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Interior Design: Styling with Neutral Colors

Posted on 23 June 2016

Best interior design tips for neutral colors.

Modern interior design with neutrals creates a timeless and classic edge for any interior designer. When looking to go monochromatic with neutral colors dare to be bold. A neutral color pallet offers a multitude of ways to add personality to your design, and proves that neutral décor is not bland and boring.

Get the insights on this season's trend.

Your designer color pallet could be calm, soft hues of powder grey, taupe, or khaki or contrasted black and whites, either way you go neutrals set the stage and allow you to play with textures, patterns and works of art for a contemporary design.

See how to spice up your neutral design and add elements of drama and flair. There are endless possibilities allowing you to put your own personal spin on this trend that your clients will love!

Enhance Neutral Hues

A neutral space doesn’t mean the same color repeated on every surface of the room. Instead take a neutral colors and intensify the saturation so you’re still consistent with the pallet.  Adding an artwork with similar colors compliments your design without sacrificing monochromatic modern design.

The pumped up hues in the photos reminds us of our  Pantone Play blog with tips on how to design with 2016 colors Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Pam Sullivan I Designing with Neutral Colors I Blink Art Resource

Click the photo to see more of Pam Sullivan's work.


Marion Wood I Desiging with Neutrals I Blink Art Resource

Click image to see more of Marion Wood's work.

Designer Tip: To avoid a monochromatic color scheme that is too drab altering the paint color of your wall up or down one shade to create a 3D effect. "On a wall, use a lighter color on top and a darker color on the bottom. The two shades maintain the neutral palette and create contrast."  - Designer Vanessa Deleon

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Décor Concept Highlight the Details

A neutral is the perfect backdrop for all the special details in your space, especially for one dramatic work of art or to showcase an art collection to stand out.

Karen Rolfes I Designing with Neutrals I Blink Art Resource Blog

Karen Rolfes I Designing with Neutrals I Blink Art Resource Blog

Click image to see more of Karen Rolfes' work.

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A neutral wall color is commonly used by designers in modern spaces so that furniture lines and architectural elements in a room are enliven, instead of diminished. This is especially the case when highlighting specialty items like one dramatic work of art or showcases an art collection on a wall.

If walls are painted in a bright color, the color instead of artwork or the architectural elements take center stage, but an interior design with subdued whites and gentle grays allow the perfect opportunity to show off a colorful art collection.

Decorate with Textures in Mind

When going with an all neutral room, remember texture is key! Think about using woven fabrics on furniture and over-sized pillows.  Mixed media and fabric art is a great way to bring texture to the walls! This adds movement and warmth to the room. Think about a knotted hanging fabric artwork, or a strong stone sculpture to add textural depth to those “bare” spaces in your design.

Art by Jeannine Dostal I Art Design Consultants

Click image to see more of Jeannine Dostal's work.


The creamy white color scheme is anything but cold. Because of the texture the room appears very clean, welcoming, well-designed and warm!

Daniel Sroka I Art Design Consultants

Click image to see more of Daniel Sroka's work.


Photographs are another great resource to add visual texture without breaking any dimensional lines. This keeps the room feeling super modern and sleek.

Find the perfect photograph for your design

Highlight Artwork with Accent Colors

If you want the majority of your design to be neutral, but still feel like you’re missing a design element, select an artwork with prominent pops of color and use this as your accent color throughout the room in throw pillows, vases and flowers, and other accessories.

Igor Turovskiy I Blink Art Resource

Click image to see more of Igor Turvoskiy's work.

 The great thing about having a predominantly neutral color palette is it allows you the ability to update your room inexpensively. You can quickly freshen up the design of a room by selecting another color in the artwork and swapping out the room’s accessories.

Tip: Grouping and framing out multiple artworks in a similar style gold or silver frames is an elegant way to incorporate metallic features and add cohesion to a variety of art without it becoming too similar.

Designing with neutrals has a wonderful way of allowing for and accommodating any style. Based on the lines and layout of your design and the style of artwork you choose, your alluring neutral space can be contemporary or traditional, cottage, country, or urban chic.

Designers, did you receive your complimentary copy of our 2016 Art Sourcebook?

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On the go? Use the digital version, where you can bookmark, take notes and print individual artist pages for clients.

Sourcing artwork for projects has never been this easy or looked this good!


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