Michael J. Fox's calming living room color unlocks the secret to neutral decorating – experts love these classic, warming shades

The cozy shades in the actor's living room are a masterclass in decorating with neutrals. Interior designers explain why the look works so well

michael j fox on a beige background
(Image credit:  Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for SXSW)

It's no secret that decorating exclusively with white has fallen out of style. However, figuring out what's replacing the shade seems more opaque. Luckily, spaces like Michael J. Fox's home provide a blueprint for designing with new neutrals.

The Back to the Future actor shared an Instagram post standing in his living room with his wife, Tracy Pollan, and the color scheme instantly stands out. To the untrained eye, the room would appear entirely white, but the space differs massively from the stark white minimalist spaces of the early 2010s. Instead, Fox's decorator has opted for warm cream tones on the wall and the curtains. The room is filled with cozy, textural accents including a fawn-colored rug, ochre curtains, and furniture upholstered in creamy linen. Touches of warm wood on the chairs and sideboard further the homey feel of the space.

'Fox's living room colors are the epitome of the right way to decorate with neutrals and white adjacent shades,' states Jennifer Ebert, digital editor at Homes & Gardens. She continues, 'The combination of light brown in the rug with darker browns from the wood furniture in the room against the cream walls with deeper whites on the furniture creates wonderful contrast and visual interest, drawing the eye across the entire room.'

Using texture in interior design is very important in a neutral living room. The way that Fox's decorator has used a cozy rug against the hardwood floors, curtains on the windows, and throw pillows bring in soft, inviting energy. The decor on the natural wood sideboard brings in a more modern and artistic feel.

The addition of natural wood also has a profound impact on the success of Fox's color scheme. Pantea Bioni, Owner and Lead Designer at LA-based Bionki Interiors tells Homes & Gardens, 'Combining warm wood with light-colored paint can create an organic and natural feel in modern design.' 

For those interested in recreating the modern living room look, she advises: 'It's crucial to use white paint with a warm undertone to ensure harmony in the space, preventing any clashing elements. When warm wood is used in simple, contemporary furniture, it tends to be more timeless compared to traditional furniture or cabinetry, which can evoke a different era.' These tips allow the look to go beyond interior design trends.

Shop The Warm Neutral Edit

The new neutrals are all about sumptuous texture with universally applicable colors. Integrating creams, tans, and browns through luxurious soft furnishings is a great place to start recreating the ambiance in Fox's home. We tracked down this cream chair that looks similar to the one in Fox and Pollan's living room, a cozy merino wool throw, and an antique-style pottery vase to make it easy.

Warm-neutral decorating is more than integrating beige; it's also about inviting character to a home through the artful mixing of colors, textures, and materials. Michael J. Fox's cozy living room is the perfect example.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

Sophie is a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens, where she works on the Celebrity Style team. She is fascinated by the intersection of design and popular culture and is particularly excited when researching trends or interior history. Sophie is an avid pop culture fan. As an H&G editor, she has interviewed the likes of Martha Stewart, Hilary Duff, and the casts of Queer Eye and Selling Sunset. Before joining Future Publishing, Sophie worked as the Head of Content and Communications at Fig Linens and Home, a boutique luxury linens and furniture brand. She has also written features on exciting developments in the design world for Westport Magazine. Sophie has an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and a BA in Creative Writing and Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College.