How to Make Neutral Spaces More Exciting

neutral spaces

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.

Want Help Spicing Up Your Neutral Space?

Bedroom Ideas: 5 Steps to Creating a Calming Bedroom

The bedroom is one space we get many questions about here at Modsy. After all, it’s the most personal room in your home where you start and end your days, so it should be a space that’s not only stylish but one that also inspires rest for you.

And whether you’re in the process of rethinking your bedroom or looking to make some updates, there are some key pieces that can help set it apart as the ultimate soothing space.

Here, we break down for you just what these design elements are when it comes to building a calming bedroom.


Calming bedroom


1. Establish an Inviting Foundation

The bed is what everything else in the room will revolve around. Rather than going for one that’s conveniently sized or quick to ship, invest in a bed that’s just right for you and will set a cozy tone in your room.

A good starting point: An upholstered bed with light or neutral fabric will instantly give your bedroom a soft, inviting look. If an upholstered bed isn’t your thing, a simple frame or an open base is a great alternative — they tend to take up minimal space and have a way of making your room feeling airy as opposed to cluttered.


Calming bedroom

2. Create a Personal Spot

In the bedroom, your nightstand is your most personal space. It’s an area where you should let your style shine.

A good starting point: Choose a nightstand or side table that suits your needs. Want extra storage to hold your binge-reading material? Opt for one with drawers. Just want a place to set your alarm clock or a late-night cup of tea? A nightstand with a larger swath of surface area is the way to go. Add a pretty table lamp and hang a favorite photo or painting to make the space feel extra personal; it’s a great way to incorporate elements that soothe your senses.


Calming bedroom

3. Incorporate Light Wood Tones

Be it your nightstand or a dresser for all your clothes and blankets, lighter woods in the bedroom can keep the space feeling open and spacious.

A good starting point: We love the look of Mid-century pieces with their clean lines and tapered legs for bedside storage. If you have the space for it, a dresser that’s big enough to hold all your soft goods can also make for a simple and stylish display surface for small personal items. The key is to keep to a neutral and work with a light palette for your furnishings, bedding, and accents.


Calming bedroom

4. Fill Your Walls

Admittedly your bedroom walls can be difficult to outfit, especially when you want to maintain a calm atmosphere. But if you leave them empty, your room somehow feels incomplete.

A good starting point: The round mirror trend is a great option. Placing it above the bed to reflect more light into the room gives the space the illusion of being larger that it is.

Another option is to bring in an open bookshelf in place of a nightstand because it solves two big dilemmas: it can function just like a nightstand but takes up little space and doesn’t feel bulky; and it also extends vertically so it fills the walls but doesn’t overwhelm your room.


Calming bedroom

5. Inject a Bit of Color

While a completely white bedroom can feel incredibly cozy, a strategic approach to color can make for a bedroom that’s equally alluring and calming. A little color will also help to break up white walls and white bedding.

A good starting point: Pick a color and stick to shades of it when you’re picking your pillows, rug, accents, and art. This way your space will feel united by one continuous palette, and the color becomes your guide for everything that you decide to add to your room later on. Keeping to one hue will also minimize the visual frenzy, creating a clean overall look and feel.

This render features shades of blue, as this primary hue has a soothing and serene quality. Shades of green with white is another easy color combo to encourage a calming effect. Blue and green are both easy to work with as they recall the outdoors and nature.


Calming bedroom


Ready to redo your bedroom or still needing some guidance?
We can help!



Greenhouse Garden Retreat

You can eat your greenery or you can sit on it. Both have equally curative powers according to Pantone, who named this particularly leafy shade its 2017 color of the year. A symbol of new beginnings, the zesty, yellow-green hue is all about reconnecting, refreshing, rejuvenating, restoring, and pretty much any other “re-word” you can think of.

pantone's greenery

But if this tangy green reminds you more of Kermit the Frog than a vegetable garden, you’re not alone. While not eagerly hoping on the greenery bandwagon ourselves, we tried embracing the color for its symbolic, rather than purely aesthetic value.


Amid our current tumultuous social and political climate, Pantone chose greenery as a means to encourage “green” ways of thinking and living. Pantone suggests that the shade can inspire us to reconnect with nature as we disconnect with technology and promote green ways of thinking in respect to such things as design, energy, and even diet for the coming year. Kale yeah!

pantone's greenery

pantone's greenery

At Modsy we know that our environments shape our experiences, so we are taking a stab at incorporating some greenery into our domain. So if you can’t swing a spur-of-the-moment vacation to Airbnb’s Outside In London loft, we invite you to relax and photosynthesize inside our greenhouse garden retreat.

pantone's greenery

Want to try a daring color in your home?


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Wall Seeking Sofa: A Living Room Love Story

One of the greatest challenges people face when designing their space is choosing a color palette. There’s the sofa, the rug, the throw pillows, the wall color – so many variables to account for that it makes the process overwhelming. So if you suffer from decidophobia or just want to give your space an air of design confidence, try on the idea of a monochromatic living space.

Why do we love this look? The matching sofa and wall color combo envelope your space in color and create a sense of luxury. There is a sort of “casual drama” to the look, as the heavy saturation pushes dramatic, while the lack of contrast pulls minimal. Less visual information for the brain to digest, the monochromatic palette promotes pattern and texture from sidekicks to stars.

Browse these 8 perfect pairings below. And if you’re feeling adventurous, see it in your space with Modsy.

Stylist tip: If the idea of a color-drenched interior makes you seasick, try limiting it to just one accent wall behind your sofa.

1. Navy



2. Sage Green




3. Camel Brown




4. Slate Grey



5. Purpler3189_shot05_f


6. Teal




7. Cerulean



8. Chartreuse  r3189_shot08_f


Want to try a daring paint color, risk-free?
See it in your space first!


The Mood of Monet: Bringing Pastels Indoors

Our big takeaway from this season’s runway collections was color. More subdued than sweet, a palette of moody pastels dominated the 2017 Pre-Fall collections of designers such as Valentino and Bottega Veneta.

A different take on hues usually reserved for baby showers and easter egg baskets, we found these stormier pastels reminiscent of colors employed by French Impressionist, Monet in his Water Lilies oil painting series.



Left: Pre-Fall 2017 Bottega Veneta Collection, photo courtesy of Bottega Veneta. Right: Monet, Water Lily Pond, 1908


Left: Pre-Fall 2017 Valentino, photo by Gerardo Somoza/ Right: Monet, Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas, 1919


We translated this aesthetic from the runways to a modern living room. Using the same palette enhanced with luxurious materials such as velvet, burl wood, and mother of pearl, this living room captures the same moody vibe as the runway collections.


For those who love a minimal yet chic space, this collection will be plucking at your heart strings. Not sure what your Modsy style is? Take our Style Quiz to find out.

Shop all the products in this collection below, or see it in your space with Modsy.



moody pastels home design collection

Natural Curiosities

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler


moody pastels home design collection