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There’s no doubt that a plain neutral scheme can provide the ultimate relaxing retreat, but ensuring it isn’t bland can be tricky as it requires the right mix of textures, accent shades and statement pieces to work.
Embracing all the shades of brown, grey, black, and white. Neutrals are both loved for their safety, versatility and ability to play well with others with that jazz soothing vibes. And yet it can be highly criticised for that tendency to be “too safe,” “unexciting,” or “drab.” In reality, however, neutrals can be as beautiful and ever so dramatic, elegant, and yes, even high contrast if done correctly.
So just because you maybe stuck with a -rental-beige home? Or like me, simply prefer a palette that speaks in a whisper instead of a scream. There’s no reason to settle for boring. For proof, my bedroom is my most liked post on the gram. Predominantly decorated in neutrals, but not boring, overly safe, or without style.
If your all-white (or grey or taupe or cream…) bedroom is teetering on the brink between tasteful and torpid, help is at hand. These simple tips will ensure your sleep space is anything but boring.
Panel a wall
To keep the look of a neutral bedroom benign but not bland, texture is definitely required. Piling on different textiles is an obvious way to achieve this, but here I decided a wall panelled in oak does the job very nicely. The fluted headboard provides further contrast, along with floaty curtains at the window and a soft blanket on the bed.
Frame the bed
Speaking of headboards I used this as away of framing the bed. Drawing the eye to a particular feature is a clever idea in a room dominated by neutral tones. Here, my headboard lends a sense of structure to the whole space and stops everything from merging into one. You could Create the same affect with by using a framed four poster bed? Creating a luscious yet romantic focal point. I also think four poster or framed beds give a touch of elegance and luxury.
Texture is important in any room, of course. However, when you are decorating in a subdued or limited palette, texture takes on even more prominent status. When colour isn’t used to add interest and contrast, it’s quite easy to work lots of varied textures into a bedroom. Knit and bulgy throw pillows, faux fur blankets, rugs or wall to wall carpet are all simple ways to add shots of texture into your space. Rustic wood furniture or accents, touches of glass or metal, fabric window treatments, and wallpaper are also a great tool to add texture.
Make it It Shine
Are you looking to add a little glitz and glamour to a neutral decorating scheme? Just add some touches of shine in the form of mirrors, glass or crystal lighting fixtures. The key to keeping the look glamorous—not tacky—is to keep the shine confined to small areas throughout the room and to let the metallic or reflective surfaces be the stars of the space. In other words, when you are working with a lot of shine, keep other accessories and artwork to a minimum. Try adding Gold or silver frames or furniture trim. Shiny fabrics such as satin and a few reflective accessories are also a good starting point.
Along with texture and shine, there’s another trick up your decorating sleeve you can utilise. When it comes to livening up a neutral bedroom inject it with a pattern. Choose a variety of patterns with different scales; you can’t go wrong when you have a mix of large, small, and in-between designs. Subtle prints and patterns in neutral shades add just the right amount of interest. Look for designs with small, repeating motifs to ensure that the pattern doesn’t become too prominent and disrupt the calm you’ve worked hard to create. Because the entire palette is neutral, your patterns should all work well together, but you can add more interest by combining different designs, such as floral, geometric, and stripe or a medley of global patterns with a classic stripe or polka dot.
Work in some wood
I used my headboard to do this, it ticked a lot of uses, a panelled wall a focal point, framed my bed and added much needed warmth. You could also use stand alone furniture. Midcentury furniture designs in teak, elm and walnut work really well in a neutral bedroom as they instantly add warmth. The statement lines also introduce useful contrast, meaning the rest of the decoration can be kept plain. A cheap and smaller alternative is to use wooden photo or picture frames with your art. You could also use a wooden framed mirror or wooden shelving.
Hang striking artwork
Keeping the colour palette neutral in a bedroom provides the ideal backdrop for displaying bold art. This idea works particularly well in a space that lacks architectural features. My home was built in the early 90’s an era known for it’s boxed room designs. My Desenio print creates instant impact but in an unfussy way. Teamed with the large wooden frame adds detail and interest to a plain modern room.
Neutral doesn’t have to mean white or cream. Try a darker neutral palette like grey. A grey or grey-iege bedroom offers a darker, sophisticated take on the neutral theme. Or try bring some romance into your chamber à coucher.
A romantic bedroom doesn’t have to mean lots of pink or red. In fact, soft, creamy, and dreamy neutrals—such as the peachy beige, bare blush, and creamy white can be the most romantic of all. The trick to taking a room from attractive but nothing really special to classy romance is to use soft fabrics as accents throughout the space, along with touches of gold, glass, or crystal for an extra touch of romance.
If slick lines and a regimented row of hotel-style pillows are not your thing, why not go for a more relaxed look with linen bedding instead? Linen looks best in natural tones, like the beige and linens slightly crumpled appearance is charm personified.
Add a Statement Colour
Breaking up a sea of neutrals with an accent shade is a proven formula. A nice alternative to the more usual cushions or throw on the bed is a blanket box or hardware or ceiling lights. I used black sockets and darker lighting to give contrast and ground the space subtly.
Drop Down The Lights
Whether you go for concrete lighting [ad] as seen here or brass, copper, glass or fabric. Double up the impact of lighting in a neutral bedroom by hanging a low pendant either side of the bed to punctuate the space. Choosing lighting that is decorative as well as practical allows the rest of the room to be kept simple. It also helps create framing around the bed. Directing your eye to a focal point in a sea of neutrals.
Whats fantastic about working with neutrals is that virtually all tones work together and you can enrich a décor with an imaginative use of textures such as faux-fur, suede and wood.
Sometimes, the best way to take a neutral bedroom out of the safety zone is to add one definite shot of “wow!” to the space. The form that wow takes is up to you. An oversize, eye-catching headboard is what I did. However, it could just as easily be a large piece of exceptional artwork, a fantastic hanging light fixture or a boldly patterned window treatment! Rugs or a piece of furniture that’s out of the ordinary can work too. Whatever it is, it needs to suit your personality and decorating tastes. Otherwise, you’ll likely start to feel like the room isn’t really yours. So choose your statement piece carefully! You should really love it and get some excitement to feel like it was meant to be yours.