Famed for her dramatic contemporary schemes – often designed with splashes of bold color – and, of course, her collaboration with Farrow & Ball, LA-based interior designer Kelly Wearstler is also a great lover of neutral interiors.
'A fully neutral room can still be inspiring and have depth,' she says, talking exclusively to H&G. Below, Kelly reveals how she uses neutrals in her interior design projects. So, if you are looking for neutral room ideas – or simply advice on decorating with neutrals, taking these expert tips on board will ensure a professional level of success.
1. Consider texture first
Whether you are looking for neutral living room ideas or for inspiration in transitional spaces, 'It’s really important that you consider the texture, whether it’s a pattern, such as a jacquard weave in a fabric, or through mixing textures, like a matte wall but a high gloss paint on the ceiling,' says Kelly Wearstler.
'These elements help to create interest that will make the monochromatic neutral room sing.'
2. Add a splash of energy for impact
'If someone wants a room that's very calming, I would say stay completely in the neutral world with a more monochromatic look,' says Kelly.
'However, if you want a splash of energy, then add in one incredible piece of art, or a colorful rug to create some interest and personality.'
3. Ensure lighting is just right
'Lighting is really important for choosing your neutrals,' advises Kelly Wearstler (opens in new tab).
'If a space gets a lot of natural light, I tend to go with lighter neutral shades, and enjoy the beautiful shadowing that will come in throughout the day, creating another layer of texture.
'In rooms with limited natural light, it’s naturally more moody, so darker neutrals can be really effective.'
4. Bring neutrals into the bathroom
'Many rooms suit the neutral look, but as neutrals are so relaxing, I especially love a monochromatically neutral design for a master bathroom. It will feel very fresh, clean and balanced,' advises Kelly.
5. Know where to shop for neutrals
Below, Kelly shares her sources:
- For paints, it’s the colours Tar, Salt and Sand, from Kelly Wearstler x Farrow & Ball, California Collection (opens in new tab). Farrow and Ball’s All-White is another of my go-tos.
- For natural materials and fabrics, I love Phillip Jeffries (opens in new tab)’ Grasscloth wallcoverings, Jack Lenor Larson (opens in new tab) and Clarence House (opens in new tab).
- For rugs, I often use The Rug Company (opens in new tab).
Thea Babington-Stitt is a Content Editor at Future. She has been an interiors journalist for nearly 10 years and has held positions at LivingEtc, Country Homes & Interiors and Homes & Gardens. Currently, she is writing for Ideal Home and Style At Home's websites and magazines.
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