How to Create a Neutral Design Scheme

Whether you love the chance to work with a blank palette or you are decorating with an eye towards easy and fast home resale, there are a lot of benefits to creating a neutral design scheme for your home. Though there is a regular push toward bright colors and very specific design elements, a neutral look can be quite soothing and extremely simple to accomplish. How can you achieve a neutral design for your home without it looking dull? The following tips will help you create an aesthetically-pleasing and adaptable neutral interior.

Image credit: DesignMine Private Gallery

Decide on Warm or Cool

A neutral design scheme uses a very narrow range of colors, but within that range, there is a fair amount of variation. For example, a very soft brown is a good choice for a neutral room, but does the brown have more blue in it or more red? A cool tone is a great choice when you are embracing a slightly more modern look, but a warm tone can make a space feel very homey. Once you have chosen a warm or cool tone, stick with it throughout the home. This creates a wonderfully unified feel.

Tone on Tone

When you are working with a neutral design aesthetic, you will find that contrast is still possible and quite attractive if you use it correctly. Instead of contrasting between two colors, however, you can instead think about contrast between two tones of the same color. For example, in a room that you have chosen to paint with soft brown paint, think about doing the trim in a richer cappuccino color. This creates a subtle, luxurious feel which is perfect for a bedroom or a living room.

Art Reflecting Life

When you are invested in making sure that your home looks amazing in neutrals, don’t forget that the art should reflect that as well. Look for art that is done in warm earth-tones. You may choose to look for a muted traditional painting, or to use some amazing abstracts, like these contemporary paintings, to create the look you want. Allow the art to create an echo of the work you are presenting in the home. The color match does not have to be exact, but something close can create an impressive effect.


Remember that your curtains can come into play as well. Curtains for a neutral d├ęcor style can range from coffee-colored gauze curtains, or thick brocade curtains in various shades of ivory and bone. The wonderful thing about curtains is that they have a little bit of mobility to them. They are light, and in a passing breeze, they can flutter, giving your neutral home a bit of motion. This is a good choice when you are looking to add texture to your home.

Image credit: DesignMine Private Gallery


Choose rugs that are a shade or two darker than what you have painted your walls. This is a good way to make sure that your home is grounded and that they room does not look too unbalanced. Instead of choosing a solid rug, consider a rug that has a few different shades of your favorite neutral colors on it. A rug in ivory, gray and tea can grace your home with both texture and color, and it is a great choice in a room that is similarly subtle.

Texture With Furniture

If you want to make sure that your home does not look too flat or too dull, remember that you should pay close attention to texture, and that is where furniture comes in. Avoid furniture that is too slick. Instead of very sleek leather, look for suede. The soft, matte appearance of suede helps give a neutral home a very welcoming appearance.

Take a moment to consider how your neutral home can be decorated to suit you. This is something that takes just a little time and effort to get right, but the adaptability and subtle beauty this design scheme will give your home is well worth it.