Have you ever tried to decorate with neutral colors but ended up with a dull, boring room? That’s precisely what we are talking about. Now is the perfect opportunity to be more creative with your neutral home decor! In this blog, let Adria Workshop take you through the neutral color palette and give tips on how to spice up neutral colors in interior design!


What are neutral colors?

Neutral colors are described as subdued tones that seem devoid of color. They often contain underlying colors that shift depending on the lighting. The most common examples of these colors include taupe, gray, cream, beige, brown, black, and white. Even though these colors are not represented on the color wheel, they are complementary to primary and secondary colors.

Neutral colors can have complicated tones because when you mix different colors, you get different tints. For example, combining beige with light gray will give you gray, with yellow undertones in natural light and gray in fluorescent lighting. Neutral colors in interior design are used in two primary ways - as a soft, neutral-only look or as background colors for dramatic accents. 

neutral colors in interior design
What are neutral colors? (Source: internet)

3 types of neutral color palettes

Neutral colors can be broken down into pure neutrals, near-neutrals, and warm/cool neutrals.

  • Pure neutrals: Include brown, gray, black, and white. They are the purest form of their color, which means they are fully saturated and do not have an undertone.
  • Near-neutrals: Near-neutrals are close to pure neutrals but are not entirely pure, created by combining a pure neutral with a primary color, toning down the color with a glimmer of the primary in a subtle way. For example, if you mix the primary color yellow with pure brown, you will get a near-neutral tan. 
  • Warm and cool neutrals: Warm neutrals combine warm primary colors, such as red or yellow, with pure neutrals to create a warm palette but not overly vibrant. Cool neutrals, on the other hand, are created by mixing cool-toned primary colors, such as green or blue, with pure neutrals to achieve shades such as taupe, ivory, or cool white. 
neutral colors in interior design 1
Colors that make up a neutral color palette (Source: internet).

4 advantages of decorating with a neutral color palette

Here are some of the significant benefits of using neutral color schemes:

Create a calm atmosphere: As neutral colors have low saturation, they make excellent backgrounds for calming spaces. In a room with neutral colors, your eyes can move from one spot to the next without being stopped by a single color.

Brighten your home: If you want to brighten and make it feel more spacious, consider adding neutral colors to your walls or furniture. Light neutrals such as cream, off-white, or light grays are perfect for this purpose, as they can reflect light from outside sources and bounce it throughout your living space.

They go well with various colors: Neutrals can ensure a cool or warm vibe. “The beauty of neutral tones is that they generally go with anything,” Melissa Lee - a founder and principal of Bespoke Only, says. You must decide whether your room needs to be cool or warm and choose your favorite neutral colors.

Neutrals are versatile: Neutrals can be the basics for almost any decorating style, from traditional to minimal to metropolitan style interior design. Neutrals provide a subtle backdrop to highlight specific furniture or decorative pieces. This makes it especially easy to showcase one's style.

Read more:

neutral colors in interior design 2
The benefits of neutral color in interior design (Source: internet).

4 Tips for Decorating with Neutral Colors

There are numerous neutral decorating ideas to help you upgrade your space. But first of all, you need to know how to harness the power of neutral colors in interior design. Here are four tips for you:

Choose the right neutral colors

Different pure neutral and near-neutral colors have varying effects on a room. While warm colors are usually used to create cozy and intimate spaces, cool ones create a sleek but soothing vibe. Choose a room color that aligns with the design and feel you want for your space. 

For example, if you love contemporary style home interior design, consider using earthy and natural neutrals, such as stone gray, sandy browns, or cloudy whites. Or, you can create a natural industrial design interior by using a mix of gray, white, and black colors and neutral brown tones. 

neutral colors in interior design 3
Learn how to choose neutral colors for your home with the right undertones (Source: internet)

Use different tints

If you stick with only one or two neutral shades, your room will look dull. It is a risky option, but you can also try to mix different neutral colors in interior design. This way, you won’t be putting together too many contrasting tints, but you'll have enough color to create a visually dynamic and appealing space. For instance, a gray sofa can look luxe by adding lighter or darker gray throw pillows. Or an off-white rug can come alive with gray curtains.

neutral colors in interior design 4
Incorporate different neutral colors to create a more lively and engaging space (Source: internet)

Consider the lighting

When you use neutral colors to decorate your home, lighting, whether it's natural or made, is very important. Most electric lamps that give off artificial light are yellow, which makes warmer neutrals stand out more. 

Natural light also affects how a specific hue appears in a particular space. A neutral, even if it is the same in two rooms, can look completely different depending on the sun's position and the room's location. For example, natural light from the north has a blue tint that makes neutral colors look darker and less rich, while light from the east or west has a warmer tint. 

neutral colors in interior design 5
Lighting is one of the most important elements when decorating with neutral colors (Source: internet)

Add color with accessories

Adding color with furniture and accessories can make your neutral room stand out more. Rugs and curtains, for example, can be used as accents in deeper or lighter shades that go with the rest of the room. Artwork accessories can add a bit of color contrast for more interest. Or, if you have a green thumb, think about grouping lots of plants together to inject energy into your neutral room. Consider an oversized tree in your living room or a small potted plant in the corner of your bedroom. 

neutral colors in interior design 6
Adding accessories with color makes your neutral room more interesting (Source: internet)


That’s everything you need to know about neutral colors in interior design. If you found these tips useful, use them in your living space and see how it brightens up immediately! Go to the Adria Workshop blog for more decoration tips and home decor style ideas.