Interior design: how to incorporate neutral colours at home

Silence can be more powerful than words, and neutrals can be more commanding than colours. These subtle shades blend into the background to help frame and bring forward plush or metallic textures through the use of contrast. The shades themselves may not shout the loudest, but its how you use neutral colours that can help shape your interiors.

How to incorporate neutral colours at home

Select shades carefully

Ivory, sand, dove grey, blush – there are more neutral colours to choose from than you might think. Light off-white tones help to open up small spaces and maximise on light through reflection. Equally, richer and warmer shades have the opposite effect of making large rooms feel cosy.

When playing with different wall painting ideas, consider the different effects that the finish can have. For example, a gloss adds a light sheen to your walls and is easy to wipe down, while decorating with matte provides a flat background that works well with other high-shine surfaces, like polished woods or ceramics.

Balance tones

Working with neutral interior colours doesn’t mean abandoning variety and dynamism in your design. If you’re working with shades of grey, use a dark and moody colour on the wall surrounding your living room mantelpiece, then paint the others in lighter tones. Certain neutral shades work together well – creams and beiges can be paired thanks to their warm undertones, while whites and greys work together as both are cool hues.

When you’re ready to put your wall painting ideas into practice, make sure you familiarise yourself with the best techniques for painting a room before you begin.

Use accent colours

Neutral colours provide the perfect canvas for further artistic and aesthetic experimentation in your home. This can be in the form of subtle accents formed by bold bookshelves or picture frames in forest greens, scarlet reds or oceanic blues. It’s best to pick a scheme to follow to prevent accidental colour clashing and create a sense of harmony in your interior design.

Experiment with texture

Accent colours are not the only way of bringing life and drama to a neutral room. Experiment with texture in different forms, whether that means incorporating a whole wall of terracotta tiles or sandstone bricks to form an earthy centrepiece, or adding smaller accessories here and there. These could be metallic lamps and tables or even fur and leather fabrics that are turned into a focal point thanks to the neutral backdrop. Rich woods like oak and mahogany work well with beige and sand-coloured walls, while darker finishes add to the moody effect created by cloudy greys.

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