I live for color! I love feeling like Joseph in his technicolor dreamcoat, or Alice in her wonderland of rainbows and whimsy. Objects and places that are brilliantly saturated make me feel jovial and more carefree.
But, sometimes bold colors can be overstimulating and counterproductive—especially in places of refuge like the bedroom or workplace, where tranquility and productivity are of prime importance. So for the color-obsessed (like myself), what's there to do? Fears of, dare I say, boring design cloud my mind, and I start dreaming of teal lacquer-finished walls (like the ones in my apartment), or colorful ikat pillows to quench my appetite.
Fear no more! I've come up with five ways to add pizzazz to neutral bedroom color schemes.
Use Natural Materials
I sometimes forget the tremendous impact that natural materials have in design. When you incorporate aspects of the environment into a space you're essentially bringing the outdoors in—and I promise you, this can create a positive and lasting effect. I love using reclaimed wood as stools, lamp bases, or even headboards; agate stone as bookends or tabletops; and, plants as wallpaper. I am especially drawn to natural materials when they highlight the structural details of a home, as in this picture. The old wooden beams add a certain rustic flair that, well, could never be labeled as boring.
Don't be Afraid of the Dark
Dark bedrooms can be intimidating, but when executed well the visual effect is sensational. The room shown is a perfect example of feminine meets masculine. The black wall and stark-white adjacent walls make for stunning combination when paired with a wooden ceiling and floors. Adding too much color into a space like this will dilute its beauty. A touch of organic color, and the outcome is just remarkable. To get this look use Black Magic by PPG available at homedepot.com
Add in Some Texture
A neutral bedroom that combines large-scale pattern and plenty of texture could never be branded as boring—far from it! I love how this particular room introduces patterned curtains, accent pillows, and a throw blanket in an elegant light blue to make the space feel lived-in rather than sterile and cold. If you're looking to add pattern to your space while remaining fairly achromatic, I suggest using light colors such as blues, greens and browns in organic or geometric patterns. Curtains are great for patterns—just choose fabric with a fairly large design, as small motifs tend to look busy and chaotic. I love how this bedroom with beige sea grass wallpaper comes to life with muted pops of color and the addition of texture.
Use Blue as a Neutral
To me, blue will forever remain a neutral color—it's almost like a blank canvas! Think about it: Your favorite pair of blue jeans look super with just about every top you own. So, when in doubt, choose a blue. I especially love this dark parrot blue—it is a neutral that is both noticeable and unexpected. I also appreciate how the accents on the bed (the pillows and duvet) do not "match perfectly," but instead provide visual interest. This proves that blue is truly a neutral, but never a boring color!
Use Exposed Brick to Your Advantage
If you're fortunate to live in a space with exposed brick walls, you should count your lucky stars! Exposed brick walls are, to me, one of the most beautiful architectural elements—and their formation and layout can certainly tell you the history of your home! The natural terracotta color, however, can sometimes be a little too harsh, especially if you're looking for a feminine and light style in your bedroom. Rather than covering your treasure with drywall (that would be a sin!), I suggest painting the bricks white. The textured walls are so impressionable; you'll love the way it looks!