Caroline Hetzel and Joanna Linberg
January 29, 2016
| Updated June 25, 2018
Thomas J. Story
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Thomas J. Story
White bathrooms just feel cleaner. From the tub platform to the countertops, this master bath stylishly leaves color at the door. The designers of our 2014 Idea House dressed the room in classic subway tile. A buff motif on the concrete-tiled floor pulls its sandy shade from the white oak vanity.
Creamy white covers the expanse of this vaulted bedroom. Complement the neutrals with one bright color. Here, burnt orange stripes on the linen coverlet pop with the shade of the chair. High ceilings and blank walls give a weightless quality to the room. Ebony hardware brings the pale room back down to earth.
Neutrals provide the perfect blank space to layer on personality. Crazy colors don’t distract from the luscious materials used in this living space. The terrarium and sheepskin feel modern rather than kitschy because of the beige, white, and grey backdrops.
Are you a victim of the sterile white apartment wall? If that’s the case, introduce pattern with a tone-on-tone statement. These adhesive decals give an instant Southwest vibe. Mur (www.wallsbymur.com), based out of Salt Lake City, sells the large triangles along with various other shapes and colors. The nude motif adds excitement to an otherwise bland room.
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Maximalist gallery wall
Off-white walls can absorb a lot of art without looking chaotic. Case in point: a rotating gallery of pencil drawings, prints, and objects—all devoid of color. The blank canvas even allowed for a favorite collection on top of the antique French work bench.
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Navy as neutral
This eat-in kitchen’s patterned, indigo pillows may seem out of character for a home dominated by a neutral palette. But we don't look at it that way. In the way that blue denim jeans are a nearly-neutral staple in one's wardrobe, the nautical hue can work as a neutral in a room.
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Keep a room cohesive by sticking to one palette for virtually everything: brown, beige, or another warm neutral.
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A light touch with wood
Avoid overwhelming a space with a lot of wood, as it makes the room look heavy. Instead, keep in mind the balance of surfaces. Leather, woven baskets, even mirrors are can be go-to mixers.
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Textiles over coverlets, sheepskins on chairs, Moroccanrugs over jute—break up the field of beige with other textures and shades so the eye is never bored. When you do accent with color, aim for textiles that have an off-white or chocolate base so the look is seamless.
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A neutral palette can seem dull without a touch of gloss. Gold and brass can act like jewelry for a room. Nowhere is this more literal than in this dining room, where a tiered chandelier by Melissa Joy Manning hangs a statement piece.