Scheme
Many years ago, our family home on Sutton Place was decorated from floor to ceiling with color. I had bright yellow walls in the living room, red and gold wallpaper in the entry, and navy wallpaper in the kitchen. All the window treatments were made from large-scale colorful fabrics. I had a red sofa, yellow toile chairs, and dark wood furniture. When I chose all this color, I did like it…but after a few years, it became oppressive.
- I couldn’t change a thing because the colors were so specific.
- It was dark, and lacked that cozy feeling I was craving.
- There was no place for the eye to rest. There was so much going on that I literally felt edgy.
- I chose fabrics that were trendy, and when the trend was over, I was stuck with something I didn’t want.
Start With The Background
I lived with all this color for a long time, but I knew I wanted to make a drastic change. My transition to a neutral look was gradual, and began with neutral walls, which are the perfect backdrop. The walls and trim in our current home are painted Snowbound by Sherwin Williams. The walls are a satin finish, and the trim is semi-gloss.
The next steps are flooring and window treatments. These big ticket items will take time, but keep in mind that the changes don’t need to happen all at once. I took one thing at a time, and saved money in between projects. That’s the beauty of decorating with neutrals. They “go” with everything.
Once you have your background neutralized, it’s time to move on to furniture and accessories. In my own home, I chose furniture pieces in various shades of beige, and warm whites. Again, this was a very gradual process. I began with a comfortable sofa, and moved on to sitting chairs and accent chairs. I added a coffee table and end tables in warm wood tones. At this point, it was time to accessorize.
- Showcase your favorite neutral accessories by creating curated collections. For instance, arrange a group of neutral-toned pitchers or vases, or a collection of antique books on a shelf. This will create visual interest and showcase your personal style while maintaining a cohesive look.
- The simplest way to embrace natural elements is with your decor accessories. Neutrals and natural elements are the perfect pair. Consider incorporating elements like raw wood, stone, jute, or plants to bring a sense of nature and warmth to the space. This will add a touch of organic beauty to your neutral color scheme.
- Accessories are also where you can add pops of color, and bring in seasonal style. Neutral colors can be enhanced with the addition of contrasting accent colors. Consider incorporating bold colors, such as vibrant throw pillows or artwork. A focal point can be created by simply adding color.
How Neutral Home Decor Can Save You Money
Decorating with neutrals can help you save money by minimizing the need for frequent updates and replacements, providing versatility, and increasing the longevity of your decor. Neutrals go with ANYTHING. Once you paint your walls a neutral color, there will be no need to paint them again for many years. Once you neutralize your window treatments, they are there for the duration.
For window treatments, choose a classic design that won’t go out of style. Full, simple panels, or plantation shutters are a good choice.
By choosing neutral colors for your “big ticket” items, color and style can be added with inexpensive soft furnishings and accessories. This can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for major redecorating projects. If you get tired of a color, or want to add seasonal decor, you have a lovely neutral background to work with. By decorating with neutrals, it’s easy to give your home a fresh look without spending a dime. Furniture and accessories can be moved from room to room because they are all in the same color family. In minutes, you can create a completely new look for literally no money.
Add Color If It Makes You Happy
Of all the color palettes available, it’s the neutrals that make me happy. I do, however, use blue as an accent color. Using an accent color, or using a variety of accent colors, is the best way to add your own personal style. Even though I don’t think I could live without neutrals, I am positive I couldn’t live without blue either! So it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The most important thing is that you feel relaxed and happy in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
A great way to add interest is to incorporate a mix of textures. Use fabrics with a subtle pattern, and use a variety of neutral tones.
Yes! Let in as much natural light as possible. It will bounce off your white walls, and make your space feel open. Interior designers will tell you that neutral paint colors won’t make a small room feel bigger, but I tend to disagree. White living rooms, no matter the size, give off an airy feel.
Incorporate warm metallics. Metallic finishes, such as gold, silver, or copper, can add a modern look to a neutral color scheme. Use metallic elements in your light fixtures, hardware, wall decorations, or decorative accessories.
A simple way to transform your dark carpet is to add a neutral area rug.
Wood beams, open shelving, or wall treatments like board and batten, beadboard, or shiplap.
Neutral decor offers a laundry list of benefits that make it a perfect choice for creating stylish and cost-effective living spaces. By embracing a neutral color palette, you can achieve a classic appeal that stays away from trends, saving both time and money in the long run. The versatility of neutrals lets you explore new styles, as smaller accessories can be easily swapped out to refresh the look of a room without breaking the bank.
In a world where design trends come and go, neutral decor stands the test of time. It brings balance, peace, and beauty to living spaces while offering practical benefits that make it a savvy choice for those who are looking for both style and savings. Decorating with neutral colors continues to be a no-fail approach to creating beautiful, inviting, and classic homes.
Shop + Source
Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
ivory tufted chairs | ticking pillow cover | side tables | coffee table | living room rug | lamps (similar) | blanket ladder | round metal glass topped table | kitchen bar stools | kitchen pendant lights (similar) | picture frame ledge | living room sofa is no longer available.
FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS
A SIMPLER LIFE.
I’ve been there. I know how you feel.
I can help.