Treasured for its timeless livability, neutral wears well with everything, which is why a neutral living room design scheme can be extremely appealing. From linen to taupe, dove gray to charcoal, neutral-clad living rooms are welcoming, warm, and truly classic. Browse our collection of photos we gathered for you of neutral living rooms for inspiring ways to blend style and sophistication in your home, as well as some great tips for designing your neutral scheme. Whether your style is modern, transitional, or classic, a neutral backdrop enables the perfect setup for upbeat colors and playful patterns without overwhelming the space.
If you love the look of a bold accent wall or the pop of colorful pillows, our neutral living room ideas will help you discover new, powerful ways to punch up plain hues. In a neutral living room, center conversation on an eye-catching area rug with a chevron, striped, or geometric pattern and painted storage pieces. Anchor your living room with a pair of patterned armchairs to add contrast to a neutral color scheme. Create depth in a neutral living room by pairing white walls with dark furnishings. Install beaded board and millwork to instantly revive a bland ceiling and bare walls.
Have you been able to successfully decorate a room with a neutral color palette? Let us know in the comments section below! If you are looking for more living room ideas, be sure to check out some of our past articles on 47 Extremely cozy and rustic cabin style living rooms and 43 Cozy and warm color schemes for your living room.
1850s Upgrade: This living room employs clean, modern touches in order to enliven an aged farmhouse interior. A Pottery Barn sofa slipcovered in washable canvas and a bolster pillow that’s been hand stitched from a grain sack add new life to impressive exposed wood framing and support beams. Fresh white paneled walls welcome in lots of light. Using an old chicken crate as a base, a homemade coffee table helps retain genuine rustic appeal.
Use high-quality texture: When you don’t have dazzling colors to create interest and get attention, other aspects of your room become even more important. Texture is one of them. In the room above you can see how the light is reflected and absorbed at different angles on the fabric of the chair by the window. If you are using leather in your design scheme, take a little time to educate yourself on the grades of leather.
Incorporate pattern: The large-scale pattern on this upholstery really makes the room. The area rug also is patterned, as well as the beautiful drapery fabric.
York Living Room: A light and airy perspective in a home that has low ceilings and limited natural light. Colors and mirrors were chosen to expand the walls and bring in the sun.
Add black for punctuation: In this room, there is black in the area rug, throw and toss pillows, which add a strong bit of punctuation.
You can mix your neutrals: Most people think a neutral color palette is made of a bunch of beige. But there are other neutral colors and you can mix them if you want.
This English Country style living room in Northome, Minneapolis feels comfortable and familiar, yet fresh and clean. Those neutrals — vibrant woods contrasted with pale creams and beiges — simply glow together. What makes this space feel more engaging is the apricot throw pillows, which bridge the neutrals and create an irresistible warmth.
Tip: Mix the “high” with the “low.” We don’t all have the budget for designer fabrics, high-end furniture, original art pieces and one-of-a-kind accessories throughout our entire home. Buy the best seating pieces you can afford. You’ll use them and touch them every day, so you’ll notice the difference. Choose a few other standout pieces and the look of your space will be elevated even if you have many bargain pieces.
Don’t be afraid to add a little bit of color to your neutral palette in small doses: Adding some pops of color adds life to a neutral color palette.
Eye-Catching Elegance: Applying narrow strips of molding to suggest panels is a popular treatment known as picture framing. Frame sizes may vary to emphasize smaller spaces, such as around a fireplace. The key to eye-pleasing design is to keep the spacing between frames uniform and the edges aligned.
Use a combination of interesting materials and surfaces: In the photo above we see varying side tables and coffee table. They both add interest to the room that would be missing if matching wood coffee and side tables had been chosen.
Tip: Do not go into a furniture showroom and buy the matching 5-piece-sofa-loveseat-chair-coffee table-side table combo. It might feel like a safe choice, but will never make a statement!
Use beautiful and interesting shapes. Removing color from the equation also brings shape into the foreground and the shapes in this room really catch your attention. The soft lines of the chairs, the oval shaped nesting side tables, the octagon mirror and even the rounded decorative objects, they all add interest and contrast with the very straight lines of the coffee table and sofa.
Include elements from nature for interest and warmth: Bring the outdoors in with natural tree stump side tables.
Neutrals: Mix It Up: Neutrals get more exciting when you mix textures and materials. Contrast adds spice to a potentially boring color palette.
This stunning living room showcases white walls and hardwood floors layered with a bound sisal rug. The living room features a traditional fireplace with mini mosaic tile surround. The fireplace is topped with a large black framed mirror and a black and white framed wedding photograph. A pair of black mirrored chests flank the fireplace topped with a glass vase of manzanita branches. A pair of contemporary gray sofas face each other and are dressed with white pillows, gray trellis pillows and a fringed gray throw. A rectangular iron based, wood topped coffee table sits centrally in the space. A pair of gray rattan stools add seating in front of the fireplace. The leaded glass French doors are dressed with chic floor to ceiling black and white curtains. A large iron lantern pendant gracefully adorns the ceiling.
Decorate with Natural Elements: Once limited to flower arrangements and random shell collections, bits of nature (and nature-inspired objects) now rule the roost as demonstrated in this beautifully designed living room.
Use many different shades of your neutral color: Whether you have decided to work mostly with taupe or cream or gray or any other neutral, using several shades of that color will add depth. In this room, the seating pieces employ four different colors: the draperies and walls are a different color, and the wood is quite dark compared to the upholstery.
Use multiple textures that contrast well. If the seating pieces in this room were all microfiber, the room would fall flat. But the fabrics on the two sofas and the chairs have distinctively different textures, and they contrast well with the leather piece in the foreground. The drapery panels are the same color as the walls, but the walls are a matte texture, and the drapery shines.
Photo Sources: 1. Casabella Home Furnishings & Interiors, 2. Country Living, 3. Pinterest, 4. McCroskey Interiors, 5. Tara Seawright, 6. HGTV, 7. Michael Abrams Limited, 8. Marcye Philbrook, 9. Liz Marie Blog, 10. Sabal Homes, 11. Cabana Home, Niche Interiors, 12. Murphy & Co. Design, 13. Brad Ford ID, 14. Pinterest, 15. James Traynor Custom Homes, 16. TerraCotta Properties, 17. Collins & DuPont Design Group, 18. Marc-Michaels Interior Design, 19. Thrifty & Chic, 20. All Things Girly and Beautiful, 21. Pinterest, 22. Ballard Designs, 23. How to Decorate, 24. AR Architecture & Design, 25. Pinterest, 26. BHG, 27. Southern Weddings, 28. The Design Co., 29. Pinterest, 30. KitchenLab, 31. Lux Decor, 32. Simply Inspired Design, 33. BHG, 34. Raven Inside, 35. Niche Interiors
Ballantrae Court is a contemporary single family residence just recently completed by KZ Architecture, located in a golf community in South Florida. Comprised of 10,000 square feet of living space, this stunning home showcases unique rooflines, accented with warm wood and plenty of glass to emit natural light.
From the architects: The project involved a large program that would yield a home on a limited and restricted site. The design strategy involved deconstructing the volume into pavilions that could generate a dialogue between built form and landscape and create intimate connections between the golf course and the living spaces.
This Residence was developed as a home in a golf community in South Florida. The program specified ample guest accommodations for the clients’ extended family and friends.
The aesthetic of the project developed in response to the client’s wish for a modern house, and the community’s requirements for sloped roofs. The zoning manual stipulated for a minimum 6/12 roof slope. However, the design team was successful in obtaining a variance to adjust the slope to a 3/12 ratio for portions of the roof.
The house consists of a main volume, capped with a gable roof at the required slope and four shed roof legs at the lesser slope that define the house and frame the outdoor spaces in the front and the rear of the property. In the front, these elements materialize as an inviting entry porch on one side, and help transform what would be an otherwise massive three car garage on the other.
In the rear, the volumes thrust into the golf course, emphasizing the desired interaction between the landscape and the architecture. The home strives to embrace Florida living and be respectful of its context.
The choice of materials which include zinc for the roof and “C” structures, natural coral keystone for walls and wood for ceilings and decks, reflect the vernacular building traditions of the area. The planes and volumes clad in these three materials, weave in and out of the structure defining the architecture throughout.
Photos: Robin Hill
This exclusive apartment renovation for a dutch family was completed by DENOLDERVLEUGELS, located in the borough of Amsterdam-Zuid in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Completed in January 2014, the 3,229 square foot (300 square meters) apartment occupies the top 3 levels of a building complex built in 1925.
The family, born in the Netherlands, wanted to buy an apartment and settle down in Amsterdam after living abroad for many years in Copenhagen, Brussels, Madrid, San-Fransico and Rome. Together with DENOLDERVLEUGELS the family searched for an apartment suiting their open and modern family life. Eventually a 2 level apartment in very basic conditions suited best because of the possibility to strip the entire apartment to a situ ation where only the basic structure remained. The narrow and closed structure of the existing building is transformed into a transparant and open setting where the (visual) relationship between different rooms and levels has been the basis for the design.
The attic of this building, which was built in 1925, was used for the hiding of people during the second world war. After the war the attic remained unused. In the new situtation the attic is fully incorporated in the functioning of the apartment. It is a beautiful living space connected to the lower levels by a grand vide which also houses a grand staircase. This vide supplies a large amount of beautiful light in the centre of the apartment on all levels.
The authentic wooden roofing structure was kept intact as well as an old masonry wall to keep the connection to the history of the building. At the level of the attic a large roof terrace was added. At the terrace the view across Amsterdam is magnificent. The view takes you over the rooftops to the Olympic Stadium, the ‘Rijksmuseum’ and the theater Carré. At the terrace you also have a view through the vide to the lower levels and the entrance hall. This is also an example of the basic design feature of connecting all spaces and levels.
Entering the apartment the vide creates a fabulous vista through all levels. The openness and grandeur of the spaces with this central vide show the great metamorphoses of the apartment. A great contrast to the narrow and dark old situation. The modern and dynamic family had a specific need for social interaction within the apartment but with enough possibilities to retreat within their own private quarters. The open plan is organized in main functions that remain a strong social relationship but are separated through large glass & steel separation walls with glass & steel doors. The kitchen is the social centre of the apartment. It offers a view to all important spaces and the vide, thus enhancing the open relationship between spaces and the social control within the apartment.
The family has collected a large amount of different artifacts because of the many different places of residence. Using these different artifacts in combination with contemporary art gives the place a warm, atmospheric and rich decorated feel. The history of the apartment, the history of the family and the respectful incorporation of personal wishes within the design creates a balanced and harmonic apartment. This is an apartment that represents ‘home’, something the family wanted to achieve returning to the Netherlands.
Photos: Michael van Oosten
Colordrunk Designs is a life-long dream that came true almost by accident for interior designer Jenna Buck Gross, whose firm is based out of Decatur, Georgia. Though art and design have always been a passion of Jenna’s, she has devoted much of the past several years to raising her two girls and designing and decorating her own home. However; after their family home was featured on the TLC show, Four Houses, Jenna had several people contact her to ask for help with their own homes, and Colordrunk designs was born!
Jenna really believes that a person’s surroundings affect the way they feel. Her goal with Colordrunk Designs is to insure each and every client feels absolutely comfortable in their home. Whether it’s a whole-house design or just a one room facelift, no job is too big or small. On each project the designer works to create a bespoke design that reflects each client’s individual wants, needs, personality, and budget. After all, good design and a comfortable space shouldn’t be a luxury.
Jenna brings a unique perspective to interior design. Colordrunk Designs allows her to couple her education and years working in the fashion industry with her lifelong passion for art and design. Further, as a young mother of two, designing for families, particularly those with young children, is a specific focus for Jenna.
Statement from the designer – Oh, and for those “color-phobes” out there, don’t be shy about contacting me! I will try to cure you of your fear of color, but if I am not successful, I can promise you a beautiful design-in a palette you are comfortable with.
Jenna Buck Gross lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband, Caleb, daughters, Mary Jennings (3) and Lottie (1), her Great Pyrenees, Beau, and her best friend (and pomeranian), Tibi.
Photos: Courtesy of Colordrunk Designs
The container and contents: Design history has left certain icons that never go fashion. We can talk about specific pieces, such as Eames chair or Henningsen lamps. Coblonal But we have always been characterized by decorating from architecture, our interior design project begins to develop from the time we thought the box and choose the materials that make up. The piece, no matter how iconic it has to fit into the puzzle that makes up the entire space of the house.
In the interior design project that we present, we can breathe a certain retro air, conferred by certain parts, but also a strong basis formed by the solid balance between distribution, materials and volumes. In this case, the timber and determines updating them contextualized furniture elements. Despite the generous dimensions of this housing, distribution and its interior is carefully designed to maximize sociability in the day and rest in the night. Open space but parceled by arranging the different volumes that delimit areas. Volumes fruit carpentry design that allows us to use it as a distributor and storage while maximizing its functions. The result is a contemporary, retro and modern housing.
Joan Llongueras and Coblonal Architecture are responsible for the interior design of this new work.
Photos: Sara Riera
Turner Residence was designed to be beautifully simple and connected to nature by Jensen Architects, nestled hillside in Larkspur, California. The homeowners desired for their new home to be environmentally sensitive, and universally accessible. This dream home would be positioned to enjoy the unique property and views of the bay, be respectful of the neighbors and community, and serve as an example of the best of contemporary design.
A plinth and a pavilion. Nestled into the hillside, the long, solid plinth contains the private rooms of the house. Atop this plinth sits a transparent living and dining pavilion that opens up completely for access to the outdoor decks, pool patio and expansive views to Mount Tamalpais and the bay. An elegant structural solution allows the views to be uninterrupted by perimeter sheer walls. The majority of the site is left undeveloped with its forest of native oaks intact.
When the house is in use, there is almost no house. The goal was to make a building disappear into the landscape. The site itself is stunning: the ridge line of an oak covered hill with views of Mount Tamalpais, the Bay, and beyond. The idea was to make a house that allowed for living on the ridge without diminishing the ridge and its vantage point. The roof springs outward from a solid core with no perimeter shear walls.
Structurally, the house mimics the surrounding oaks with their branches extending horizontally from solid trunks. Under this floating roofline, an array of sliding glass panels can retract completely into the core. What remains is almost nothing: a pool patio with a shade canopy. Mirror panels on the core further veil the building. In the end the house mimics, reflects, and merges with the surrounding oaks.
The function of the home is orchestrated within a series of soft thresholds, blurring the line between inside and outside, between home and setting. With the glass walls pocketed into the core, the interior spaces flow out onto the adjacent terraces, landscapes, and panoramas. The living room sits high above the ground and surrounding oaks, opening to private yet expansive views of Mt. Tam and the green terrain. At the northeast side of the house, the dining room, kitchen, pool, and main terrace are effectively fashioned into a single unified indoor/outdoor living area.
Photos: Courtesy of Jensen Architects
Far Sight House is a two story property designed by Wallflower Architecture + Design, showcasing a rear rooftop terrace overlooking the valley below in Singapore. This house sits on high ground, and the rear of the site has wonderful views overlooking the greener and more affluent residential addresses in Singapore.
Our client’s brief was to design a home of two stories, with an attic, and importantly a roof terrace facing the rear and overlooking the valley.
The house is expressed by coupling two forms; a tall and narrow single-room width block housing the master bedroom, study and attic-living and the wider block at the rear accommodating two children bedrooms side by side. The formal expression the house is also a response to the strict local interpretation of attic guidelines.
The house deploys a multi-layered facade of operable glass doors and windows, a veil of operable vertical timber louvers punctuated by clear glass bay windows, horizontal aluminum sunscreen and vertically drawn blinds. Different expressions of material and composition but primarily enabling the owners to control the amount of sun screening, breeze, and view. Sometimes it is not just what the owners want to see, but what the neighbors can see of them.
Semi-detached houses tend to suffer from gloom in the deep central parts of the house. Unlike detached houses, semi-detached homes have only openings on three sides. Careful planning and understand the nature of daylight shifting throughout the day has resulted in daylight and breezes refreshing each corner of the house. Light and air wells are further slotted in-between the party wall and the house. All three levels are connected via a staircase finished in limestone.
The layout on the first storey is simple, comprising the living room, dining, kitchen, guest room and a small children’s pool. On the second storey, a family room and three bedrooms for our client and their two children. The master bedroom has a little study loft above and that is further linked to the attic living and roof terrace.
Irrespective of level or location, the casual light that bathes the internal spaces of the house leaves no area undesirable but it is the casual attic terrace with its ‘million-dollar’ views that is the literal ‘light-house’; It’s such a hit that the owners host most of their parties and family gatherings on the third level, to see and be seen from all around.
Photos: Marc Tey
La Moraleja is a modern three story private residence that was refurbished in 2012 by ÁBATON Architects, nestled in a heavily vegetated landscape in Madrid, Spain. The home’s construction dates from 1984, with a closed and dark distribution but very well built so the final project eliminated actions that were thought necessary in the early stages of the project.
Basically, we altered the construction’s morphology to improve the general energy saving and strengthened the magnificent views over the impressive garden; we re-organized the interior space in full and as a novelty, we improved the thermal efficiency by applying an external insulation. Additionally, we designed the new landscape, re-organizing the existing species and planting new ones according to the new uses of the 8,072 square foot (750 square meters) house.
ÁBATON was founded in 1998 by Camino Alonso, Ignacio Lechón and Carlos Alonso. From the beginning they aimed for the projects to express the facts that defined the Studio. To achieve it they started up the Construction Company in order to control the whole building process as well as the final result. ÁBATON projects’ impact determined the high turnout of clients searching for a place that expressed the same language of light, sustainability and space that ÁBATON applies to all its projects. Currently, ÁBATON is developing more efficient work processes to confront bigger challenges that have to do with the international growth of the Studio.
Photos: Courtesy of ÁBATON Architects
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