Getting paler tones, also known as 'new' neutrals, right doesn't have to be a complicated affair. In fact, replicating musician Carrie Underwood's neutral living room couldn't be easier.
While some decorators instinctively lean towards pale yellows and others where green meets gray, many agree that new neutrals are primarily inspired by colors emanating from the natural world, which help us to feel grounded in our homes.
‘Not to be confused with cold and bland palettes, new neutrals are warm by nature,’ says Charu Gandhi. ‘Typically matt in finish, they have the ability to flex, so it’s possible for them to suit any type of home, be it traditional or contemporary – in fact, their elasticity is the reason we’re calling them “new”.’
Gentle, warm greige – a combination of gray and beige – living room color schemes will give you the freedom to play with different accent colors, luxurious textures and finishes elsewhere in your space.
But how do experts decorate with neutrals to perfection? We asked the question.
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When it comes to selecting more neutral paint shades, it’s important to get the mineral balance right, believes Tom Cox, co-founder of HÁM Interiors.
‘We like to look at the pigment and depth of color in a paint – too often a shade will have too much grey or brown as undertones, which can then be challenging when adding the layers of furniture and finishing touches. We try to make the backdrop subtle so furniture and carpets sit harmoniously. We also like to paint the ceiling, walls and baseboards in the same hue – it stops awkward visual breaks and enhances architectural details in an understated way.’
Subtle nuances of color are why James Thurstan Waterworth, founder of Thurstan, favors neutral colors in his living room schemes because they create a soft springboard from which antiques, art and other embellishments are able to sing.
‘You can then build out from here with tactile surfaces, patterned textiles, eclectic furnishings and more modern flourishes to create layers of interest, while still allowing all the individual elements of the interior to breathe.’
Instill a contemporary, grown-up aesthetic, similar to Carrie Underwood's cozy living room, by adopting traditional living room ideas, furniture and a plethora of texture and subtle pattern, all in tonal colors. Greige living room ideas can lend themselves to a number of decorating styles, from rustic to contemporary.
A greige or beige space also beautifully taps into the warm minimalist interior design trend.
Rooted in the principle of ridding your home of clutter, minimalist living room ideas are all over social media at present. And with more of us desiring a 'clean' space that features only a few meaningful items, it is easy to understand why.
Decorating with beige and a minimalist design ethos go hand-in-hand, so it pays to keep your color choices simple. Opt for a white living room with beige and black decor, like the scheme above, and borrow design inspiration from the 1950s, when home decor was kept simple yet beautifully functional.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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