By Laura | 05th August 2019

Using neutral colours in interior design

Before you make plans to redecorate your home, it’s essential that you understand the important role of neutral colours in interior design.

They may not provide the same thrills as choosing bold furnishings or bright colours for feature walls, but these simple tones are the building blocks on which you show your creativity and personality… so it’s crucial to get them right!

What are neutral colours?

In interior design terms, neutrals aren’t even thought of as colours and they don’t appear on any colour wheels. This can make it tricky to balance them with your palette, but once you understand that some of them have undertones and some are genuinely neutral you’ll be in a better position to make your choices.

The neutrals are generally considered to be black, white, grey, and various light brown tones, but any gentle colour can be used as a neutral. If you’re using a colour that has an undertone (such as a brown, or white with a hint of green), you’ll need to be aware that your colour choices will have to complement or accent those subtle colours.

The completely neutral colours in interior design are the shades of grey (from white all the way to black), and these genuinely go with everything!

Different ways to use neutrals

Let’s explore the three most obvious ways to use neutral colours in your decorating projects:

  • The all neutral room – this classic design style is sophisticated and elegant and almost always works. You can combine several neutral tones (browns and greys, for example) and accessorise with more complementary colours.
  • Using neutrals as a canvas – another timeless combination is to use neutral colours on your walls and ceiling and add some flair and personality with stronger coloured furnishings, woodwork and feature walls. The beauty of this method is that you can be as adventurous as you like or completely change your room with different furnishings without redecorating.
  • Something in-between – an all neutral room with just the tiniest hint of colour here and there works great. We recommend a single large colourful canvas print as a centrepiece to lift the neutrals.

Now you know how to use neutral colours in interior design, your next decorating project is bound to be a success, so don’t be afraid to try something new!


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