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How to Use Colors as Neutrals

How to Use Colors as Neutrals


Light teal bookcase using colors as neutrals for a living room

One of the home decor trends we’ve seen lately is using colors as neutrals. Especially for tones of green and blue, you can use these colors in such a way as to make your home appear as if it has a neutral palette. Here are 5 tips for getting the look in your own space.

Spiral staircase with blue-gray walls and wall paneling
A floating staircase is designed to coordinate with the circular foyer shape in this custom build by The Fox Group. Photograph by Lindsay Salazar.

Tip 1: Think in Layers

As with any other color palette, think about how you’ll add layers to the space. Layering home accents in cool tones creates depth and texture to your design. It also can make a bold statement without adding bright colors.

In this family media room, homeowner Liz Roth used pops of color through the pillows, but also put in a navy blue rug, which still appears as a neutral in the space. Photograph by Landon Wiggs.

Tip 2: Accessorize

Accessories in cool tones, such as accent pillows, decorative dishware and even wall art, can add a soothing pop to your home and keep these accents feeling classic. Keeping the color to a minimum will also help keep the look of colors as neutrals because the rest of your space has true neutrals.

Botanical prints grace the wall above homeowner Liz Roth’s deconstructed sofa, which adds to the charming vintage vibe in the living room. Photograph by Landon Wiggs.

Tip 3: Stay on Trend but Never Trendy

Using cool tones in your home will help it feel fresh, bright and inviting. Using colors as neutrals allows your home to be classic and on trend, without feeling too trendy.

Tip 4: Paint It

When you’re choosing a main color scheme for your home, cool tones will allow your neutral backdrop to blend with any design style or elements you add to your spaces. You can also use it in combination with white and other neutral colors for contrast.

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chicken coop exterior with lighting and overhang

This home by The Fox Group has green barstools, which come across as neutrals in the high-contrast space. Photograph by Rebekah Westover.

Tip 5: Make a Statement

Your hero pieces in the room can make a big impact even in subtle colors as neutrals. Instead of focusing on a bold color statement, allow the lines and design of a piece to shine. That makes it easier for you to forego the color part.


Love this look? Check out this house full of lovely shades! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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