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How To Decorate With Neutrals Without Being Boring

Neutrals are pleasing to the eye and safe, but they can also be uninteresting. Learn how to decorate with neutrals without being boring by using our techniques.

Lately, it seems like versatility and restraint are the dominant forces in all the realms of style. From clothing to home design, more and more people are seeing the benefits of being more modest with their possessions. It is true that there is a certain elegance that emanates from this contemporary aesthetic of pale color palettes and pared-back design. You also gain greater assurance that each element in an ensemble will match with the other elements around it when you adhere to this kind of simplicity. Despite these virtues, though, you may find that a home that has such minimalistic adornments is humble to the point of banality. Gain a better grasp of how to decorate with neutrals without being boring by using these techniques.

Introduce Interesting Shapes

If you’re going to restrict your home to neutral tones, you can add interest to it by playing with the shapes of your furniture and decorations. Rather than solely sticking to the usual quadrilateral and sometimes circular silhouettes that you will find in just about every home, introduce more distinctive items that make the space feel dynamic. For instance, you could replace a plain overhead or wall-mounted light fixture with one that is intentionally bent in odd angles or that combines multiple lightbulbs in an energetic arrangement. You could also find chairs that have conspicuously curved forms to bring a sense of irregularity to an otherwise ordered room.

Include Different Textures

Texture is always a great feature to vary when you’re navigating your way through how to decorate with neutrals without being boring. Though a room may only feature white, taupe, gray, and black, the inclusion of different textures can give it depth. It isn’t difficult to bring in tactility, either. Pillow covers and blankets with thicker threads and looser weaves will instantly stand out when juxtaposed with a flat-surfaced sofa. Plants often feature asymmetrical stems and glossy, jagged, or crinkled leaves, making them additional contributors to the textural facet of your home. With your larger furniture pieces, you can focus on materials to keep them from melting into their surroundings. Use wood with visible grains, stone, and metals for a bit of character. A clean jute rug made of natural fibers or a high-pile rug can cover the floor gracefully and complete the room’s presentation.

Take the Seasons Into Account

Consistency can be reassuring, but it can also amplify the dullness of your home when you use predominantly neutral hues. A nice trick you can employ to keep your home fresh as time passes is to take the seasons into account when decorating. In the warmer months, bring out the linen drapes, sisal rugs, and floral-patterned sheets. When the frigid air begins to creep in, you can swap these for heavier, softer alternatives that will both keep you comfortable and match the weather outside. You don’t need to switch out the mainstays of your home, such as the tables, drawers, or chairs, but the peripheral items shouldn’t pose much of a challenge to manipulate. With this method, you can drastically shift the mood in your home and make it more captivating to your eyes after they’ve grown accustomed to a set arrangement.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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