1. Choose from a pastel. Simple, off-white walls and a wooden floor are classic features that everyone’s standards, but sometimes the result may be a little bloodless. The solution is simple: Sprinkle a greasy pastel over a few elements (not too pale, but not too punchy, either) and it will immediately add an extra layer of interest. These sophisticated baby blue chairs tie effortlessly with the wall art, and neither blue is too cool, which really helps to bring that neutral to life.
Mark Ashbee photography
The weathered palette of bright biscuit for the walls and the floor here combines the awkward corners of the bedrooms with ease, while the large canvas-with headboard, chunky knit and crisp cotton sheets create a balance of textures that is both elegant and inviting.
Please touch: the texture lets rooms awaken to life,
Helen Green Design
For a touch more sophistication, the introduction of a subtle print or pattern of the same color. This smart-striped blind and print wallpaper will not distract you from the feeling of serenity, but a special touch.
Small updates to achieve a similar effect can be a new tabletop made from reclaimed wood or scaffolding boards, a wooden vase or fruit bowl with an interesting texture, new lighting – perhaps chunky recycled glass – or too, super easy to create a custom frameless pin board for family keepsakes and to-do lists.
5. Become fast rich. Anything you purists out there might even try to leave this delightfully light-flooded living room completely in bleached-out-neutral with no hint of color. However, with a few contrasting rich colors, the big room has gained a little more character. The luxe purple accent anchors the neutral, while the splashes of strong yellow inject an invigorating edge. And an effect, as this is all achievable with nothing more dramatic than an accessory overhaul.
Rendall & Wright
The rich saturated blue on the wall, tie in with the headboard, the trick works great in this room, adding depth and interest to an otherwise muted palette. Get the look by adding an existing color detail in your room, such as a pillow, vase or headboard – or adding one – and inform the hue painted for your wall.You can easily return to your beloved all-over-neutral by simply painting the wall feature in the future.
Roger Oate’s design
But feel free to spice up all this white and cream with a bold striped stair runner. And with such a neutral background, you can surely choose any color of carpet on the spectrum and in the busiest of prints, if you like.
So Get Your Stairs Runner Right
But if you fancy a little variety every now and then, do not worry; that does not have to be something as bold as crimson or cobalt-blue. One of the most striking ways to combat pale-neutral lethargy is with a slash of jet black, like this gorgeous satin coverlet. And if you want your neutral back for high summer, just stash your litter and swap in a warm gold or earthy mushroom.
9. Add structure. It’s hard to challenge the timeless appeal of a neutral kitchen, but brings the look up-to-date, mix and match cream cabinets with natural wood and lots of interesting structure. The slatted globe pendant and wood clad expanded backsplash here, for example, are completely neutral but add texture and depth without the need for any decor.
But without doing a big bathroom makeover – nothing more than a weekend retiling – you can personalize the room with a mix of mats and pearl finishes, modern statement lighting and a juicy-fruit accent color for a touch of oomph.
Tell us: how did you breath new life into your neutrals? Please share your ideas in the comments.