The Abc’s of Decorating With Neutrals

To go with neutrals or not go with neutrals-that is the question. Well, that’s a question I get asked quite often by friends and clients alike. There are two opinions that I encounter with respect to neutrals-there are those who think neutrals are lackluster and want to avoid them at all costs and then those who think neutrals are too easy to work with and are ready to get their interiors drunk on them! So where in this extreme spectrum of opinions do I find myself in? I don’t agree with both-neutrals are definitely not boring and secondly-they aren’t as effortless as most of us think they are. There’re ways to it.

In this blog post, I’m going to share with you some simple and easy to follow tricks that will give you the confidence to decorate your space with neutrals-

Tip #1: When in doubt, stick to the monochromatic color scheme

I can’t emphasize this enough. This especially works best when you have a small space but want to make it look spacious. That was exactly my intention when I set out to design this vanity nook of a client’s.

Decorating with diluted colors of one particular color allows the eye to sweep across cramped quarters. I’ve picked the subtle variations of the veneer-clad vanity and used them in the distressed tiles and wooden ornate mirror. I have further reinforced the scheme by layering it with metal accents for a luxurious feel.

Tip #2: Introduce key silhouettes

This approach works well for both traditional and minimalist styles where the spotlight is focused on a few key pieces so that the entire scheme looks pulled together. These majestic armchairs and cherub mount console table we painstakingly designed and crafted (I’ve loads to talk about our bespoke furniture but would need an entire blog for it) bring oodles of visual intrigue and sculptural appeal into the setting.

Remember to have at least 2 key furniture pieces in neutrals to bring interest in your scheme.

Tip #3: Wield the power of all-white

Oh, my sweet God! An all-white space? Is she out of her mind? I’m sure when I proposed this an all-white kitchen to my client they must have had this thought. Of course, they were too sweet to say that but I could sense their inhibition. The thing about an all-white color palette that we color-loving Indians are skeptical about is-you guessed it right-lack of color which means no fun, no life, no warmth and all too clinical.

But that’s not true and this kitchen proves it. The kitchen has this soothing and sophisticated feel. I believe the crispier and lighter a kitchen is-the better. If you’ll notice I have added another neutral strategically to balance things out and to add depth-the black on the kitchen counter and the island countertop.

There’s another decorating detail that adds a certain level of warmth to all this coolness-the brick backsplash which works up a charming rustic vibe. Also contributing to the variety in this clean scheme is the chimney in eggshell hue.

Tip #4: Bring in a soft color to the neutral mix

This bedroom with that blush honestly made me go weak in the knees! While I was sitting with the client of this beautiful property and scanning the many shades of warm colors as that was what we had in mind initially-I spotted this washed-out rosy hue and knew right then that it was going to my star color.

I created a mini design moment with the hue on the beautifully carved upholstered bed (can’t thank my team enough for this) and went on to use it in palatable spurts through the accent pillows and the paneled wall-which has just the right hint of the rosy pink. The neutrals and pinks look like one happy family together, don’t they?

Tip #5: For a fail-safe interior, go with the classic black and brown

I totally swear by this trick. You can never go wrong with this classic color combination. This foyer I put together for a client’s majestic holiday home recently is a shining testament of this. The shiny reflective black of the pianoforte, the matt black of the wall sconce on the wall, and the distressed wrought-iron staircase railing offer a variety in finishes. The black also provides the right amount of tension and depth to the foyer which has another dominant color-brown.

The Browns come in the wainscot paneling, rug, candle-holder, and the lid of the pianoforte-which contrast well with the blacks (they both bring out the best in each other, don’t they?). This is one of my all-time favorite interior setups!

So that was that! I hope you will no longer be afraid or sitting on a fence about neutrals-they are beautiful and far from boring. As I was writing this blog post I realized I have worked with this scheme more than I can remember and of course-will continue working with this timelessly elegant scheme as and when the opportunity presents! Please feel free to ask me questions on the comment box below!