How to Make Neutral Spaces More Exciting

While neutral spaces can feel simple and beautiful, they also run the risk of feeling bare without the right accents. Here, we show you 5 color palettes that always work to spice up a neutral space—and how to incorporate them into your own home.

1. Natural Tones

If you’re looking to switch up your neutral space with a color scheme that’s easy on the eyes, consider this light, earthy palette that brings together hues often found in natural materials.

The key is to keep with softer natural tones; instead of dark slate and walnut, opt for pebble gray and blond wood. Try looking for a natural-fiber rug in a light basket color to give yourself one large anchoring piece. It will make for an easy point of color reference for choosing other accents. The result is a pared-down vibe that’s simple and soothing.

Where to Start:

Think different light wood tones with natural fibers, wheat and straw with sandy browns, cowhides with stone and gravel.

 

2. Blue & Gold

For a versatile color that’s not a neutral, blue is your next best bet—every shade of it. Consider pairing blue and gold, a metallic, for a stylish and sharp alternative to classic blue and white.

To create a cohesive look with this combination, decide on a statement shade of blue and choose different pieces that help to spread it around in a neutral space—whether it’s a blue pillow, a rug, or an oversize piece of art. The idea is to create different focal points with the color. Then, focus on adding small gold touches, like side tables, picture frames, and floor lamps. A little glimmer can go a long way. The result is a pairing that’s always elegant and modern.

Where to start:

Think indigo with brass, cerulean with golden yellow, baby blue with gold leaf, cobalt with gilding.

3. Warm Tones

Rich rustic colors are a surefire way to spice up your neutral surroundings; they’re guaranteed to add vibrancy to a room. Consider mixing warm reds and oranges into a neutral room for a look that’s bold, vivid, and inviting.

Look to the shades in between red and orange as a way to lock in your color range. Then decide if you want to pull in more reds or oranges into your space. Whichever color you choose, work from one end of the color spectrum, pulling out two to three shades of the color as you move towards the other. In doing so, you’ll create a gradiated palette. Try an upholstered piece in a red or orange you love, then look for two more pieces in different shades. Remember that too many pieces in this warm color family can easily overwhelm your room; too few, and they can feel out of place.

Where to start:

Think apple with cherry, brick with terracotta and fire-engine red; tangerine with apricot, sunset with burnished orange and bronze.

4. Green & White

Green and white is one of the most versatile color combinations—even more so than blue and white. The possibilities for this pairing are endless. And no matter the shade of green you choose to pair with white, this combination always looks chic.

From everyone’s favorite banana leaf print to malachite, green and white is more prevalent in your decor than you think. The key to mixing green and white into a neutral space is to add different patterns in this palette. For instance, try a rug with a leaf design and a pillow with green geometrics and some greenery. The result is a cohesive look that’s also layered.

Where to start:

Think jade with malachite, olive with seafoam, forest green with herb hues like sage, basil, and mint.


5. Jewel Tones

A jewel-tone palette is certain to dial up the glamour in a neutral space. Unlike any other palette, the approach is to go big, so consider adding a few statement pieces in these vivid hues.

When it comes to decorating with jewel tones, think bold solids. Whether it’s artwork in an amethyst purple or a pillow in bright amber, decor and accents in one color will provide the most impact. Jewel tones, like emerald, ruby, and sapphire are heightened primary colors, so they will naturally complement each other when used separately. Try starting with pairs of pillows and art. Another bonus? These colors also work well with metallics, such as gold, silver, and mirrored touches.

Where to start:

Think emerald with amethyst, ruby with amber, sapphire with rose quartz.

2 replies
  1. JoDi says:

    I wish you would provide links to the products in these posts. I would love to purchase the framed photo in the first room, but I have no way to know where to find it!

    Reply
    • Madeline says:

      Hi JoDi! We are always happy to show you any piece you like in your Modsy Studio! This particular artwork is ‘Wild Horses II’ by Christine Flynn, and you can find it here!

      Reply

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