House Design

5 designer dos to copy from this modern rustic home – decorate with neutrals to perfection

See how this home was restored back to its former glory – and how you can copy its look

Neutral home decor ideas
(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

The renovation of this summer home in Southampton, New York was truly a labor of love for the owners, whose wish it was to restore the character and charm to this once remarkable property – with a neutral color palette, plenty of rustic wood accents and subtle pattern. 

After years of living in a 'throw away society' we’re celebrating taking a 'less is more' approach by decorating with a neutral color palette and natural materials.

We spoke about decorating with neutrals with Becca Casey of Becca Interiors. Once you've finished, you can see more of the world's best homes on our dedicated page.

1. Keep within a tonal color palette

Neutral home decor ideas

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

A neutral color palette doesn't have to mean dull – let your room sing out with a tonal color palette. Choose shades of taupe, magnolia and mix in chocolate browns, greys and touches of black for a sophisticated take on a natural palette. Plus, plenty of greenery for a scheme that has been inspired by nature.

See: Living room ideas – clever ways to decorate living spaces

2. Introduce subtle pattern, color and contrast

Neutral home decor ideas

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

If, like us at H&G, you have an undying love of interiors, knowing how to mix patterns in a room is just one of the many skills you need to master. 

If you want to keep your keep color scheme largely neutral, but like to switch it up every now and then, the easiest way to add pattern and color is with artwork and soft furnishings. 'A collection of vintage oil portraits brighten the space with sea colors,' says Becca. 'You can find similar art at flea markets.' 

3. Use unfussy furnishings

Neutral home decor ideas

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

It is incredibly easy to over-furnish a neutral space, but that is one mistake you don't want to make.

There is a tendency to create chaos in a space that is decorated with neutrals. 'I advise taking a less is more approach when it comes to furnishing,' says Becca. 'A simple color scheme is the perfect excuse to create a haven of peace and tranquility.'

For a relaxing space, keep it clutter-free. Simple low-level storage and a few of your favorite, most treasured accessories will add a personal finishing touch.

4. Mix wood with marble for a modern aesthetic

Neutral home decor ideas

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

There is just something oh-so wonderful about working with wood. The joy of designing with wood is that it’s flexible, versatile and will help you stamp your style on your kitchen, whether it is a homage to modern living or a nostalgic nod to the past.

There is nothing more beautiful than the natural grains of different woods, especially when paired with the enduring appeal of marble. Elegant, understated and effortlessly beautiful, a combination or marble and wood in a kitchen is a timeless choice that will you will love for years and years.

See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens 

5. Add heaps of texture for interest

Neutral home decor ideas

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

The most important element to consider – when decorating with neutral – is texture. Adding texture to a scheme, whatever its base color, will always make your scheme look more interesting, and the room will feel warmer, too. Texture comes in many forms – from rough, slubby linens to woven materials, such as wicker, to chunky knit throws, to rough stoneware in vases and hemp rugs.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

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.