In this post: Decorating with neutrals can seem complicated. Here’s how to decorate with neutrals so you end up with a well-decorated space, rather than a boring one!

So you want to decorate with neutrals. I agree. I adore neutrals. Obviously. There’s nothing more calming to me than sitting down in a well-decorated neutral space with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (depending on the time of day, of course) and just relaxing. But what separates a well-decorated neutral space from one that is, well boring? Just how do you decorate with neutrals?

How to decorate with neutrals

Texture, Texture, Texture

The first thing I always aim to incorporate into any room is an abundance of textures and in a neutral space, texture is especially important. Textural elements not only feel good, they also fool the eye into thinking that there is more visual variety in a space.

farmhouse decor behind couch dog crate

Examples of texture that can be used in a neutral room include:

  • linen
  • cotton
  • wool
  • wood grain
  • metal
  • fur
  • sheep or cow skin
  • leather
  • wainscoting
  • button tufting
  • pintucking
  • jute
  • lace
  • and more

What other textures can you think of that would work in a neutral color scheme?

Shades of White, Cream, Gray, Beige, Etc.

Another way to add interest and make neutrals work is to vary the shades of the neutrals.

Be it whites, creams, grays, beiges, taupes or whatever, by using light, medium and dark versions of your neutral basics you immediately add interest to a room. The key is to have your neutrals coordinate rather than match.

In our entire house the trim is the same shade of white. But the walls are all varying shades of creamy neutrals.

We have a creamy rug (with a white on cream trellis pattern), white couch and taupe gray walls in our living room.

farmhouse style living room

We use a handful of shades of white, cream, taupe and gray in each room.

Size Matters

One final way to add interest to neutral spaces is to use something over-sized somewhere in the room.

Choose an over-sized lamp or chandelier for a dining room. A single extra large chair in a family room. Or maybe a very large piece of artwork or clock over a to-scale sofa in a living room.

how to decorate with family photos

A well-placed large item or two instantly adds drama, without being shocking or ruining the laid back vibe of a neutral room!

dining room console decorating with plants for summer

How would you decorate with neutrals? Did I overlook anything obvious? Share in the comments below!

shannon photo and sig oct 2022